Schools in Marion County, Florida could see a return of the paddle if incoming board member Carol Ely has her way.

Ely, who is set to begin her term on the Marion County School Board, says that her experience running Shady Hill Elementary School in Ocala for 14 years made her a believer that this form of discipline is one of the most effective available to schools. is reporting that Ely might have enough pull with fellow board members to make this goal a reality. On previous occasions, Ely said that to be most effective, paddling should only be used sparingly and only on children who repeatedly misbehave. She added that during her tenure at Shady Hill, the number of kids who were paddled more than once was extremely low, indicating that the punishment worked to correct wrong-doing.

She said that there should be strict rules about paddling, which she promises to add to the proposal when she brings it up for a vote in November. School staff would be limited to using it only in extreme circumstances and only with permission from parents.

Linda McLean, a Marion County parent, said that she’d be willing to sign off on in-school corporal punishment.

“I would let them get a spanking and when they get home they would get another one for disrespecting school,” said Linda McClean.

But there are others, like Jarrilyn Taylor, who think that schools that paddle encroach too much on parental prerogative. Taylor said that she doesn’t think anyone should be allowed to hit her child.

Meanwhile in Texas — one of 19 states that allow paddling in schools — one district is considering lifting a restriction on corporal punishment that required that paddling could only be administered by staff members of the same sex as the student. Springtown Superintendent Michael Kelley said that requirement meant that genders weren’t being punished equally since a small district often has a shortage of administrators of one or the other gender.

The new rule would instead require that an administrator of the same gender be present in the room while the paddling was taking place, but wouldn’t have to be the one to administer it. In addition, parents must provide explicit permission for their child to be able to receive corporal punishment.

“We don’t have a very large district and in our middle school there is only an assistant principal, who is a female,” Kelley said. “If the old policy remains in place, then the parents of the boys at the middle school would not be able to request corporal punishment.”

OU received a gift commitment of $600,000 from the Rainbolt family, President David Boren announced at the September meeting of the OU Board of Regents yesterday, according to a press release.

A $400,000 portion of the money will be used to endow scholarships, and a $200,000 portion will endow a presidential professorship, which honors and rewards outstanding faculty members in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, according to the press release.

“The University is deeply grateful to the Rainbolt family for this generous gift, which will provide new opportunities for students who want to dedicate their lives to teaching the next generation,” Boren said in the release.

The Campaign for Scholarships, which according to its website, is in place to ensure that no hard-working, qualified student is ever turned away from the university because of financial need, now has over $41.5 million in annual gifts and donations, which are used immediately, and $165 million in endowed gifts that create a permanent fund.

According to the campaigns website, more than 6,000 students applied for scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year. The greatest need, the website says, is for unrestricted scholarships, which could benefit students of all majors at OU.

“One of the favorite parts of my job is to be able to tell a student that he or she has received a scholarship,” said Matt Hamilton, the Norman Campus vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services and Registrar. “Scholarships help students now only to continue their education at OU but also to earn their degrees in a timely fashion and graduate with less loan debt.”

According to the campaigns website, over half of all OU students take out student loans, with an average debt at little more than $20,000.


By Tom Bartlett

We are easily fooled, more biased than we believe, less rational than we think, unable to accurately recall the past, unrealistically positive about the future, spoiled by money, controlled by hormones, hamstrung by prejudices, overwhelmed by choice. We can’t stop eating. We pay for free stuff. Our minds go blank. There is something—actually, lots of things—wrong with us.

Or so it feels after attending two days of talks at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, in which researcher after researcher explained how they had exposed humanity’s multitudinous foibles.

What, how, and how much we eat was a much-discussed topic. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, rehearsed his finding that the size of our plates (or bowls or glasses) affects how much we consume, though with his national TV appearances and best-selling book, this was probably a revelation to no one.

Less known is a finding, mentioned by Maferima Touré Tillery of the University of Chicago, that if you divide a cookie into even, equal portions, people will eat less of it than if the same cookie is cut into random chunks. (UPDATE: To be clear, while Tillery briefly noted the finding, it was the result of research by Travis Carter and Ayelet Fishbach, also from the U. of Chicago.)

In other cookie-related research, Jessica Li Yexin of Arizona State University found that people are much more likely to choose familiar chocolate-chip cookies over cookies they had never heard of if they were first exposed to prompts that made them think of disease (a photo of someone sneezing, for instance). When we feel threatened, we opt for the familiar.

But we like the familiar less once we’ve had a taste of the exotic. People who have traveled the world and eaten at fancy restaurants derive less pleasure from a plate of spaghetti than your average Applebee’s patron, according to Jordi Quoidbach of Harvard. His research found that our ability to enjoy mundane pleasures, like eating and travel, hinges on whether we think of ourselves as people of superior discernment. In one study, he found that researchers could manipulate that sense of self, getting people to enjoy an experience less because they thought of themselves more highly.

How you think of yourself affects your behavior if you happen to be the boss. If you believe yourself to be incompetent, you are more likely to be aggressive and lash out at your employees, according to Nathanael J. Fast of the University of Southern California. He and his co-author, Serena Chen, also find, though, that once self-worth rises, the aggression disappears.

That’s useful if you have a boss. But probably the single most applicable piece of data came from a presentation by Marieke Roskes of the University of Amsterdam. Roskes and her co-authors analyzed video of penalty shootouts at all soccer World Cups and found that goalkeepers were significantly more likely to dive to the right, but only when their teams were behind. It’s consistent with other research indicating that human beings have a bias toward moving right when they need to act in a hurry.

When we try to do the right thing—in the moral rather than the directional sense—we actually feel that we are literally, physically higher, according to Eugene Y. Chan of the University of Toronto. He and his co-author, Eunice Kim Cho, found that when subjects were reminded of moral thinking, they felt higher off the ground. Thinking in moral terms also tended, they found, to make people more creative but less analytical.

Nostalgia seems to be a popular subject among psychologists at the moment. Carey Morewedge of Carnegie Mellon University did several studies showing that people believe TV shows and movies of the past were of generally higher quality than those on the air today. This seems to be because we recall only the better shows from bygone eras and believe them to be typical. As an example of an unquestionably bad old TV show, Morewedge mentions ALF, which, as a child of the 1980s with a fondness for that wise-cracking, cat-eating alien puppet, I found personally offensive. But that may be my own cognitive bias at work.

Thanks to a bunch of best-selling books and nifty, highly bloggable studies, social psychology has been overshadowing some less flashy disciplines lately. But it also has the reputation, perhaps unfair, of cranking out useless, gee-whiz results. In an effort to combat that perception, one of the sessions focused on findings by researchers like Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia, whose newish book, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change, is focused on overcoming our errors rather than merely pointing them out.

Also, seriously, who eats only part of a cookie?

(The photo of the cookie above comes from a recipe for metric cookies published on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Web site.)

By: Joanna Chau

Millennials, the generation of young Americans born after 1982, may not be the caring, socially conscious environmentalists some have portrayed them to be, according to a study described in the new issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study, which compares the traits of young people in high school and entering college today with those of baby boomers and Gen X’ers at the same age from 1966 to 2009, shows an increasing trend of valuing money, image, and fame more than inherent principles like self-acceptance, affiliation, and community. “The results generally support the ‘Generation Me’ view of generational differences rather than the ‘Generation We,'” the study’s authors write in a report published today, “Generational Differences in Young Adults’ Life Goals, Concern for Others, and Civic Orientation.”

For example, college students in 1971 ranked the importance of being very well off financially No. 8 in their life goals, but since 1989, they have consistently placed it at the top of the list.

The study—by Jean M. Twenge, a professor at San Diego State University; Elise C. Freeman, a graduate research associate at the same university; and W. Keith Campbell, a professor at University of Georgia—is the latest to seek to define the behavior and traits of the millennial generation.

Views on this much-debated topic have varied widely among experts.

In 2000, the popular book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, by Neil Howe and William Strauss, portrayed the group as engaged, high-achieving, and confident, among other “core traits.”

Ms. Twenge, the lead author of the new study, believes otherwise.

She has also published a book on the millennials, Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before, in which she writes: “I see no evidence that today’s young people feel much attachment to duty or to group cohesion. Young people have been consistently taught to put their own needs first and to focus on feeling good about themselves.”

That view is apparent in the new study’s findings, such as a steep decline in concern for the environment. The study found that three times more millennials than baby boomers said they made no personal effort at all to practice sustainability. Only 51 percent of millennials said they tried to save energy by cutting down on electricity, compared with 68 percent of baby boomers and 60 percent of Gen X’ers.

The study also found a decline in civic interest, such as political participation and trust in government, as well as in concern for others, including charity donations, and in the importance of having a job worthwhile to society.

The millennial generation has been raised in a culture that places “more focus on the self and less focus on the group, society, and community,” Ms. Twenge says

“The aphorisms have shifted to ‘believe in yourself’ and ‘you’re special,'” she says. “It emphasizes individualism, and this gets reflected in personality traits and attitudes.”

Even community service, the one aspect where millennials’ engagement rose, does not seem to stem from genuine altruism. The study attributes that gain to high schools in recent years requiring volunteer hours to graduate. The number of public high schools with organized community-service programs jumped from 9 percent in 1984 to 46 percent in 1999, according to the study.

Most of the study’s data point toward more individualism and less cohesion. The advantages of individualism are more tolerance, equality, and less prejudice, says Ms. Twenge. But the broader implication, she says, is not good.

“Having a population that is civically involved, is interested in helping others, and interested in the problems in the nation and the world, are generally good things,” she says. But Ms. Twenge does not believe this is happening. People are “more isolated and wrapped up in their own problems,” she says. “It doesn’t bode well for society in general.”

Please comment with your thoughts and ideas regarding how this affects education.


ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2012) — Impulsive children with attention problems tend to play more video games, while kids in general who spend lots of time video gaming may also develop impulsivity and attention difficulties, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

“This is an important finding because most research on attention problems has focused on biological and genetic factors rather than on environmental factors,” said Douglas A. Gentile, PhD, of Iowa State University and lead author of the study published this week in the debut issue of APA’s journal Psychology and Popular Media Culture.

Although the findings indicated that playing violent video games also can be linked to impulsivity and attention problems, the overall amount of time spent playing any type of video game proved to be a greater factor, according to the article. This was the case regardless of a child’s gender, race or socioeconomic status.

Researchers collected data from 3,034 children, ages 8 to 17 years old, over three years at 12 schools in Singapore. The children provided information about their video game playing habits by completing questionnaires in their classrooms at three intervals, each a year apart starting in grades three, four, seven and eight. They also completed psychological tests commonly used to measure attention and impulsiveness. Regarding attention, the children answered questions such as how often they “fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes” in their work or “blurt out answers before questions have been completed.” For the impulsivity test, they selected points they felt described themselves, such as “I often make things worse because I act without thinking” or “I concentrate easily.”

The study described attention problems as having a difficult time engaging in or sustaining behavior to reach a goal, particularly when the subject is difficult or boring. Yet previous research has found that playing video games can improve visual attention for rapid and accurate recognition of information from the environment, the authors noted.

“It is possible that electronic media use can impair attention necessary for concentration even as it enhances the ability to notice and process visual information,” Gentile said.

Understanding some of the environmental influences that video gaming may have on attention and impulsivity can help develop more effective solutions for children and parents, the authors said.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 154,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

Associate Dean Terry DeBacker found this interesting article about the serious psychological harm bullying can cause.
Associate Dean DeBacker stated educators and child advocates need to assertively address bullying behavior.

FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) — Children involved in bullying are more likely than their peers to consider suicide by the time they are 11, a new study indicates.

These thoughts of self-harm are not limited to victims of bullying, however. The study also revealed that bullies themselves are much more prone to suicidal thoughts or some other form of self-harm.

For the study, investigators analyzed bullying among more than 6,000 children ranging in age from 4 to 10, and the prevalence of suicidal thoughts when the same children were 11 and 12.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Warwick in England and published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that children who were bullied over a long period of time were six times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than children who weren’t bullied.

Bullies also were at increased risk for self-harm and suicidal thoughts — even those who were never victimized themselves, the researchers found. The findings were not as consistent among this group, however, the study authors noted in a university news release.

Even after taking into account other factors, such as family circumstances or preexisting emotional problems, the researchers were unable to find other reasons for the increased instance of suicidal thoughts among children involved in bullying. Although the study found an association between bullying and suicidal thoughts or self-harming behavior, however, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Our study findings suggest that suicide-related behavior is a serious problem for pre-adolescent youth: 4.8 percent of this community population reported suicidal thoughts and 4.6 percent reported suicidal or self-injurious behavior,” study co-author Dieter Wolke, a professor of psychology at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, said in the news release.

“Health practitioners should be aware of the relationship between bullying and suicide, and should recognize the very real risks that may be evident earlier in development than commonly thought,” Wolke said.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about bullying.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Warwick, news release, Feb. 29, 2012

Last Updated: March 02, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Schools earn Rewards honors

Transcript Staff

Posted:  04/10/2012 1:54 AM

Eight Norman schools have been named “Reward Schools” by the state Board of
Education and no schools were noted as low performers, school officials
announced Monday.

The “Rewards” designation created by the state is conferred on only about 7
percent of the state’s schools. Local schools honored are Alcott Middle School,
Cleveland Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Norman High School, Norman North
High School, Roosevelt Elementary, Washington Elementary and Whittier Middle

Norman Superintendent Joe Siano congratulated the eight schools. One hundred
and twenty-seven schools were selected from nearly 1,800 sites statewide.

“The eight Reward Schools in Norman have been recognized as achieving the
highest above state and federal benchmarks for student performance, and we
commend them,” Siano said. “We are also pleased that all NPS schools are
meeting and/or exceeding state and federal guidelines for student performance.
Norman Public Schools are committed to continued reform as we strive to assure
success of all of our students.

Photo by Nikki Self

Amy Galoob, special education sophomore, sits in her teaching
class that talks about maintaining the classroom. Galoob was born deaf, but she
has cochlear implants that allow her to easily interact with teachers and
peers. She receives assistance from sign language interpreters and classmates,
but has otherwise flourished in the OU community.

There are stories all around the campus —in classrooms, across the dorm hallway, throughout the Oklahoma Memorial Union during the lunch rush.

A walk down the South Oval is a stroll past a library’s worth of living narratives still being written. Most are average, many are plain boring, but there are a few stories that have a humbling and uplifting thread running through their pages.

Meet Amy Galoob, a special education sophomore, Colorado-native and member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. A passerby’s glance would illuminate a pretty, friendly, brightly observant undergraduate, but underneath the cover is a student who lives every day with a challenge many on campus don’t experience.

“I was born profoundly deaf,” said Galoob, sitting down for lunch. She was wearing a broad smile that one cannot help but reciprocate.

A daughter of two hearing-impaired parents, Galoob was born with little to no hair cells, which are responsible for making the follicles found in the inner ear that pickup and transmit sound information to the brain. Galoob’s older sister and younger brother are hearing impaired as well.

However, with the help of cochlear implants, Galoob is able to listen and communicate in normal, everyday conversation — as well as dish out her delightful sense of humor.

“It’s really a good gift, actually,” Galoob said. “I’m able to unplug and sleep like a baby every night.”

Bright and articulate, Galoob attends and participates in all regular classes for special education majors — in fact, she was recently asked by one of her professors to stand in front of one of her lecture hall classes and speak about her experience with hearing impairment.

However, Galoob also receives a bit of assistance from interpreters who translate lessons into sign language, as well as classmates who send her notes from each class.

“I’m usually able to hear my teachers just fine, but sometimes there are some important details I might miss, like test dates,” she said. “So I definitely appreciate having interpreters and classmates who help me out in that.”

As a resident of the Alpha Chi house, Galoob’s sense of community is only solidified by the friendships she has with her sisters.

“My roommate is responsible for my complete rescue and safety in case of a fire or tornado emergency,” Galoob said. “But joining Alpha Chi was such a great move for me, and I love all my friends there.”

However, being hearing-impaired does come with its handy hidden talents. Most notably, Galoob has the ability to read lips.

“It was quite useful in middle and high school when gossip was very popular,” Galoob said. “But I’ve toned back a bit.”

The transition from high school to college was a bit rocky, Galoob said. But she said she has finally found some stability at OU.

Galoob’s experience has influenced her future goals. She plans on specializing in teaching disabled children and students.

Hidden talents and greek groups aside, Galoob also is the new president of the Association for Disabled Students on campus. Although it’s a role she’s only inherited this semester, Galoob has big plans and deep passion for the group.

Although it seems life for Galoob is enjoyable and well defined, she admits her path has not always been this straight. Growing up with her challenges with hearing, as well as the trials of speech therapy, Galoob described her childhood by progressing through a handful of schools, searching for the one that would best meet her needs.

“There were definitely times it was difficult and hard to do. Always meeting new people, not really having that group of friends you go through elementary, middle and high school with,” said Galoob. “But overall, I just love talking with people. And I really feel like I’ve finally found a solid home here at OU with a great school and great friends.”

March 29, 2012

AnonymousThe Norman TranscriptThu Mar 29, 2012, 11:12 AM CDT

NORMAN — Dr. Leslie J. Rainbolt-Forbes of Oklahoma City has been elected as chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and Richard R. Dunning, also of Oklahoma City, has been elected as vice chairman of the board.

Rainbolt-Forbes was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the OU Board of Regents in 2006. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Newcomb College at Tulane University; master of business administration degree from Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management; and a medical degree with special distinction from the OU College of Medicine. She served on the OU College of Medicine faculty as an assistant clinical professor of dermatology and adjunct assistant clinical professor of pediatrics until her retirement from practice.

Rainbolt-Forbes currently serves on the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Board of Visitors and the board’s nominating committee. Also active in the community, she serves the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma as secretary and scholarship committee chair, as well as on the board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Oklahoma County, the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Oklahoma City’s Casady School Board of Directors. She and her husband, Scott, have four daughters.

Dunning was appointed by Gov. Henry to the OU Board of Regents in 2007.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in geological studies from OU in 1977.  He founded Indian Oil Co. in April 1981 and currently serves as president and CEO of Indian Exploration Co. LLC in Oklahoma City. He served as a member of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Committee from 2003 to 2007 and is a member of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Wildcatters Club; additionally, he previously served on the board of Friends of the Mansion and on the Governor’s Energy Board.

At OU, Dunning serves on the advisory committee of the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. He and his wife, Jennifer – an OU graduate – also serve on the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center Leadership Council. The Dunnings, who have six children, are the primary benefactors of the Keystone Adventure School and Farm, an art-based, multi-age and project-oriented elementary school and working farm that addresses the needs of each child in the unique way that he or she learns.

Chris A. Purcell of Norman was elected to serve as the board’s executive secretary and vice president for university governance. Purcell, who has been re-elected each year since 1992, also serves as secretary of OU, Cameron University and Rogers State University.  She was selected in 2005 by OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education as one of “75 Who Made A Difference” as well as being honored with the Walter Neustadt and with the UOSA Outstanding Administrator awards.  In addition to her other duties, she teaches courses in adult education, higher education and human relations.  She earned her bachelor of arts, master’s in education and doctoral degrees, all from OU.

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