Zealousness Fourth Edition Winter / Spring 2017

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How to Make Reading Fun for Children Education Systems Around the World - Indonesia The Joys of Early Learning Winter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |

Inside this issue FOURTH EDITION | winter / spring 2017


INTRODUCTION 03 Letter From the Editor: DeAndre Nixon 04 Zealousness Team!


zealousness section

08 Do What You Love And You’ll Never Feel Like You Are Working

14 Making It Work For You 20 Getting Your Child To Read For Fun

education around the world


28 Education Around the World - Philippines 32 Education Around the World - Indonesia

featured stories


38 A Shot For Stress Free Learning? 44 Bittersweet Nature of Stress 50 Does Listening To MusicWhile Studying Hurt Performance? 56 Technology Is Not Always Necessary For Interactive Learning

why? series & zealousness


60 Why Is The Air Invisible? 62 Reading For Fun Not Reading For School 68 The Joys of Early Learning 70 How To Create Goals And Stick With Them?


Youth section 74 Trivia, Maze, and other fun stuff

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Founder and President of iN Education, Inc. and Editor in Chief of Zealousness Magazine.

It is with great pleasure that I share with you my thoughts on this fourth issue (Education Should Be Fun Not a Burden). I have always found education fun and rewarding! Take a moment to reflect on all the things you have learned in the past whether it’s a new way to fix your favorite recipe, how to shine your car with eco-friendly products, or knowing which local school has best curricula that will benefit your kids. Our model at iN Education is “Every Day is Education Day.” There are countless ways one can benefit from education such as finding out how school systems operate in Philippines and Indonesia; discovering what you love and make it work for you; experiencing the joys of early learning; and just sitting back and enjoying learning. Educational institutions’ role is to “mode” us to have a healthy study routine. This solid foundation will help us adopt a sense of scheduling our time and prepare us for the workforce. Let’s not forget that the foundation is just a foundation; it is up to each individual to learn how to approach learning techniques and make education fun for him/her despite the system! Remember, it is solely up to you to find happiness in your journey for education regardless of your age or the school you attend…or who your teacher is. I would like to encourage everyone who is reading this to learn new things every day, even if it’s just one thing: 1 x 365 x 30yrs = enlightenment Imagine how many things you can learn every year! You can do the math, can’t you?! So what do you have to lose?

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ZEALOUSNESS TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF DEANDRE NIXON ADMINISTRATION SONA NIXON EDITORS Aaron leizerovici Catherine niehaus evelyn BOURASSA lauren seagren PRYANKA VERMA EDITORIAL DESIGN jordan helwig WRITERS ameera khawAja earline marshall ERICA MURPHEY kanika gakhar matheus arede nupur Srivastava, ph.d. shweta roy swathi thiruppathi SPECIAL THANKS DANIELA FERNANDES SMITH PATRICIA ZAVALA

talk to us! zealousness@ineducationonline.org 3867 West Market Street, Suite 166 Akron, Ohio 44333 a project by in education, inc.

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Do What You Love and 08 You’ll Never Feel Like You Are Working Making It Work For You 14 Getting Your Child To 20 Read For Fun

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Do What You Love and You’ll Never Feel Like You Are Working. By Shweta Roy


have all heard the popular maxim “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For many people this is not a reality. People need to pay bills and they might have to work a job, which they don’t necessarily love. With that said, while it might not be ideal, many people would not like to dread waking up Monday mornings.

more likely to be fulfilled. Loving your job also helps improve your mental health. One becomes motivated and the bumps on one’s life journey become less daunting. This can help harness stress to become productive, rather than uncomfortably forcing oneself to accomplish tasks and goals.

Choosing a Profession. What Will Get You Out of Bed in The Morning? It’s understandable to pick a career based on its pay, For our work to be fulfilling, doing what we enjoy the most should fuel us. So if one likes their job, they’re

especially considering student loans and number of graduates leaving college and entering the market. It’s a scary thought of not being able to sustain a

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living. But where there’s a will there’s a way. Depen- Persistence is Key. ding on where you are in your life, you can always make a career change. Work a day job, and find a One well-known person, who didn’t give up is famous way to work on your passion on your off time. author, J.K. Rowling. She was rejected many times before the Harry Potter series was finally published. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re probably Then there’s Agatha Christie, the greatest murder going to fail. After all, nobody gets it right the very first mystery writer who handled rejections for five years time. Mistakes are what help us improve and build straight, before her books were published. As we character over time. Every time we fail, we need to can see, persistence is key when trying to turn your get back up and start over again. That’s what leads passion into a career. There is no way around hard to success. work

Loving your job also helps improve your mental health. No stress automatically brings happy faces leading to happy lives.

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References: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/24/jk-rowling-tells-fans-twitter-loads-rejections-before-harry-potter-success http://www.luanwise.co.uk/choose-job-love-will-never-work-day-life/ https://www.themuse.com/advice/you-can-love-what-you-do-for-a-living-but-still-think-it-feels-like-work


For profit higher education is today a booming industry feeding on the student loans handed out to the desperate. -Thomas Frank


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Making It Work For You By Ameera Khawaja 14 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE | Winter / Spring 2017

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What is your favorite hobby? zealousness@ineducationonline.org


was convinced school wasn’t for me for the longest time. I often found myself looking out the window, or wondering why was I studying a certain subject when I had no interest in it. Why do I need to know what the earth’s core is like? Or what is 20% of 45? Eventually though I realized, School is a necessity and wasn’t going anywhere even if I didn’t like it. In fact, I needed it, if I wanted to build the kind of future I wanted. This meant actually paying attention to something I did not enjoy. This might sound completely banal, but the topics in school can actually be interesting if one were to pay the ‘right’ kind of attention. A lot was happening in the sixth grade. The subjects such as Social Studies, Geography, and Vocabulary seemed completely foreign to me. It’s hard to study a subject you don’t like, especially if you don’t understand it completely. More often than not, the reason I found a topic boring was because of my lack of comprehension. I realized I could make a subject compelling if I really wanted to—by looking at it in a different way. My passion has always been to own a farm, I would have lots of animals on this piece of land, with fruits and vegetables I would harvest myself and live a simple and rewarding life. Everything would be solar powered, recycled, and super sustainable. But in order to do all that, I should understand how to use land, how to grow something from a seed, how to sustain the earth, and make sure my animals stay healthy. This is where those boring subjects came in. Geography—a subject I absolutely dreaded because of how dull it was, suddenly made sense. One day the teacher was talking about how simple it is to grow something as long as the right environment was provided. We were all tasked to fill mason jars with cotton and set beans inside it. After setting our jars in the classroom windows for sunlight and air, we were tasked to make sure the cotton swab stayed damp (not completely wet) for the beans’ nourishment. Just a couple of days later, the bean began to sprout; one could see the tiny green leaf poking out. A few more days later, that small green leaf began to make its way out of the cotton swab it was set in. Almost two weeks later, there was a rich green colored leaf protruding completely out of the jar, with three more

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Most children shy away from asking questions in class, and when you don’t understand something, and are not forthright with it; you tend to lose the enthusiasm to learn.

leaves growing at the bottom!

ver engaging facts and figures in books, but asking the right questions and not putting too much pressure on yourself is also crucial. A geography class experiment which to some in my class was tedious was engaging for me. I asked my teacher all sorts of questions—how could cotton swab substitute as soil for the bean, how do the roots take hold, and how was the fact that you could grow a plant in a jar discovered? Be curious, and don’t be afraid to ask a silly question. My teachers always told me that there was no such thing as a senseless question, which is why we go to school - to learn.

I had made this classroom experiment work for me. I was interested in farming and here I was, learning the basics of growing anything. How amazing it was to see these beautiful leaves falling out of the jar when it was just a bean not even two weeks ago. This set in motion my interest to keep planting seeds, and learning more about the earth. As I grew older I understood why my sixth-grade teacher taught us about the earth’s core. It not only affected the shifting of land, but also produced heat from the inside, and the issue of global warming from the outside was creating havoc on the once fertile planet earth. I was learning Most children shy away from asking questions in about population growth, resource allocation, climate class, and when they don’t understand something, issues, and proper water usage for vegetation. and are not forthright with it they tend to lose the enthusiasm to learn. Finding something you’re ardent about is what worked for me, and I feel that it is the key to making The subjects in school might seem boring now, but uninteresting topics appealing. You can always disco- more often than not, I find myself remembering the

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little things that we were taught. All the things you studied might not stick and you might never have to find out the total area of a triangle (I was always the worst at math), but after almost 20 years I found myself trying to figure out what 20% of 78 was. Funny thing is, I knew the easy way to find that answer, as I had asked my math teacher. Studying should not be stressful. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Find someone who’s good in a certain subject and ask him/her how they make it interesting. Everyone perceives knowledge differently and studies school material in their particular way. There’s nothing wrong if you find subjects boring, the problem comes in when you leave it that way without trying

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Getting Your Child To Read for Fun By Erica Murphey

our child groans that it’s hard, boring, and it takes forever. They would rather do anything, but read a book. As parents, you have every right to be concerned. But how can you encourage your child to read more, without pushing them away?


Here are a few tips you can implement to make reading a fun activity they’ll look forward to, even when it’s not required to read academically:

Read What You Like. Klein Independent School District Special Needs

Teacher, Kent Westmoreland, 57, says via phone interview that it’s partly a matter of keeping your child’s interests in mind when choosing a book. Does your daughter adore princesses? Get her a copy of Snow White or Rapunzel. Is your 7 year old son fascinated by bugs? Let him exercise his reading muscles with a book about insects. You can’t go wrong with printed media either. Older children and students, like tweens, enjoy reading magazines, which can be visually stimulating. “If your children enjoy video games, then get them a gaming magazine to read,” comments Westmoreland.

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Baby Steps.

According to PBS dot org, after including a child’s topics of interest, another thing to keep in mind is to “start small.”

castle or princess. That’s pretty remarkable. They can rarely get that kind of knowledge from watching a cartoon,” he says.

To Correct or Not to Co-

If your third grader loves dogs but is intimidated by reading about them, you should not try to force them rrect? That is The Question. read something as advanced as a veterinary textbook. Forcing one to read, especially books that aren’t Should you correct your child’s pronunciation misreading level appropriate will only continue to dis- takes? It depends. courage them. When reading together for pleasure, you should not Learn their literacy level by consulting their teachers correct them the exact moment they mispronounce a instead and pick out a simple but engaging book or word. As hard and tempting as it might be, keeping newspaper article about dogs. Also, remember that it quiet is the right thing to do. It’s best to correct and is okay if your child is below the average literacy level explain the mistake when your child finishes reading. for his or her peers. A parent may want to start reading extremely easy books to him or her and slowly What if your second grader needs some more sereach or even surpass an appropriate level. Learning rious help learning, though? Then you should teach them for about thirty minutes per day and let them is a process. know you will carefully correct them before you sit down to read. That way you have his or her full attenBooks are for Infants too. tion. One good method is to point to each word on the page and sound it out with them. The earlier you place a book in your child’s hands, the better. Reading to them is just as good. Not only Above all, remember that teaching literacy takes time, is it good for an infant’s development, but it’s also an and every child learns in their own way at their own opportunity to bond with your children. pace. Can unborn babies benefit from reading? According “Love of reading will not happen immediately,” says to Westmoreland, some research shows that when Westmoreland mothers or siblings read to an unborn child, they will respond by moving or kicking in the mother’s womb. It can also expand their vocabulary. “If you’re reading Cinderella to a 3 or 4 year old, he or she will understand the meaning of the word

It’s best to read to your baby from the day they are born. Not only is it good for their brain but it’s a chance to bond. Winter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |

"A child who reads will be an adult who thinks."

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READING TIPS FOR PARENTS: • Encourage your child to reread favorite books and poems. • Ask your child questions about the story you’ve just read. • Be patient, allow your child to read unfamiliar word out loud more than once. • Take turns reading aloud at bedtime. • Sing songs, read rhyming books, and say silly tongue twisters. TELL US WHATWORKS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD!


Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/ what-to-do-when-your-child-hates-reading/ http://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-tips-parents-first-graders

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Education Around the World - 28 Philippines Education Around the World - 32 Indonesia

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Capital: Manilaa Largest city: Quezon City Official languages: Filipino and English Recognised regional languages: 19 languages 28 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE | Winter / Spring 2017

on Around the World Philippines By Ara Caro


efore the Philippines implemented what we now call the “K to 12 Education System” in 2012, it was one of three countries that still used the 10-year education program prior to its higher education. The 10-year program was comprised of 6 years of elementary school, formally starting at the age of 6, and 4 years of secondary school, formally starting at the age of 12.

Depending on the school, elementary education was divided into primary school (grades 1-3) and middle school (grades 4-6). Primary school had shorter class times compared to middle school, as the latter incorporated 2 or 3 additional subjects. On average, students graduated from elementary school at the age of 12 or 13, having passed the 6th grade. Students were only eligible for graduation if they maintained a grade of 75% or above in each subject. After receiving their diploma, a student would have had to take an entrance exam to be able to advance to high school. High school curriculum also incorporated the 4 major classes established in elementary school, but included a fifth major class called, “Araling Panlipunan,” a history and economic-based course. The minor subjects included in MAPEH remained, and subjects like Values Education and Technology and Livelihood Education were introduced. As a result of the expanded curriculum, high school required more class time, with each course usually lasting an hour. Class times were also divided due to the large number of students enrolling in public high schools. As such, students were separated into two groups: morning classes and afternoon classes. Morning class lasted from early morning until noon, and afternoon classes commenced after lunch until early evening.

Under the old educational system, Philippine parents could elect to register their children for early education programs. For children ages 4-6, it was optional to enroll in kindergarten, or “preschool” as it was often called. Depending on the school or institute, kindergarten constituted of 2 or 3 years, and classes lasted for a half day. Some schools offered nursery and preparatory programs in addition to kindergarten, while others solely afforded kindergarten. Early education programs taught toddlers basic math skills and how to read and write in both English and Filipino. When a Filipino child reached 6 or 7-years-old, they were eligible to enroll in elementary school, contingent upon the school of choice. While the typical age of admittance was 6-years-old, some schools often required applicants to be 7-years-old to enroll in first grade. The past elementary programs consisted of 4 major classes: English, Filipino, Math, and Science. These were in conjunction with secondary subjects Philippine secondary education was composed of which included MAPEH (short for Music, Arts, Physi- 4 years total. During the fourth year, students would cal Education and Health). apply to college and take any required entrance exams. However, students would only be eligible for

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higher education after their high school graduation. Like elementary school, the passing grade to graduate high school remained the same: 75% and above per subject. A student would typically have graduated high school by the age of 16 or 17. In addition to the general public high schools, the Philippines also offered specialized science-based public high schools under the Philippine Science High School System, which is still in existence today. However, expectant students must pass the PSHS System National Competitive Examination to be considered for enrollment. For those selected, science high schools grant them the opportunity for students to get quality education for free. Science high schools are scattered throughout the Philippines, with the main campus, Philippine Science High School, located in Quezon City. The Philippine Science High School is famous for being the hardest public high school to get into. Along with the standard 4 major classes, science high schools typically incorporate another Math, Science, and English elective. Most science high schools require a retention grade of 80-85% and above to continue attendance; anything less would result in expulsion. Although science high schools encourage their

students to pursue a career in Math and Sciences, it is only the main campus, the Philippine Science High School, that requires their students to take up a Math or Science related major upon entering college. Also included within the Philippine 10-year educational system was private schooling. One big distinction in private schools vs. public schools was in their structure. Whereas public schools separated elementary and high school due to the number of enrollees, most private schools provided both elementary and secondary education, and sometimes kindergarten. This kind of uninterrupted continuing education meant private school students were not required to take an entrance exam to get into high school, like public elementary school students did. Although both private and public schools followed an English-based learning system, the extent to which private schools practiced English learning differed greatly from public schools. In private schools, every subject aside from Filipino was taught in English. Moreover, students were encouraged to speak in English during and after class. Some teachers would even mandate students to pay P1 (roughly $0.021) per Filipino word spoken during breaks. This teaching method was completely different from the public school curriculum whose teachers often taught their lessons

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to secondary education, which has created separate grade classifications: junior high and senior high. The Philippine government believes the K to 12 Program will not only give its citizens a greater chance of securing employment right after high school, but it will also help them find job opportunities abroad. The K to 12 Program will be completely implemented in all Philippine schools in the 2016-2017 school year which is believed to begin this June in both Filipino and English so that students could better comprehend the various subject matters. After graduating high school, Philippine students typically enroll in college. Whether under the old educational system or the K-12 system, eligibility for college enrollment depends on students passing an entrance exam. Depending on the student’s major and passing of each course, tertiary education would usually take between 4-5 years to complete. Students typically graduate by the age of 20 or 21. In the Philippines, there are four select universities known among Filipinos as the “Big 4” that are considered most prestigious. The first is the University of the Philippines, or “UP;” second is Ateneo de Manila University, or “ADMU;” third is De La Salle University, or “DLSU;” and last but not the least is University of Santo Tomas, or “UST.” Among these four universities, UP is said and believed to be the best of all. Although the Big 4 are not the only higher education institutions in the Philippines, most students would make it their goal to attend one of them, not only for educational purposes, but also for the privilege that comes after graduation. It is said that students who graduate from such schools are given priority when applying for a job. With the Philippine’s adaption of the K to 12 Educational System, much of the curriculum has changed. An official kindergarten program has been implemented, and an additional 2 years has been added

In the Philippines, there are four select universities known among Filipinos as the “Big 4” that are considered most prestigious.

References “Analysis of the Basic Education System of the Phillippines,” Acedemia, last accessed January 23, 2016, http://www.academia. edu/3814475/Analysis_of_the_Basic_Education_of_the_ Philippines_ “The Education System in Philippines,” Studylands, accessed January 13, 2016, https://www.studylands.com/guide/PH-education. htm “K to 12 General Information,” Republic of the Philippines Department of Education, accessed January 13, 2016, http://www. deped.gov.ph/k-to-12/faq

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Education Around the World C

arrying a hefty load of books and high expectations, students in Indonesia face significant pressure during their studies. From the age of six or seven, students are introduced to rigorous exams that determine whether they can advance in their studies or repeat their current academic year. While the majority usually passes their exams — with only around 18% of Indonesian students having ever repeated a grade , a great deal of stress is placed

on students. This stress continues to intensify as students progress further in their studies. Unlike America’s education system, Indonesia’s stresses rote learning rather than a curriculum that encourages critical thinking. In most classes – which could range from thirty to fifty students — students are passive, silently taking notes. Class discussions and group activities are also uncommon, particularly in

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The following islands are listed by province: • Java. • Sumatra. • Kalimantan. • Sulawesi. • Lesser Sunda Islands. • Maluku Islands.

– Indonesia By Anita Yang

state schools where classroom sizes are larger than those in private schools. Rote learning is, however, generally implemented from the later years of Primary school, during which there are increasing competitiveness to enter Junior Secondary School.

Junior Secondary school (SMP: Sekolah Menengah Pertama) : ages 12 - 14 Senior Secondary school (SMA: Sekolah Menengah Atas) : ages 15 -17

The Indonesian government requires students to The Indonesian education years are divided as fo- go through Primary school and Junior Secondary llows: school, which is a total of nine years. During these Primary school (SD: Sekolah Dasar) : ages 6-11 nine years, students obtain a general education conWinter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |

sisting of mathematics, general science, Bahasa Indonesian, history and physical education. Depending on the school, religious studies and foreign language studies — most commonly English and Mandarin — may also be included.

pita in Indonesia is approximately $3,000 and 14.2% of the population (as of 2009) are below the poverty line, earning less than $2.60 a day , education is expensive — especially higher education. University fees in Indonesia could range from $274 to $1,296 USD and unfortunately, many universities do not offer After the nine years of mandatory education, students financial aid. are required to choose a specialized area of study when they reach Senior Secondary school. Students There have been signs of gradual progress to make can choose to focus on Science (IPA), Social and education more accessible. In 2007, the Indonesian Economic Studies (IPS) or Language and Literature government invested 16% of its public expenditure, Studies (which is not commonly offered). Whichever which is equivalent to $14 billion USD, on the edufield students choose, the national examinations for cation sector — the most spent on any sector on that that respective field are taken accordingly. There are year. Previously, in 2005, the government launched no standardized examinations such as the SAT and the program known as School Operations Fund (BOS: ACT in Indonesia; students qualify for higher edu- Biaya Operasional Sekolah), with the goal of retaining cation when they pass their national examinations. more students in the education system and allow the However, in order for students to qualify for higher schools to have greater flexibility with their funds. education overseas, students are required to spend an additional year in college to fulfil the typical thir- The implementation of this program has increased teen years of schooling found in America and most school enrollment; the number of students enrolled other countries in Secondary school in 1985 was 13 million and had increased to 14.5 million in 2000 and 16 million in Similar to American students, Indonesian students 2005. This progress provides hope for a brighter have the options of attending either private or public future for the children in Indonesia schools. Some private schools offer an international curriculum such as GCSE (UK’s educational qualification) instead of the Indonesian curriculum. Private schools in Indonesia are often more affiliated with a religion — commonly with Christianity or Buddhism — compared to public schools because it is more difficult to include religious courses in public schools. Even so, there are still a great number of religious public schools because education in Indonesia falls under the responsibility of both the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA). 84% of schools are under MoNE while the remainder 16% is under MoRA . Furthermore, private schools are surprisingly prevalent in Indonesia; although only 7% of Primary schools are private, 56% of Junior Secondary schools and 67%2 of Senior Secondary schools are private.

...only around 18% of Indonesian students having ever repeated a grade...

Even though fees for private and public schools vary greatly, the average Primary school fees in 2011 were equivalent to $25 USD to $36 USD, while Junior Secondary school fees were $54 USD to $72 USD, and $180 to $360 USD for Senior Secondary school. Considering that the average annual income per ca34 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE | Winter / Spring 2017

Primary school (SD: Sekolah Dasar): Ages 6-11 Junior Secondary school (SMP: Sekolah Menengah Pertama): Ages 12 - 14 Senior Secondary school (SMA: Sekolah Menengah Atas): Ages 15 -17 References: Miyako Ikeda and Emma Garcia “Grade repetition: A comparative study of academic and non-academic consequence” OECD Journal: Economic Studies, Vol. 2013/1, accessed April 10,2016 “World Bank and Education in Indonesia”, The World Bank, last modified: September 1, 2014, accessed January 28, 2016, http:// www.worldbank.org/en/country/indonesia/brief/world-bank-and-education-in-indonesia “How Expensive is Education in Indonesia?”, Global Indonesian Voices, last modified: April 11, 2014, accessed January 28, 2016, http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/12459/education-fee-indonesia/ To make a million people unpoor” The Economist, last modified: August 3, 2011, accessed January 28, 2016, http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/08/indonesias-poverty-line Miki Nozawa “Secondary education regional information base: country profile – Indonesia” UNESCO Bangkok (2010): 2, accessed January 28, 2016 http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/indonesia/brief/world-bank-and-education-in-indonesia) http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/12459/education-fee-indonesia/ http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/08/indonesias-poverty-line http://www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/Indonesia.pdf

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A Shot for Stress Free Learning 38 Bittersweet Nature of Stress 44 Does Listening to Music While 50 Studying Hurt Performance? Technology Is Not Always 56 Necessary for Interactive Learning

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A Shot for Stress-Free Learning:

Humor and Laughter By Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D.

Can you understand the key ideas at play in the dialogue above? For me it is very obvious. The talk is all about how cheerful and good-humored people are more appreciated than ill-tempered ones.


Let’s discuss below how laughter and smiling can improve your well-being and keep you relaxed. This article gives insight into how education mixed with a bit of humor can also lead to an improved learning process for students.

on: Mommy, I don’t know why, but somehow literature lessons don’t seem to be interesting any longer, and I feel so bored and sleepy while attending Mrs. Goldsmith’s literature classes. I think this dozing off has got me lower grades. But at the same time, I love listening to Mr. Jones’s mathematic sessions; he is always so eager and excited, and I just love his funny examples. Mother: Oh…you must pay attention to literature as well, dear. Son: Mrs. Goldsmith is always grumpy and serious, while Mr. Jones always has such a friendly smile, and is an easy person to get along with. I secured my highest grades in Mathematics only because he makes lessons so interesting with his crazy stories that concepts become easy for us to grasp and understand. He makes the learning process interesting. Yesterday, when he was teaching trigonometry, his joke about Pythagoras’ Theorem still tickles me! Strange, I seem to have understood the Pythagorean formula so well.

“Laugh as much as possible, always laugh. It’s the sweetest thing one can do for oneself & one’s fellow human beings.” - Maya Angelou.

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Laughter and Smiling Keeps You Relaxed and Happy You might have often heard that “Laughter is the best medicine,” but you might not know, “If you laugh for no reason, then you need medicine!” Jokes aside, there is a positive correlation between laughter and the health and well-being of an individual. In light of established and ongoing research, scientists have concluded, if you strive for a laughter workout every day, you will be more optimistic, healthy, and free from life-threatening diseases. We can also think in a way that if stress and negative emotions can suppress the immune system in an individual, why can’t laughter and humor promotes healing and prolong their lives?

physical Health Benefits: • Boosts immunity • Lowers stress hormones • Decreases pain • Relaxes your muscles • Prevents heart disease Mental Health Benefits: • Adds joy and zest to life • Eases anxiety and fear • Relieves stress • Improves mood • Enhances resilience Social Benefits: • Strengthens relationships • Attracts others to us • Enhances teamwork • Helps defuse conflict • Promotes group bonding

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In one of their publications, Bennett and Lengacher (2006) tried to carry out a survey in breast cancer patients (105 women of 59 years age). They proved from the studies that Complementary Therapies (which, rather than replace mainstream cancer treatment to cure the disease, control symptoms and improve well-being and quality of life) also play a major role in uplifting the spirits of the ailing patients. Bennet and Lengacher proposed humor as an important factor for coping with cancer and cancer treatment. Laughter and a bit of humor lead to “endorphins rushes”, or a surge of chemical messengers or neurotransmitters in our brain cells that leave us de-stressed and happy.

Laughter and Learning: Do They Coexist? After going through various research articles and reading different magazines, I got a notion that learning incorporated with a bit of humor and fun can increase the memory of an individual (or students), and maximize their productivity. Researchers at Loma Linda University, San Diego, California, Gurinder Singh Bains et al. (2012) proved that the dangerous effects of impaired memory loss and learning ability of cortisol (a stress hormone) can be lowered when we adopt laughter and humor in our lives. They conducted a research by showing a humorous 20-minute video to two groups of elderly people: a healthy group and a group with diabetes. They also formed a group of people who didn’t watch the video, but completed the evaluation, to serve as a control. The groups were then assessed for their learning, memory, and sight recognition capacities after they completed the evaluation. Both the groups were measured for their cortisol levels or concentrations both before and after the experiment. The researchers found a significant decrease in levels of cortisol concentrations in both the groups who watched the video. The memory test scores of the healthy group improved dramatically while the diabetic group had decreased levels of cortisol. Both the groups were healthier, had improved memory functions.

For Teachers: Keeping the above study in mind, laughter and humor can also lead to enhanced learning and memory retention capacity among students. You can clearly see through at the beginning of the article, with Mr. Jones using humor to make math lessons easier to grasp, and to keep the students engaged in learning. The students (taught in humorous way) interacted more with teachers. Hence, they are more likely to perform well on exams. In one of his books, Laughing Lessons (2000), Ron Burgess, a published author of children’s books, contends that students learn better when ideas are presented with humor. He says, “Laughter and humor will hold kids’ attention, thus helping them retain the information they’re learning. Humor also helps reduce tension... in the kids and you. Laughter is a great stress reliever. It can make a school day seem shorter and your load lighter. It can help you cope with crisis, break monotony, and live longer.” (Burgess, 2000). The point is to make the classroom a little more warm and inviting, which results in a class-wide attitude better suited to learning and more apt to be effective. According to Ronald A. Berk (known as “Humor Professor”, http://www.ronberk. com/), Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University, “Humor...opens up communication that’s not based on fear or intimidation. Instead, the communication is positive, constructive, and relaxed; it continuously ebbs and flows all over the classroom... A bonding rapport develops between you and your students that are founded on respect, trust, and fun.” (Berk, 2002). He shares, “When I enter the classroom, I want to change the entire atmosphere into one where everyone has fun with the material--even if the material is complex.” Educators and teachers should not consider teaching as a regular chore. Teachers who wish to experience using humor in the classrooms even though they are not funny, can keep these books handy: Professors are from Mars, Students are from Snickers (Stylus Publishing, 2003) and Humor as an Instructional De-

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fibrillator: Evidence-Based Techniques in Teaching and Assessment (Stylus Publishing, 2002), published by Ronald A. Berk. Humor can be both positive and negative; it depends entirely on the teachers to incorporate age- appropriate humors in their teaching methods. Humor should enhance the self-esteem of the students rather than discouraging them. However, teachers should also take care to avoid using excessive amount of humor in their teaching, as it could have a negative impact on learning. Positive connections between teachers’ use of humor and academic achievement even follow students into colleges and beyond (Hickman & Crossland, 2004-2005). In one of the study presented at the American Psychological Society convention in Los Angeles, California, Ohio University psychology professors Mark Shatz and Frank LoSchiavo claim that humor, when incorporated in online courses, yield productive results. He says, “Humor can be either a social lubricant or an interpersonal irritant. When used appropriately, humor builds classroom

rapport, heightens student attention, and helps students view the instructor as “human.” Most importantly, instructional humor reminds students that learning is fun.” Prof. Shatz told that they took an existing online general psychology course and systematically enhanced it with the addition of humor in the form of self-deprecating jokes, cartoons and top ten lists all related to the subject matter. Forty-four students were then randomly assigned to either the traditional section or the humor-enhanced section, and the researchers assessed their academic performance and level of participation. The team used the online system Blackboard to tally the number of times students logged on and participated in the discussion boards. At the end, they also asked students to fill out surveys rating their overall enjoyment of the course. The researchers found that students in the humorenhanced section were more likely to post comments on discussion boards. They also seemed to enjoy the course more. Moreover, the benefits might not be limited to students; research suggests that students

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STRESS REDUCTION TIPS Take a time-out. ... Eat well-balanced meals. ... Get enough sleep. ... Exercise daily... Take deep breaths... Count to 10 slowly... Maintain a positive attitude... rate professors who make learning fun significantly higher than others (American School of Laughter Yoga, Using laughter to increase student motivation. pdf by www.ascis.org).

for Parents: One of the papers published by Dr. Michael G. Lovern, Assistant Professor in Education Department, stresses that parents may employ laughter as a study strategy when assisting children with homework, and in doing so, positively affect the healthy maintenance of parent/child relationships. The use of humor in this situation not only benefits the studying child, but it may be good for the parent as well. After a long day at work, many parents are simply too tired to come home to a sixth grade history lesson. In this case, the use of humor can diffuse frustrations that might surface. Such one-on-one time is very fulfilling for children and often ends with smiles and a real sense

of accomplishment (Nelson, 1989). Parents can use a wide variety of creatively humorous approaches, including rhymes, chants, riddles, jokes, anecdotes, games and even self-effacing commentary, to make valuable connections and enhance learning. Lovern in his paper explains this through a beautiful example. Say, for instance, a child is sitting at the kitchen table staring haplessly at page after page of her sixth grade social studies book. Her father is helping her study in preparation for a test on the origins of civilization in Southwest Asia and the Ancient Babylonian Empire. They are discussing the material and are reading about people of the region and places such as Sumer, Tigris, Euphrates, Mesopotamia, Hammurabi, and ziggurats, among other things. These are new words/concepts for the child, and Dad cannot remember when he last studied about them. This could easily be a recipe for frustration and could cause considerable exhaustion and impatience on both their parts. As they discuss the meaning of each term or concept, Dad decides to share with her a few silly statements and rhymes. Here are a couple of examples: In order to reinforce an understanding of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers and the location of Mesopotamia, he says: “You afraid o’ these tigers? They make a mess of potamia!” In order to draw a mental picture of a ziggurat, he says: “If the top is flat and the bottom is fat, there’s a really good chance it’s a ziggurat!” These silly statements and rhymes, in and of themselves, might seem senseless or distracting, but when combined with the basic knowledge derived from the textbook, they may introduce laughter and enjoyment, not to mention effectiveness to the learning process.

Conclusion It is well said “laughter is contagious and is the shortest distance between two people.” You can live your life healthily if you “laugh out loud.” In this way, parents and teachers can promote fun interaction, build great trust, promote their thinking and creative skills, and boost confidence among children and students

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References Bains, G.S., Berk,L., Deshpande P., Pawar P., Daher N., Lohman E., Petrofsky J.,and Schwab E. (2012). FASEB J. 26: lb834. Bennett, M. P. and Lengacher, C. (2006) Humor and laughter may influence health: [P art ] II. complementary therapies and humor in a clinical population. eCam. 3: 187–190. Berk, R.A. (2002) Humor as an instructional defibrillator. Evidence-based techniques in teaching and assessment. Stylus Publishing. ISBN 13: 9781579220631. Berk, RA. (2003). Professors are from Mars[R], students are from Snickers[R]: how to write and deliver humor in the classroom and in professional presentations. Stylus Publishing. ISBN-1-57922-070-3. Burgess, R. (2000). Laughing lessons: 149 2/3 ways to make teaching and learning fun. Free Spirit Publishing Inc. ISBN-1-57542075-9. Hickman, G.P., and Crossland, G.L. (2004-2005). The predictive nature of humor, authoritative parenting style, and academic achievement on indices of initial adjustment and commitment to college among college freshmen. Journal of College Student Retention Research Theory and Practice, 6: 225-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/ UQ1B-0UBD-4AXC-U7WU. Nelson, R. (1989). All children like to laugh. ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED313714 https://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress

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ss! By Swathi Thiruppathi

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he word stress is rather hackneyed, with almost everyone incriminating it to have Which generation is more stressubjected them to a state of despon- sed out: Millennial, Gen X, Boodency. Stress is rather difficult to define mers or mature? due its subjective nature – what one deems The ambit of the ages that each generation covers as a stressful event may not be so stressful is as such (Stress by Generation, n.d): for another. The idiosyncra- Millennial: 18-33 Our body produces greater sies associated with stress years old Gen X: 34-47 years made the word banal and mi- proportion of chemicals which - old sinterpreted. People construe ameliorates our heat rates and - Boomers: 48-66 stress with inconsequential years old augments our “muscle events like traffic jams and - Mature: ≥67 years arguments to more serious preparedness, sweating and old events like clinical depresPursuant to the study by alertness” – which are the American Physiological sion (What is Stress, n.d). So what is stress? consequently needed to protect Association, average stress

levels among all the generations has elevated, with An invariably accepted definition the millennial generation is that stress “is the body’s reachaving the greatest levels of tion to a change that requires a stress(Stress by Generation, physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response” and is transpired by any “situa- n.d). Nevertheless, stress is still stress at any age. tion or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, Only the events that foment stress -stressors- have metamorphosed: from petty school issues to more nervous, or anxious (Angela Morrow, exigent matters. In consonance with a survey by 2014).” The Concept of stress is also the American Psychological Association on iridescent and multi-faceted: good teenagers aged 13-18, 83% of the teens resstress vs bad stress; internal Vs exterponded that school was their main source nal stress; correlation between stress of distress (Shapiro, n.d). Moreover, 60% and age. accused the hectic curriculum

ourselves from onerous/perilous

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Stress levels vacillate between healthy levels and unhealthy levels. Recent investigations unveiled that sporadic stress optimizes the mind’s performance.

that demands teens to juggle various activities to be a cardinal stressor (Shapiro, n.d). As a teen enters the frontier of adulthood, the stressors transmutes to other events. Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers cite money, work and housing costs to be of their paramount concern while matures agonize over their health problems (Stress by Generation, n.d). Can we transcend to a future where there is no stress? However, that future is nothing but a chimera since we are biologically wired to respond to stress/stressors via fight/flight response.

produces greater proportion of chemicals which ameliorates our heat rates and augments our “muscle preparedness, sweating and alertness” – which are consequently needed to protect ourselves from onerous/perilous circumstances (What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress, 2009). Inconsequential body functions like our “digestive or immune systems” are also waned so that all the resources can be utilized to beget “rapid breathing, blood flow, alertness and muscle use” (What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress, 2009). Thus, stressors and stress is inherent in us and is preeminent for our progress and evolution. It is not circumscribed to our survival insFight/flight response tincts but also applies to our personal growth. For example, external stressors like pressure and advice When faced with an impediment, a human body retorts from others acts as a guide and allows us to look by emancipating biological “resources” to safeguard us: out for better opportunities. However, the salubrious We either take flight or we fight. For instance, if there effects of stress can be accomplished only at healthy is an earthquake, the agility of a person in getting out stress levels of a building would bolster the chances of his survival (What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress, 2009). Juxtaposing with a similar situation of an earthquake- but Good stress levels and bad this time one has to salvage another person by lifting stress levels the weight off them - ancillary biological “resources”/ hormones is required to impel someone forward (What Stress levels vacillate between healthy levels and unIs Stress? How To Deal With Stress, 2009). Eventually, healthy levels. Recent investigations unveiled that the flight/fight response is simply our body’s nervous sporadic stress optimizes the mind’s performance system responding to a stressful situation. Our body (Sanders, 2013). Daniela Kaufer, Associative profes-

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sor of integrative biology at the University of Berkley, California, ascribed spasmodic stressful events to enable cognitive vigilance and ergo supplementing to one’s performance (Sanders, 2013).

tuations However if the stress levels transmutes to chronic stress, the perks would be overridden. The concomitant of chronic stress are enumerated below: • Vestiges of Emotional stress can debilitate our immune system and cause “high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and heart disease” (How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad?, n.d). • Dwindled concentration levels • Cantankerous behavior and headaches

Internal stress




Some stressors are internal and are a projection of one’s negative thoughts while others are due to external factors that are more difficult to control. Nevertheless, both have the same consequences on one’s cognitive and physical health. Thus, our perception of stress helps us to better cope with it.

Perception of stress

As seen from the above plot, the cognitive performance reaches a cusp at a specific level of stress defined by the severity and the duration the stressful event. The perquisites of acute stress are as follows: • Provides increased alertness (How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad?, n.d) • Serves as a motivation to achieve goals (How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad?, n.d) • Help meet daily obstacles (How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad?, n.d) • Some researches surmise that small doses of stress resuscitates our immune system (How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad?, n.d) • Creative stress used by companies to induce innovation • Serves as a cardinal warning sign- fight/flight response that helps us get away from pernicious si-

It is wrong to always discern stress to be bad. As mentioned before it can be good too. The positive attitude towards stress helps us to conquer our problems. Below is the list of ways to handle stress (Bradberry, 2014): • Staying positive • Avoid asking “what-if” • Appreciating the existing things • Disconnecting with work once in a while – to reduce the exposure to more stressors • Good rest • Leading an active lifestyle So handle stress better and excel in your school/ work!

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References: Angela Morrow, R. (2014, June 5). Stress Definition. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from About.com: http://dying.about.com/od/ glossary/g/stress.htm Bradberry, T. (2014, feb 6). How Successful People Stay Calm. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ travisbradberry/2014/02/06/how-successful-people-stay-calm/ How do you tell the difference between good stress and bad? (n.d). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from ULifeline: http://www.ulifeline. org/articles/450-good-stress-bad-stress Sanders, R. (2013, Apr 16). Researchers find out why some stress is good for you. Retrieved july 7, 2014, from UC Berkley Newc Center: https://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/04/16/researchers-find-out-why-some-stress-is-good-for-you/ Shapiro, M. (n.d). Stressed-out teens, with school a main cause. Retrieved july 4, 2014, from The Washington Post: http://www. washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/stressed-out-teens-with-school-a-main-cause/2014/02/14/d3b8ab56-9425-11e384e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html Stress by Generation. (n.d). Retrieved July 2, 2014, from American Psycological Association: https://www.apa.org/news/press/ releases/stress/2012/generations.aspx?item=1 What is Stress. (n.d). Retrieved July 2, 2014, from http://stresscourse.tripod.com/id10.html What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress. (2009, Apr 11). Retrieved July 6, 2014, from MNT Knolodge Center: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php https://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/04/16/researchers-find-out-why-some-stress-is-good-for-you/

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Does listening to music while studying hurt performance? By Swathi Thiruppathi

to the evolution of portable music players and online music channels such as smartphones, iPods, MP3 players, YouTube and music streaming services. . It has been discovered that music therapy holds many benefits for our overall health (Jockers, 2013). Music can uplift our spirits and induces “positive emotions,” keeping us happy. It also helps us become more creative, can help reduce blood pressure uring university days, I was inundated with and it is also used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s many assignments. My friend and I would and Parkinson’s disease. camp in front of a computer for hours to complete our assignments, with the limited time The Best Time to Listen to Music we had. During these sessions, my friend would lis- Research has shown that listening to music before ten to music and reasoned that it helped with stress, doing a job enhances our “attention, memory, and and kept her focused. When I tried to do the same, it our mental math abilities,” and it also eases “depresdid not work for me; I found it distracting. I found my sion and anxiety” (Doraiswamy, 2012). However, a attention drifting to the song and music and not on study done by the University of Whales suggests that my work. Maybe this was due to the fact that it was the same cannot be confirmed when music with vodrilled into me — from a young age — that external cals was played while the students were studying or noise negatively affects concentration and hinders doing homework. Test scores were higher for the tests studying. taken in a quieter environment (Doraiswamy, 2012). However, according to Charara—a clinical psychologist—some students dislike quiet environment, as Or does it? It has become the norm for students to listen to music it would make them unfocused and perturbed (Teo, while studying. This trend has been on the rise due 2013). Music calms them, and helps them become more focused on their task (Teo, 2013). FurthermoWinter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |


If background music takes priority over what you are studying, then it is advisable for one not to try studying with this method.

re, the test by the University of Whales used music with vocals to juxtapose with the real life scenario. It’s more common to see youngsters listening to the current hip song than to a Classical or instrumental music. Studies done by the University of Dayton reveal that paying Mozart—purely instrumental music— in the background improved performance, allowing students to better accomplish “spatial and linguistic processing” (Doraiswamy, 2012). The best time to listen to music really depends! We are all different. If some students are unable to concentrate without background music, then it is best they use music as a stimulus. Although studying in a quieter environment yielded better test scores, if students lack the m o t i vation to even sit and study without music, then it is better to have the background music to serve as a propellant for studying. However it’s not suitable for people like me, who get distracted by outside noise.

Type of Music (Beats per Minute) The right type of music must be chosen when studying to boost performance. But what is the “right music?” This can be figured out when looking at the beats per minute. The term beats per minute refers to the speed of a musical piece. More beats are commensurate to faster music (Teo, 2013). Collaborative research by music streaming service Spotify and clinical psychologist Emma Gray reveals the following (Metro, 2013): 1) Listening to Classical music, which has about 60-70 beats per minute, while studying encourages learning and boost concentration. Students also showed a 12% increase in their Math test scores. 2) “Melody and tone range” in Classical pieces l i k e Beethoven’s famous piano composition Für Elise, enabled students to prolong their time spent on studying. Furt h e r m o re , it helped students retain more information.

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3) For subjects such as Science, Humanities, and Languages, Pop songs by musicians like Miley Cyrus or Justin Timberlake are useful. According to Gray, the requisite skills to learn these subjects are problem-solving and processing of factual information, both of which are handled by our left brain. Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop and Timberlake’s Mirrors, which has about 50-80 beats per minute, soothe the mind, and allow students to learn and grasp new facts.

Below is the recommended list of musical pieces by Spotify to improve performance (Teo, 2013): Classical Music for Mathematics (Teo, 2013) 1. Piano Concerto No. 2 - Mozart 2. Für Elise - Beethoven 3. Waltz in D-Flat Major, Op. 64, No. 1 - Chopin 4. Largo Xerxes - Handel 5. Adieu to The Piano - Beethoven 6. Swan Lake-Scene - Tchaikovsky 7. William - Rossini 8. Spring from The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in E Major Vivaldi 9. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor - Bach 10. Morning from Peer Gynt – Grieg

4) Rock and Pop songs like Katy Perry’s Firework and The Rolling Stones’s (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction elevate students’ enthusiasm levels and in turn boost creativity. Thus, Gray suggests such songs could help the right side of the brain that processes indigenous and creative ideas, which is needed for Rock or Pop Music for English, Drama, and Art (Teo, 2013) 1. Firework - Katy Perry subjects like English, Drama, or Arts. 2. Diamonds - Rihanna

Volume of Our Music

3. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson 4. Beauty and A Beat - Justin Bieber 5. One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks) - One Direction 6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones 7. Biblical - Biffy Clyro 8. Sweet Child of Mine - Guns N Roses 9. Winter Winds - Mumford and Sons 10. It’s My Life - Bon Jovi

The volume of music has an impact on students as well. If tunes are too loud, they serve as a distraction from studying (Teo, 2013). The key is to have music play in the background and not loud enough to take one’s attention away from studying. Additionally, loud music over headsets for a prolonged period of Songs with 50 to 80 Beats per Minute for Science, Humanities, time can damage one’s eardrums in the long run. and Languages (Teo, 2013)

Final Thoughts

1. Man Down - Rihanna 2. We Can’t Stop - Miley Cyrus 3. Our First Time - Bruno Mars 4. Breakin’ Up - Gwen Stefani 5. Halo - Beyonce 6. Wide Awake - Katy Perry 7. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake 8. Impossible - Kelly Clarkson 9. Chasing Pavements - Adele 10. More Than This - One Direction

Do what works best for you. For tasks that use the left side of the brain like Math, listening to Classical music in the background would be apt. Tasks requiring right side of the brain like Drama, Arts, and songs from the genre of English Rock and Pop would be more suitable in the background. To grasp Science and Humanities, playing songs with 50-80 beats per minute in the background might work. However, if See more at: <http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/conbackground music takes priority over what you are tent/right-music-can-help-stimulate-learning-enhancestudying, then it is advisable for one not to try stuconcentration/page/0/3#sthash.4FlvUwcY.dpuf>. dying with this method. It’s all about trial and error References Doraiswamy, S. (2012, Oct 8). Does Music Help You Study? Retrieved Apr 22, 2014, from Mind the Science gap: http://www. mindthesciencegap.org/2012/10/08/does-music-help-you-study/ Jockers, D. D. (2013, Mar 22). Improve your brain with music. Retrieved Apr 22, 2014, from Natural News: http://www.naturalnews. com/039589_music_brain_hemispheres.html (2013, Sep 10). Listening to music while you study makes you smarter. Retrieved Apr 23, 2014, from Metro: http://metro. co.uk/2013/09/10/listening-to-music-while-you-study-makes-you-smarter-3957100/ Teo, J. (2013, Oct 9). Right music can help simulate learning, enhance concentration. Retrieved Apr 22, 2014, from AsiaOne: http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/right-music-can-help-stimulate-learning-enhance-concentration/page/0/0

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The best time to listen to music really depends! We are all different. If some students are unable to concentrate without background music, then it is best they use music as a stimulus.

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Technology Is Not Always Necessary For Interactive Learning By Erica Murphey


ccording to some educational professionals computers are not always needed when it comes to participation in the classroom. Though technology can help students in many ways, educators should not ignore the benefits of low tech interactive learning for whom they teach. These advantages include learning from their students, fostering new ways of thinking, and understanding pupils on an individual level.

Interactive vs. Passive Learning The difference between passive and interactive learning is that passive learning is usually one sided. When a student learns passively he or she might be doing something like listening silently to a teacher’s

lecture whereas when one learns interactively he or she might give feedback about the lecture.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom While technology such as iPads, Kindles, and computers can give pupils access to a great deal of information with just a push of a button or a touch on a screen some students in poverty may not have access to the internet or other high tech gadgets at home. Moreover, each child might be at a different technological skill level. More traditional participatory learning methods are not only inexpensive to schools, but their advantages never expire.

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Timeless Low Tech Learning Methods


International educator and PhD Jessie Voights suggests guest speakers. These can be any kind of specialist or professional. More traditional guest speakers include police officers or firefighters, but teachers should not be limited to public servants. Bring an Olympian, veterinarian, or even a chef to the classroom to talk about their profession or message. Guest speakers are sure to pique students’ curiosity and make them want to ask questions. Another thing all educators should keep in mind is that they are not omniscient. There are plenty of things their students can teach them as well. If a student questions your intellectual authority then let them. Some of the greatest discoveries in history were made by those who dared to question those whom they had learned from. One such example is when Galileo disproved Aristotle’s theory that the speed at which something falls is relative to its mass. Finally, teachers should spend more individual time with students if they can. Of course, this does not simply apply to when someone has failed a test and one pulls him or her aside to speak in private. Ask how well one understands a lesson for instance. When a child gets one on one time they feel special and are more inclined to be honest about how any trouble they might be having in the classroom. All in all, the best way to encourage student participation is to combine advanced machines with traditional interaction. There are many conveniences when teachers and schools do not ignore more old fashioned interactive learning. Both students’ and teachers’ minds can be enriched when the educational methods are diverse Resurces: (http://scholars.indstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10484/12109/ Kersey_Alyssa_2015_HT.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y) (https://www.noodle.com/articles/5-low-tech-education-tools) https://www.teacherhorizons.com/advice/interactive-teaching/

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WHY?-series & featured stories Why is the air invisible? 60 Reading For Fun Not Reading 62 For School The Joys of Early Learning 68 How to Create Goals And Stick 70 With Them Winter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |


INVISIBLE? By Matt Cardoso


he atmosphere is composed of colorless gases. So to see any gas, it must have some color. This only happens when its chemical elements absorb visible light, like the rain-bow in which each of the seven light rays corresponds to a different color. This is how it works: When the atoms of a gas are hit by light they retain some rays. If the particles absorb it, for example, a yellow radius, the pitch of the vapor is set by admixture of the colors of the rays that are left - in this case we would see a purple gas (Amazing!). But not all rays that make up

There is no chemical formula for air as it is a mixture of many different compounds with varying percentages thereof. The major components would be Nitrogen (N2), Oxygen (O2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Water (H2O), and many others in minute amounts.

light are visible - and the ones that we can’t see are the ones that the air absorbs. Nitrogen and oxygen which make up 99% of the atmos-phere, only retain the invisible ultraviolet rays. So, like all the colors we see crossing the air, it remains transparent. “If the atmosphere was formed, for example, by a gas such as iodine vapor, which absorbs visible colors, the air would be violet,” says chemist Edvaldo Sabadini, Unicamp. Just imagine it!!!!

References: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-chemical-formula-of-air http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=924 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_balloon

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At higher altitudes, the air is thinner (less atoms in the same volume)

The first untethered manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France

“If the atmosphere was formed, for example, by a gas such as iodine vapor, which absorbs visible colors, the air would be violet,” says chemist Edvaldo Sabadini, Unicamp.

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“Reading-for-Fun” NOT “Reading-for-School” By Swathi Thiruppathi

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eading books for fun has become archaic as television and social media affords an alternative to indulge our need for “fun”. We are in a milieu where reading has lost the precedence it once held. Some may repudiate the latter and purport that only the platform for reading has transmuted – from paperbound reading to digital reading – but not the concept of reading itself. The proponents of digital reading also laud technological advancement for the convenience it bestowed upon us, making it possible for us to read anywhere at any time. Albeit technological evolution conferred convenience upon us, it has also percolated certain abilities we once possessed- particularly, our ability to comprehend longer texts and our ability to do perspicacious reading (Hertz, 2014). Nevertheless, technological advancement is not the sole miscreant. Our social environment and our educational system also influence how our children read and how they perceive reading. We should encourage our kids to possess a more holistic view on reading: to embrace both fictional anecdotes as well as non-fictional texts; to read for pleasure and not just to satisfy the curriculum’s demands.

ing outside of the classroom improves academic performance is buttressed by a study conducted by National Literacy Trust (Vasagar, 2012). However, an independent study by Common Media Sense evinced that the percentage of children who read for pleasure has diminished significantly in the past 3 decades and this trend follows into their adulthood as well (Alter, 2014). The study also elucidated that around 45% of 17-year-olds read only 1 to 2 times per year. (Alter, 2014). This makes us wonder as to what caused the decline in the reading rates?

Technological Advancement – TV, Social Media, Digital Reading

There are alternative ways available to engage our children other than books. For instance, there is a penchant for making a novel into a movie or television series. The aforementioned study by the National Literacy Trust revealed that 54% of children favored watching TV to reading books (Vasagar, 2012). I believe that reading a book allows the autonomy for a child’s imagination as they recreate mental visuals based on the story described by an author. However, when the same novel is made into a movie, a child is indoctrinated by the director’s portrayal of the scenes Reading for Fun as they passively view the images in the order dictatReading is not circumscribed to homework and ed by the director. Thus, reading a book is cognitively schools’ curricula. We are discussing “reading-for- an active process than watching TV (Ordway, 2010). pleasure” not “reading-for-school”. The fact that read- In addition to TV, social media also prepossesses kids.

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Social media proliferated with the advent of the internet. As more web content was created, it marked the onset of digital reading. As digital reading tools like e-readers and apps were developed, we saw a gradual demise of paperbound books. The percentage of 9 to 17-year-olds who preferred paper books over ebooks decreased from 66% in 2010 to 58% in 2012 (Alter, 2014). There is a distinct disjunction between paper book reading and web-reading. With copious information found in the web, we inadvertently scan for details rather than reading the text analytically. This in turn clouds our aptitude to judge and formulate opinions. Moreover, websites are designed to allure readers with their assiduously placed layout. The layout is designed with the consideration of the following factors (How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence, n.d): “ - Gaze plots (dots to indicate points where a person’s eyes focus) - Heat maps (color-coded visualizations of where many people look) - Screenshot examples - Graphs

ing Evidence, n.d). Thus, in a remote way, we are manipulated by our scanning habits: we see and read what the corporate syndicates what us to view. Technological gadgets whose primary or auxiliary function is messaging have also morphed our reading. It has been disclosed that text messages are the most popularly read material by children outside their classroom (Vasagar, 2012). The impediment with such reading is that young people switch unconsciously to using abbreviated terms and not the correct linguistic words. The spontaneous change to adapt into the various domains of the digital space is called “codeswitch” (Levinson, 2013). Code-switching is difficult and might cause kids to be overcome by lassitude, doubt and might distract them (Levinson, 2013).

Education System

Dwindling reading rates egged renowned authors and illustrators of children’s books to sign a letter to President Barack Obama stating that extensive “standardized testing” in schools has caused our children to “lose their love of books” (Tobar, 2013). The letter also asserted that public school students consecrated much of their time for test-preparation that they The above mentioned factors are determined after are bereft of time to read books that invigorate their intensive analysis of the scanning patterns of people imagination (Tobar, 2013). when they read web content using eye-tracking techFurthermore, it is observed that as a child’s age innology (How People Read on the Web: The Eyetrackcrease, the amount of homework given to that stu64 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE | Winter / Spring 2017

dent also increases on pro rata basis (Alter, 2014). Apropos to the study by Common Media Sense, the percentage of 9-year olds and 17-year olds who read for fun is 58% and 19% correspondingly (Alter, 2014). While it is unvarnished that teenagers are more techsavvy, they also have more homework to complete.

Social Factors

As per the RTOS formula used by Renaissance Learning Inc., A book’s complexity is determined by “average sentence length, average word length, word difficulty level and total number of words in a book/ passage” (POST, 2012). A complex text would thus be didactic in vocabulary and sentence complexity. An annex of complexity is non-fiction books. However, non-fictions are less popular among children – with the ratio of fictional books sold to non-fictional books being 4:1 (Goodwin & Miller, 2012). Informational texts like non-fiction and news are important aspects of reading and should be cultivated at some point of time into our kids. The latter is not only because kids can learn vocabulary and sentence complexity, but it’ll also expose them to real-world issues and not issues revolving a fantasy realm.

1. Social Image Media played a significant role in besmirching the image associated with reading – the habit is treated with derision. Furthermore, individuals who read are denigrated to be the epithet of a “nerd”. Ergo, the social stigma associated with reading books discourages children from reading/carrying a book. Almost one third of the surveyed children in a study by the National Literacy Trust admitted that they are “embar- 3. Reading at Home rassed to be seen reading” (Paton, 2013). Reading habits should be cultivated at home by parents. Parents should embrace their role as read2. Fiction vs Non-Fiction ing examples as it not only connects them with their Compendium of the 40 books that are widely read by children but also nurtures their kids to pick up the American adolescents in grades 9-12 placed the habit. However, today’s milieu coerces parents to mean reading level to be at 5.3,which is paralspend less time reading to their kids. The averlel to a 5th grade reading level (POST, 2012). age time spent by parents reading to their kids Mr. David Coleman, contributing author of aged 2-7 was 45 minutes in 1999 but dropped common core state standards, avowed to 30 minutes in 2013 (Alter, 2014). Idiosyncrathat children must be exposed to sies in different races also determine how “more high quality informamuch reading a child is exposed tional text” and should “read to when they are young. Rebooks with increasing comsearch by common media plexity as they suggested that 75% of get older” white children’s parents (POST, read to them while the 2012). Mr. percentage of black chilCo l e m a n dren and Hispanic chilattributed dren whose parents read a student’s to them are 66% and 50% success in respectively (Alter, 2014). college to The difference in the level their ability of reading experience that to comprethe children accumulated hend a gamreflected on their academic ut of comperformance – As of 2013, plex texts. However, white children were the the current popular books most proficient in reading, among high school students are followed by black children and not complex enough for their age to prelastly by Hispanic children (Alter, 2014). pare them for the austerities of both college and work Moreover, according to the National literacy Trust, (POST, 2012). more than one fourth of the surveyed children conWinter / Spring 2017 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE |

ceded that their parents were not concerned if they read (Paton, 2013).

How to Encourage Reading?

What are some ways to encourage reading? Some solutions include the breaking the stereotype that reading is for nerds, the introduction of more complex texts like non-fiction and newspapers at the right age, and parents reading to kids at younger ages to cultivate the habit. In recapitulation, I would like to share a remark by Mr. Coleman: he suggested that children would not voluntarily look for informational text; they need to be “challenged and supported to build their strength as readers by stretching to the next level� (POST, 2012)

Reading habits should be cultivated at home by parents.

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References: Alter, C. (2014, May 12). Study: The Number of Teens Reading for Fun Keeps Declining. Retrieved June 17, 2014, from TIME: http://time.com/94794/common-sense-media-reading-report-never-read/ Goodwin, B., & Miller, K. (2012, Dec). Research Says / Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success. Retrieved Jun 19, 2014, from ASCD: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec12/vol70/num04/Nonfiction-Reading-Promotes-StudentSuccess.aspx Hertz, M. B. (2014, Feb 8). Reading 2.0. Retrieved Jun 17, 2014, from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/reading-2.0-marybeth-hertz?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=blog-reading-2.0-may-link-repost How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence. (n.d). Retrieved Jun 18, 2014, from Neilson Norman group: http://www. nngroup.com/reports/how-people-read-web-eyetracking-evidence/ Levinson, M. (2013, may 1). The Digital Lives of Teens: Code Switching. Retrieved Jun 18, 2014, from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-teens-code-switching-matt-levinson Ordway, H. (2010, Jan 17). Reading Versus Television: Which Is Better? Retrieved Jun 18, 2014, from Hieropraxis: http://www. hieropraxis.com/2010/01/reading-versus-television-which-is-better/ Paton, G. (2013, Oct 4). Children ‘too embarrassed to read in front of friends’. Retrieved Jun 19, 2014, from The Telegraph: http:// www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10353148/Children-too-embarrassed-to-read-in-front-of-friends.html POST, H. (2012, Mar 23). American High School Students Are Reading Books At 5th-Grade-Appropriate Levels: Report. Retrieved Jun 19, 2014, from HUFF POST: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/top-reading_n_1373680.html Tobar, H. (2013, Oct 22). Too much testing is killing kids’ love of reading, authors tell Obama. Retrieved Jun 18, 2014, from Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/22/entertainment/la-et-jc-testing-reading-obama-20131022 Vasagar, J. (2012, Sep 6). Number of children reading for fun has fallen since 2005, study reveals. Retrieved Jun 18, 2014, from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/sep/07/children-reading-fun-fallen-study

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LEARNINGING By Manasi Ghandi

a, ta...” my fifteen month old babbled. I was busy checking my coupons, when I noticed she was pointing towards something. I couldn’t understand what she was trying to say and continued to push her stroller. Suddenly it occurred to me that she was pointing at the red star of Macy’s. ‘Star’ she meant.


at home after my twins were born, and keeping them busy was always on my mind. Early learning was a blessing, and a good way to spend time with my kids, when we were done with ‘this little piggies, tickle monsters, and peekaboo’s.’ Then began my Google journey. I looked up the Doman, Montessori and Waldorf method; joined various forums and bought flashcards and videos. My kids and I jumped, laughed, sang and played. I am not sure which method I was using, but we were having fun. I tried to follow one rule. Never test them. I was

My sister introduced me to early learning. Having been a teacher myself, early learning did sound interesting. But I taught higher grades and this was new. Never mind, I said to myself. I decided to stay 68 | ZEALOUSNESS MAGAZINE | Winter / Spring 2017

tempted many a time. I often wondered whether they even understood a thing. So when my daughter recognized the star of Macy’s, it was an eureka moment for me. It is the beauty about early learning. Every milestone is a miracle, just like their first step, their first word.

when my daughter asks my husband “What color are the bubbles daddy?” and he has no answer, but he does when she says “They are rainbow color”, I am learning. We are learning.

Parenting is way more different, more informed, than it was maybe a few years back before the internet The joys of childhood are a constant awe. The messy revolution. Attachment parenting, bento lunch boxes moments with play-doh, staring at a centipede in the - there’s a new term coming up every day. Prodigies backyard, eating a strawberry straight from the farm; are becoming more of a norm than an exception. Mensa ages are lowering day by day. Being a parent every moment is a learning moment. is a whole different game today. It could lead you into Today my three year olds can read a few words, know a whirlwind of competitiveness. what a ‘chrysalis’ is, can subtilize, and know the names of the planets and so on. But so what, most Are we putting too much pressure on our kids? With three year olds do it, and even more. All I want for my a lot of caution it must be said that at times we do. kids is that they love to learn and are thirsty for more Every other day there are reports of prodigies who didn’t succeed as they grew up, and blamed their in walks of life. parents, and then some who succeed too. We must More than anything else, it has given me a lot of plea- make sure that childhood is not lost in all this. If we sure. I learn more from them on any given day. Loo- manage to sideline these things, then early learning king at the world from their perspective is a great (now I know why its not called early teaching) is a experience. When my son opens an envelope and path every parent must take. Give our kids the wealth ask me “Mommy what is this?” and I say it’s an en- of learning, make them rich forever. For no one can velope, and he says “No mommy, it’s a house”, or take it away from them. Ever!

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The problem is not with setting goals, the problem is with setting REALISTIC goals...

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etting goals is not always as easy as it seems to some people. People usually make statements or write down a list of things they would want to accomplish. However, as time progresses, they find themselves far from that goal. When this happens repeatedly, many begin to question the purpose of setting goals.

why to set goals? The problem is not with setting goals, the problem is with setting goals that you will continuously strive for, a.k.a., “REALISTIC GOALS.� For example, many will set a goal to stop smoking, or lose X number of pounds, or run X number of miles for this upcoming year. If you know yourself pretty well, you know if that goal is realistic. Not realistic in general, but realistic for you. In other words, do you think you have what it takes to get it done? Are you willing to put forth every effort that will give you the results you are looking for?

STARTING STRONG Once the goal is set, we start strong. We buy the gym equipment or sign up for that gym membership; we buy the new shoes and healthy foods. For the first week or so, we are off to a running start, and then suddenly things start to go downhill. I believe that one of the reasons things start to go downhill, is because

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we start VERY HIGH, with a perfection mentality. For example, while cooking, do you set the stove to High, and try to cook your food as fast as possible? When you do this, you burn the outside of the food whereas the inside remains uncooked. Setting goals and sticking to them will be successful when we start at a pace that is reasonable. When we start cooking the inside.

VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS Lastly, I have found that it helps to visualize yourself with that goal accomplished. Nothing motivates me more than seeing results. Surround yourself with others striving for the same goal. Watch things on TV; listen to Music that reminds you of that goal. Use a photo on your laptop, phone, or tablet that reminds you of that goal. Read books that inspire you and

encourage you to achieve that goal. You will find that goals that are lifestyle changes are the most difficult. It brings up self-doubt and questions about what that change will bring. These doubts may also be hindering you from really following through, with what you say you want. So when you start to fall back, ask yourself, why am I sabotaging this if I really want it? What am I so afraid of? Is the fear 100% true?

What are your goals for this year? What do you plan to do to stick to them?

Share your tips for sticking with you goals with us: zealousness@ineducationonline.org

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Have you heard this word before? autodidact [aw-toh-dahy-dakt, -dahy-dakt] noun

A person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.

Tell us what is your favorite subject you wish to learn! zealousness@ineducationonline.org

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1. Utilize free online courses. 2. Read, read, read... day is a good way to start.

a chapter a

3. Learn a new word every day. 4. Listen to audio books, podcast

or online courses.

5. Learn new language(s). It’s a fun

way to explore the world and learn about other cultures.

6. Utilize YouTube - tons of tutorials

can be found there!.

SEND US YOUR TIPS! Resources: http://www.dumblittleman.com/become-autodidact-10-ways-to-become/ http://www.dictionary.com/browse/autodidactic

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Icons designed by Freepik.

1. Print out the cards. 2. Cut them out in individual squares. 3. Place them face-down and scramble them 4. Match the pairs!

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a project by in education,

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