I may be straying a tad from my regular range of topics, but an important aspect of 21st century education is drawing upon contemporary research to enhance our students’ learning, and I believe the research is clear that sleep matters.
Po Bronson’s NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children isn’t revolutionary, and much of it is not that new, but it is informative and entertaining, and it does call upon us to vigorously continue reforming learning. The best essay in the book may be the chapter entitled The Lost Hour, also available as an on-line article in New York magazine entitled Can a lack of Sleep Set Back Your Child’s Cognitive Abilities?
Some compelling quotes:
Every study done shows a similar connection between sleep and school grades—from a study of second- and third-graders in Chappaqua to a study of eighth-graders in Chicago. The correlations really spike in high school, because that’s when there’s a steep drop-off in kids’ sleep. (more…)