BOLD Blog in Brief

Factors in children’s academic success are deep and wide, offering wide scope for study. Authors of the BOLD Blog explore the academic effects of mindfulness; preview an app used to assess social and emotional learning; and show how genetics interact with parenting practices.
BOLD Blog in Brief

The Buddhist practice of mindfulness has been applied in schools, with some positive effects. But researcher Jessica Massonnié wonders if mindfulness interventions are overrated or could even be harmful. She points out possible problems with existing research into the effect of mindfulness and calls for studies with better controls. Read more here

Besides academic skills, students need a host of social and emotional skills to succeed in school these days. Teachers play a key role assessing social and emotional learning (SEL), but existing measurements can be inaccurate, time-consuming, and difficult to interpret. Now a lab at Stanford University headed by Jelena Obradović may have a solution: an iOS app that teachers can seamlessly use during the school day to record students’ SEL behaviors and progress. Read more here.

Parents influence their children through parenting practices and through the genes they pass on to them. This dual influence sometimes pits nature versus nurture, a debate that overlooks how the two work together. Behavioral genetics researcher Jasmin Wertz noted how parents’ genes can influence their parenting practices. For instance, she and her team found that children who had a mother with certain education-related genetic variations did better in school, even if the children did not inherit these variations themselves. Read more here.

Photo: Anders Sandberg,, CC BY 2.0

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