Thank Phineas Gage

No question, we’re all about books and literacy here at Scholastic. Heck, it’s written into our carpet! We’re passionate about math too though, and we do our best to provide teachers with useful resources and cutting-edge technology that improve learning and make it fun.

To share with you what’s on our minds, we will occassionally cross-post content from the Math Hub blog, run by the smart folks at Tom Snyder Productions. This post, Thank Phineas Gage, was written by David Dockterman:

A new journal, BrainWorld, with interesting articles connecting neuroscience and education, just launched, and the editors should probably thank Phineas Gage for getting the whole mind/brain movement started way back in 1848. Gage, while working on a railroad in Vermont, fell victim to an accidental explosion that sent an iron rod into and out of his skull. He survived, but he was a changed man (who wouldn’t be?). Gage went from being a sweet family man to someone of ill temper and foul language. The incident prompted an examination of the connection between brain damage and behavior that continues today. (You can read a bit more about Gage in Smithsonian Magazine.)

Fortunately, today we don’t have to wait for brain traumas to explore brain function. New technologies allow us to explore normal brain function as it happens. And BrainWorld is a new place to read about that research in a very accessible format. I recommend three pieces in particular from the current issue: a conversation with John Medina, author of Brain Rules, and interviews with Howard Gardner (of multiple intelligences fame) and neuroscientist/musician Daniel Levitin (one of my favorites).

Photo Credit: From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.

Like what you read? There’s even more on the Math Hub blog.
And if you’re curious about Tom Snyder Productions? Teachers and administrators can sign up for a free webex (either Jan. 27 or Feb. 24) giving a sneak peek of Fraction Nation, a brand new adaptive software program that teaches math fluency.
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0 thoughts on “Thank Phineas Gage”

  1. I read the juvenile nonfiction book "Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science" by John Fleischman a couple years ago and was completely fascinated. But why is math fluency so difficult to acquire? I admit it was my toughest subject :"s

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