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To track how students ace the LSAT, watch their eyes

students giving lsat

One of the major parts of improving educational training is studying the students. Discovering how the training for Law School admission exams boosted connections and sharpened and the reasoning skills that led to eye tracking in these exams. Now, they have taken a big step so that they can understand how these tests make the students smarter.

computations

There are computations which the human brain undertakes when moving the eyes. Shifting gaze as well as fixed movements convey more information about the computations which our brain is making during challenging tasks and it has defeated neuroimaging Technology. with this eye tracking Technology, we will be able to watch all the progress in action said the author Sylvia bunge. When the eyes are darting around, the person is trying to scan for relevant information and when your eye is fixed on a particular image or a piece of text, the person is encoding information.

One of the major future applications of eye tracking will include computers, phone, tablets and other devices which are digital in order to record the ocular movements of students when they are learning. The movements of your eyes are closer to the speed of thoughts than any other behavioral indicators and by comparing it with neuroimaging technology, we conclude that this cannot capture the speedy brain computations in real time. If we use the eyes of the students in order to monitor their activities then we can easily understand the mastery of materials as well as, detect when they are having difficulty learning.

When they conducted the studies, they saw that in only 7 seconds while solving a puzzle which had logical reasoning, there were 26 movements. They were able to identify the activities which indicated the data which students observed as well as the data which students disregarded and they were able to arrive at their conclusions after the studies. This study was built on previous findings in which the researchers tracked cognitive changes in students during mentally challenging tasks.

The circuitry and brains frontal network was boosted when students took 3 months LSAT course with some of best lsat prep books, suggested that they had less difficulty solving the reasoning problems then they had at the beginning of the course. But, when we think about it, knowing about a particular brain region being activated is not enough to make sure that the task is easier. therefore, we had developed a way to assess the brain mechanism using eye gaze patterns.

When we conducted our latest studies, we started comparing training for logic games section which requires a lot of reasoning skills with students practicing exams reading comprehension section. after 33 hours of practice, there were stronger reasoning skills which logic games group showed. By making the use of the eye tracking motion exercises, we developed a good amount of measures and indicators for knowing when the students were shouting their attention or when the students were engaged in working for the reasoning and which skills improve with practice and which part of the brain activated when there were particular patterns used.

We were able to discover that the biggest change when reasoning practice was reduced time spent and coding and integrating the relevant pieces of information which were only required to solve the problem. This boost in performance was also effective for reasoning tests which did not resemble the exam problems. These kinds of research results should be able to help the students in psychology as well as the neuroscientists who want to study mechanism related to learning as well as cognitive abilities and the educational researchers trying to learn about students in real-world contexts.

Conclusion:

These are some of the best studies conducted by the neuroscientists in order to study the human brain so that they can improve the performance drastically. We hope that this article helped you find a relation between students and their eye movements. Have a great day.…

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The Sea by John Banville

The SeaIrish author John Banville’s mode of choice is the confessional narrative. His latest novel, The Sea, takes the narrative even further into the confessional, however. It is more of a confessional rumination on the omni-presence of death.

61 year-old art historian Max Morden is at a crux in his life. His wife, Anna, has just died of cancer and he returns to the beach of his childhood. He tries to confront and re-create a pre-pubescent crush on the mother and daughter of the aptly-named Grace family, who brought beauty and elegance into his life like the classical Greek Graces. It was an affair that had far-reaching implications in his own life. Against the swirls of his loves, past and present, the tide ebbs and flows, uncovering, distorting and shaping the land.Max becomes entangled in the lives of the Graces, whose influence is a “fine thread of sticky shiny stuff, like spider’s silk”. As he grows closer to them, so he grows up too.

Death haunts the novel throughout. Max’s wife, Anna, dies a slow decline from cancer. In his childhood, Max has been a witness to the drowning of the two Grace children. In a sense, he too has come to the beach to bury something – his self or his past? Similarly, the presence of the sea is dark and haunting, its ever-changing stability a symbol for the flux of life and, more particularly, death. The presence of death even suffuses the names of the characters. Max’s own surname is “Morden” and the oncologist overseeing Anna’s death is named “Todd”.

The past, in The Sea, is not so much another country. It is more of a “retreat”, into the cosiness and “womby warmth” of the familiar. It is a return to the haunts of old, where ancestral voices do not prophesy but tell of “demon lovers”.It is the narrator who bridges the past and the present but he poses the biggest problem in the book. At the time of this childhood amour, he is only 11 (or even 10) yet he possesses a sexual and emotional knowingness that is way beyond his years. At a beach picnic he suffers agonies of lust as he stares up the mother’s skirts – a barely credible reaction in a self-confessedly naive 11-year old! But this is a retrospective confessional, direct to the reader. The voice is of the 61 year old; educated, sophisticated and wistful.

One of the great delights of any Banville novel is the challenge to one’s vocabulary. It is not a good idea to be too far from a good dictionary. From that point of view, The Sea both meets and disappoints this lexical challenge. As one would expect from an art historian, there is a precision of language, particularly in the description and deconstruction of places, people and events. But there is also an over-fastidiousness about words that borders on the ostentatious. For example, a scar is described as having a “clear ichor’ – a redundancy as ichor is always transparent. Similarly, a fresh scab is described as a “cicatrice” – not so, as a 1-day scar could hardly be described as healed. Am I being over-picky? I think not, given Banville’s reputation for linguistic accuracy.

Banville charts territory that is popular in contemporary Irish fiction. The book’s coastal setting and the use of the sea as metaphor recall Colm Toibin’s excellent The Blackwater Lightship, as does the use of the dying relative. In its exploration of the implications of the past and the use of the old house as a trope, it suggests William Trevor’s recent, haunting The Story of Lucy Gault. Banville, however, has a unique style. The Sea suggests a sharp and incisive mind at work, dissecting elements of the past to derive meaning for the present.

The narrative, too, is considerably more accessible than some of his previous novels. It is just as allusive, but without the obscuring structural frameworks that Banville sometimes uses to obscure rather than illuminate his narrative. Like the youthful passion of the story, its effect will remain with you for some time.…

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A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

A Thread of GraceAn Italian rabbi survives the fall of the Fascist government in 1943, the German occupation, the Allied invasion and the brief chaos that ensued, losing his wife, his family and his flock en route. He tells a nun,” There’s a saying in Hebrew . . . No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there’s always a thread of grace”.

Mary Doria Russell’s new historical novel unpicks this thread of grace from a very sombre tapestry. If follows a group of European Jews, fleeing persecution in the north to the relative haven of Mussolini’s Italy over the Maritime Alps . Arriving in the deep and impoverished mountain valleys to the west of Piedmont , they encounter truly warm charity from the contadini who risk persecution and reprisal themselves from the occupying Germans. Joining the local Jewish community of Sant’Andrea, who are fleeing the coastal bombing and SS expatriations, and the mountain partigiani, they create mayhem for the Germans who are fighting a rearguard action against the advancing Allies.

The novel explores the individual struggles for survival and the price that faith extracts from a wide variety of people. There is the rabbi who insists on tending to his diminishing, harried flock in Sant’Andrea; the Jewish Italian war hero of the 1936 Abyssinia campaign who is a sort of scarlet pimpernel to both Jews and partisans; the Catholic priest more interested in caring for his oppressed parish than carving out a safe life for himself; the SS doctor who deserts to the partisans; and the 14 year-old Belgian refugee who falls in love with her Italian soldier rescuer. All have to make individual sacrifices without compromising their religious or humanitarian faiths. Some pay the ultimate price, some survive – but only just – and some live way beyond the war, but no-one is unscathed.

Russell manipulates a wide range of characters, of almost Dickensian proportions, with varied degrees of success. She has researched her stories well, with hundreds of hours of interviews and reading. Some characters are powerful, three-dimensional and vibrant. It is mostly the women who emerge thus: the Jewish mothers and Italian peasants who care for their menfolk or take arms themselves in whatever way they can.

The men, however, fare less well. Some are mere ciphers, like the German officers or the British paratrooper who is dropped behind enemy lines towards the end of the war. Some, though, are more troublesome. Two in particular cause real difficulties. A Waffen SS doctor, sickened by the 91,867 souls he has sent to their deaths at Auschwitz, defects and claims sanctuary with the partisans, with whom he works for the next 18 months before donning a uniform again. A protean Italian Jewish war hero hob-nobs with the Nazi hierarchy whilst aiding the partisans and running rescue missions, blowing up jails and stealing staff cars. After 2 years of successful counterfeit, he embraces suicide rather than be hanged as a collaborator in the aftermath of war. Truth may well be stranger than fiction, but these two stretch the bounds of all credibility.

Russell focusses on animating all these characters over this turbulent period of history. A helpful list of the various people involved is provided in an implicit nod that some may experience difficulty in discriminating. This human focus, however, does come at the expense of a background. The narrative is primarily carried by dialogue – some of which can be a little forced – and pure plot. The pace is varied and often exciting but the major casualty of this conflict is the description. All too often place is evoked without any appeal to the senses. The sights, sounds and smells of the coast or the mountains do not get a look in. Take, for example, the refugees’ flight through the Alps . The only scenery is the slabs of rock up which the fleeing horde have to struggle. Compare Russell’s lack of convincing detail with another Italian odyssey, that of Primo Levi as he journeyed back through the aftermath of a war-torn Europe in The Truce. Levi’s seminal work is replete with telling and convincing local detail. It suggests that the research for the novel has been too desk-bound: more field-work might not have gone amiss!

Russell’s characters are the Jews of northern Europe , their German persecutors and the local Italians, of whatever religious faith. The text is liberally sprinkled with dialect phrases, which certainly add authenticity. But underneath, many of these characters can sound the same. Europeans simply do not use words like “happenstance” in any language, or “gunnysack”, “flatware”, “longshoremen” or “diapers”. The construction “gotten” has no European equivalent. The effect is jarring. Likewise, a 14 year-old Belgian girl in 1943, surely would not recall American film stars of the early 1930s, after 4 years of war! Too many of these people talk in a mid-Atlantic drawl.

Russell’s story, nevertheless, is a gripping one, even if at times it lapses into melodrama. Its real heroes are the Italian peasants who gave so much, at such great risks to themselves. That much, at least, of the story is true. It is their individual threads – of grace, courage, charity and compassion – that are eventually woven into this rich and powerful tapestry. It is the moral story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, in the belief that there is a higher calling than mere self-interest, regardless of any superficial differences.…

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In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant Penguin

Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus, returns to Renaissance Italy in her second sumptuous historical novel. Sixteenth century Rome and Venice, with all their glory and their ugliness, are brought to life in this compelling account of the relationship between a mishapen dwarf and his mistress, the beautiful and witty Fiammetta Bianchini.

Although Bucino Teodolda may be small in stature and ugly to boot, he has a keen intelligence and a sharp tongue, both attributes that have made him an invaluable companion to his mistress. Fiammetta is a celebrated courtesan, who has been trained from birth to charm, entertain and sexually satisfy the men who are wealthy enough to afford her. She has made a comfortable life for herself in Rome and has even acquired a cardinal as a patron and protector.

However when the city is sacked by the marauding army of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, Fiammetta and Bucino barely escape with their lives. They eventually find refuge in Venice, Fiammetta’s birthplace. Although both her beauty and her spirit are almost destroyed by Fiammetta’s experiences on the run, she eventually recovers thanks to Bucino’s devotion and to the medicines supplied to her by a mysterious blind healer called La Draga. Soon she is once again a much sought after courtesan and the fortunes of this incongruous pair are on the rise until they are faced with challenges from unexpected quarters.

This fascinating novel could just as easily be titled Memoirs of a Courtesan as Dunant goes into great detail describing the every day life of a woman who has dedicated herself to pleasing men. However the real hero of this novel is Bucino, with his wily intellect and his unwavering devotion for the glittering Fiammetta.…

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Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

On the face of it, nothing could be more boring than 30 years in the classroom. Some 35,000 classes, 12,000 pupils and an Everest of marking suggest at best a life of tedious repetition and continuous struggle against indifferent teenagers. Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, however, testifies to quite the opposite.

This third volume of his autobiography, which began with the best-selling Angela’s Ashes, chronicles another journey. Like its two predecessors, it begins in hardship and travels to some sort of fruition. It recounts the period from McCourt’s graduation to his departure from the profession. Coyly, however, it refuses to even mention his apotheosis as American Teacher of the Year. Into those 30 years he packs a wealth of inspiration and a fund of stories. What ultimately emerges is not just a teacher but a bard in the classroom. Like Angela’s Ashes, this volume also relies on the stories and anecdotes, the vignettes of students, other teachers and administrators that knit the narrative together. Similarly it too will delight the reader.

In challenging his students, McCourt revels in the power of the simple story and the language that transports it. His students are entranced by tales of his impoverished Irish upbringing and his own stories of interactions with his own students have a parallel attraction. His technique is to find the magic in the mundane and to engage the students both on their own terms and in new territory. For example, faced with a multi-ethnic class, he draws on their own culinary traditions, getting students to bring samples of family dishes. They then learn to write recipes, then progress to the art of the restaurant review, even writing with enthusiasm, precision and originality of the school cafeteria! Sounds tantalisingly simple but all this has a galvanising effect on the class. They soon come to enjoy the power and variety that language has to offer. Other exercises include writing obituaries for other students and excuse notes for historical and mythological figures, with some hilarious effect. And this approach works, as generations of past students bear witness by letter, in the street and in his memory.

The memoir is quite unlike the run-of-the-mill. Despite an over-fondness of lists, McCourt writes close to a stream-of-consciousness. Incidents are retold not because of their chronological importance but because of their relevance to the point of a chapter. This does not confuse. Indeed the style brings the encounters with students to life, adding immediacy and drama to the stories. In the end, the book is less of an autobiography, more of a hymn to creative flair and freedom and a howl of contempt for bureaucratic niceties. Ironically, when faced with so many students over such a long time, it illustrates a deep-seated appreciation of and joy in the individuality of these students.

The book is a sharp insight into the world of the teacher, alone in the classroom with 30 others. The classroom becomes a “place of high drama”. The art of teaching is one man against a class of “ticking bombs” and education the process of transforming fear into freedom. In this teacher’s world, McCourt has little in the way of compliment, with one notable exception, for principals and, especially, bureaucrats. Their involvement in his life was one of petty and intrusive meddling. Then, as now, teachers can expect little in the way of help from the hierarchy. The profession is structured on the basis that the further the teacher goes from the classroom, the greater the reward. It is the acquiescent and the mediocre who travel furthest.

The book is more, however, than just a collection of pedagogical anecdotes. It illuminates a life of service and a struggle for self-identity amid the invasive, haunting after-effect of students and the constraints of bureaucratic small-mindedness. It does, however, also beg one nagging question: after three volumes of autobiography and a lifetime of teaching creative writing, when is McCourt going to turn his talented hand to fiction?…