Physiology and assessment as low-hanging fruit for education overhaul

Abstract

Physiology and assessment constitute major bottlenecks of school learning among students with low socioeconomic status. The limited resources and household overcrowding typical of poverty produce deficits in nutrition, sleep, and exercise that strongly hinder physiology and hence learning. Likewise, overcrowded classrooms hamper the assessment of individual learning with enough temporal resolution to make individual interventions effective. Computational measurements of learning offer hope for low-cost, fast, scalable, and yet personalized academic evaluation. Improvement of school schedules by reducing lecture time in favor of naps, exercise, meals, and frequent automated assessments of individual performance is an easily achievable goal for education.

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Correspondence to Sidarta Ribeiro.

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This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) Grants Universal 480053/2013-8, Human Sciences 409494/2013-5, and Research Productivity 306604/2012-4 and 310712/2014-9; ACERTA Project from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES); Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco (FACEPE); JCNE fellowship and research support grant 32/2014 from Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ); and FAPESP Center for Neuromathematics Grant 2013/07699-0, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). We thank Debora Koshiyama for library support.

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Ribeiro, S., Mota, N.B., Fernandes, V.d. et al. Physiology and assessment as low-hanging fruit for education overhaul. Prospects 46, 249–264 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-017-9393-x

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Keywords

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Assessment
  • Learning