Exposure to the internet and digital technology is changing how children think and learn, according to a review of academic literature. Paul A Kirschner, at the Open University of the Netherlands, finds that the “digital-native generation” tends to shift attention rapidly, and to spend little time thinking things over. They are more likely to multi-task than previous generations, meaning they are easily distracted and have poor executive control. They process information in a way that makes it difficult for them to excel academically, he says.
Teenagers who experience family breakdown are 33 per cent less likely to stay in education after the age of 16 than those who come from stable families, academics have found. Gillian Hampden-Thompson, from the University of York, and Claudia Galindo, from the University of Maryland, drew on data from more than 10,000 UK pupils. bit.ly/FamilySplit
Expectation and aspiration
Low expectations need not hamper teenagers’ academic achievements, Nabil Khattab from the University of Bristol has found. Having examined data from more than 15,000 UK pupils, he reports that low expectations from a school do not necessarily affect a pupil’s educational prospects, provided the pupil has high aspirations.
Stem gender bias
Men working in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) refuse to believe their subjects are biased against women, a study shows. Ian M Handley from Montana State University, along with three other US academics, showed reports of gender bias in Stem subjects to more than 200 people working in Stem occupations in US universities, finding that men tend to dismiss this research more readily than women.