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Whatever happened to French children’s books? Malika Browne, whose family is bilingual, looks into a puzzling decline—but finds some hope
MOSCOW – There was a goat just outside the Moscow metro station, accompanied by a girl who was selling bottles of milk – the goat was obviously there as a live advertisement.
“Look, she has white eyelids,” passersby would say, looking at the alien animal. “Look at the tail!” they said – and these were all adults; women in heels, men with beer, young guys with skateboards – everyone stopped for the goat. “Come on, that’s enough,” one woman said to a man as she pulled his hand, “we’re going to the country soon, we’ll see plenty of goats and chickens there.”
Vacations in the country – that is what these goat-loving city-dwellers dream about. And there are a lot of them. According to statistics from the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion, last year on 5% of Russians spent their vacations abroad. Most Russians vacationed in the Russian countryside.
An increasing number of establishments in France are serving pre-made food to their customers. Old-school foodies want to put a stop to the practice with an initiative to apply the term “restaurant” only to places that serve fresh food made on site.
Gregory Currie, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nottingham, recently argued in the New York Times that we ought not to claim that literature improves us as people, because there is no “compelling evidence that suggests that people are morally or socially better for reading Tolstoy” or other great books.
Actually, there is such evidence. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective. This link persisted even after the researchers factored in the possibility that more empathetic individuals might choose to read more novels. A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their “theory of mind,” or mental model of other people’s intentions.
The science of learning is a relatively new discipline born of an agglomeration of fields: cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience. As with anything to do with our idiosyncratic and unpredictable species, there is still a lot of art, especially in teaching. But the science of learning can offer some surprising new perspectives:
24 horas antes de disputar un partido contra España, la selección haitiana de fútbol no tenía todavía uniformes ni había podido entrenar. Llovía sin parar en Miami y sus limitados recursos no le permitían alquilar un espacio cubierto para las prácticas.