Monday, October 10, 2016

#LTW: What is human #intelligence?



Welcome back to Lighting the Way. 

The brain is an amazing human organ that has bewildered humans for ages. Researchers have made great strides in mapping and understanding how this complex organ works.



Most of what we know about the human brain has been discovered within the past decade or so. Yet, there is still much more to learn about this amazing organ.

One of the topic of hot debate concerns human intelligence. In that past, a person's intellect was determined by a standardized test measuring a person's analytical and linguistic abilities. The score derived from the test measured a person's IQ. Below is the IQ scale with the percentage of the world's population that has that given IQ.

http://www.free-iqtest.net/iq-score-guide.asp

























Anyone with an IQ of 130 or more are considered to be gifted. Yet, some researchers claim there are more than 2% of the world's populations who could be considered gifted. Researchers such as Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg have argued that we placed limitations on the potential of human intelligence by determining a person's IQ using only analytical and literary reasoning. 




Trying to define human intelligence doesn't have to be complex. Some gifted advocates are against Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg's ideas of intelligence because they believe it dilutes the idea of whose gifted and whose not. Yet, if the educational society was to reinvent the idea of giftedness based on the ideas these two professors developed wouldn't that just season the gifted population? 

What do you think? Should human intelligence be redefined? 
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

#What'sUpWithAllison: Getting Ready for #NaNoWriMo



What's Up With Allison?

Welcome back to my blog! Yesterday I blogged about some amazing changes that have happened in my life.  I'm starting a new week with a new routine. I'm absolutely loving this new routine. It's giving me time to get everything done without overworking myself. 

It seems October is going by so quickly. NaNoWriMo 2016 is right around the corner. I can't wait for this year's NaNoWriMo! 


I absolutely love this time of year. NaNoWriMo is the best. All of my books have either been written during NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo or using their writing strategies. This year, I will be working on Hoppy's Grave. Hoppy's Grave is a legend I learned about when I was child attending Camp Mowana. I've been the to cave and gravesite. I even took my husband to see those sites. Hoppy's story has never been published. I'm very excited to write the novel format of the story. I was going to write it as short but I think it would be best told in a novel. 

So....are you going to attend NaNoWriMo this year?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

New Directions, New Routines. #IAmWriting #OverseasEducation





I'm back! It's been awhile since I've had time to blog. I have recently started teaching ESL classes to students in Beijing, China via VIPKID. VIPKID is an online learning platform where American teachers teach English to Chinese kids. I absolutely love my job! My schedule has had to take some adjustments, though. I rise at 4am and teach from 5 - 9am CST. Beijing is thirteen hours ahead of me. Sometimes I work in the evenings as well from 8 - 9pm.

I have also been busy with building my businesses, Big Bend Productions and Academic Warriors. I have the most amazing staff at Big Bend Productions. I've worked hard to build the right team. The authors I've gathered under Marfa House are amazing! My next short, Lady of Wild Rose Pass (Paisano Paranormal Patrol: Book 1) is scheduled to be released on October 11th. I can't wait! Just take a look at that new cover!


When I'm not teaching, working or writing I am working on my PhD in Education studies. I'm about half way through my program. I can't wait to be Dr. Allison Bruning. I'm supposed to graduate in 2019. I'm almost to my dissertation phase. My areas of focus have been gifted education, roadschooling and homeschooling.

Now that I have my schedule and routines set up I should be able to blog more often. See you next time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

#AuthorSpotlight: S.N.Garza



S. N. Garza is from Southeast Houston, Texas, with her husband and two small children. She is a full time Chilihead employee at Chili's Bar & Grill. Author of steamy, sexy, sinfully beautiful stories about strong alpha men and the women who fall for them. When she's not taking care of her family, or working her tail off, you can find her writing well into the night with her headphones on, or reading another steamy romance novel, attaining another fictional boyfriend.
 
Remember
Where the men are strong, the women, stronger.

Amazon Author Page URL
Goodreads Author page
Facebook Page
Blog:
Instagram: @sngarza124
Twitter:@sngarza_author

----
Bound
Bound: Smarturl.it/boundbook1

Courtland spent his childhood watching his mother turn tricks and bow
to her abusive pimp. It taught him a lot about relationships and how
never to get involved in one. When he meets sweet Adelaide, his life
is forever changed. Her gentle personality has him thinking maybe his
vow to never commit is misplaced. Until she disappears out of his
life.
Adelaide knew the only way to escape the darkness she’s lived her life
in, is to go back to the one place that’s haunted her dreams. Home.
Reuniting with Courtland is the last thing on her mind until she
becomes helpless to his every kiss. Hopeless to his every touch. And
no matter how far she tries to run, her heart is irrevocably bound to
him.

--




Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend
Amazon: Smarturl.it/daagbf 

***for mature readers due to sexual content, graphic language, and violence. Not for young adult readers***
 
He will show her a world she never imagined.
 
She will show him how to open his heart to love.
 
Scarlet Castle is a small-town girl with big-city dreams. Ever since she can remember being a dancer on Broadway has been her goal, but downtown Houston is as far as she’s gotten.
Dax Dixon keeps the books at Saints and Sinners Lounge, a well-known cabaret in the heart of Houston. He’s also the grandson of a hard core motorcycle club president. No one can prove the club is full of criminals, but Dax doesn’t need proof for what he already knows. And he also has no intention of being involved.
As for the opposite sex? They were only good for one reason.
Then he meets Scarlet. Then all bets are off.
One night at the lounge Scarlet becomes a witness to a crime, living proof that the MC is not as pure as they want people to believe. Dax’s grandfather wants to eliminate her and he sends someone she least expects to get the job done.
Can Dax get to her in time to save her from the MC determined to destroy their future?
--

Hot Houston Nights: Boxset (2 stories for the price of 1)
Hot Houston Nights: Boxset
Graham & Isabella/Grant & Pippah

Graham & Isabella: What happens when a one night stand, doesn’t stay just that? 
Out for the first time after a long term relationship, Isabella wasn’t expecting much except a good time with the girls. A one night stand wasn’t in the cards, until she met him. 
Graham is damaged both physically and mentally by a past that refuses to let him go. When he sees Isabella for the first time, she wasn’t at all what he was expecting. 
One night. No regrets. That’s all it was supposed to be. But fate has different plans. Follow Graham and Isabella on their discovery of trying to fight fate, but one night just isn’t enough. 

This is a three part serial series of hot sexual encounters and conflicting emotions. Their journey to their happily forever after will be a hard one, but so worth it.

Grant & Pippah: Grant Moore is fine being a bachelor. He has no intentions on letting a woman lead him around by the nose like his best friend did. Until the one night he slept with a virgin. When morning came, she disappeared with the night. Leaving him feeling robbed. Something about her ignited a flame that he wasn't ready to burn out.
Pippah Walker had a list. Being the daughter of a wealthy man, she was making it happen. But when he cuts off her expenses and ships her to Texas to learn some real life lessons, Pippah decides to take a risk and mark off one of her quests. Having a one night stand.

No names were exchanged. Just red hot passion.

---

His Second Chance
Amazon: smarturl.it/hsc

As a young girl, all Kellan ever wanted was to be herself. Always compared to her perfect older sister, Kellan leaves for college with hopes to be free of condescending parents. When tragedy strikes, and her older sister gets murdered, she’s more ostracized than ever. So she stays away.
Five years and a big blow up with her boyfriend, Kellan returns to Bay Creek. A small Army town in west Texas.
After the tragic loss of his wife, Beckett took every mission he could to avoid his hometown. Letting his family raise his son in his absence. When Kellan shows up, he’s reminded what it feels like to be alive again. Only one thing…he never expected to fall in love again. Not with the sister of his dead wife.
Sparks fly and passion ignites. How could something so wrong, feel so right?
Will his second chance at happiness blow up in his face?
Secrets are uncovered. And the betrayal cuts deep. But love…cuts the deepest.

--
X-Treme Measure
Smashwords: smarturl.it/xmsmash

X-treme Measure Blurb

* this is a contemporary romance novel recommended for ages 18+ due to sexual content and mature subject matter*


X-TREME MEASURE: where everything is for your pleasure.


Daniel 'The Duke' Greensboro wants nothing more than to take care of his little girl. Being a male stripper and escort made that happen. He wasn't looking for anything else. Until she moved into the apartment next door and turned his world upside down.
When Moriah's financial aid is cut off, she has to find a new place to live and going home to deadbeat parents wasn't an option. Finding a posh apartment in the heart of Houston was her only choice. She didn't anticipate meeting hot, sexy-as-sin, single dad Daniel Greensboro...the neighbor across the hall. When he asks for a favor, she just can't say no. 
Then one night Moriah goes out with the girl's from work and they head straight for X-treme Measure. She has no idea what to expect, until she sees Daniel, heating up the stage. 
Seeing Moriah at X-treme Measure is shocking but it provokes him to give her just a little tease of what she could have. 

Sometimes you find love in all the wrong places. Every once in awhile, it's so worth it.

---

Coming November 24th
Served
Amazon pre-order 
Smarturl.it/servedsng

Sarah Connelly's had a crush on Team USA Volleyball player Donovan Richards ever since she could remember. When she finally gets the chance to meet him, she never thought she'd catch him with his pants down. What's a girl to do?
The intense, focused gold medalist Donovan Richards never believed in love at first sight. Until Sarah, the new sports medicine trainer, came walking in, catching him almost naked in the locker room and staring straight at his dick. 
Sarah is dedicated to her job, but Donovan is relentless. He goes for what he wants and that's the sexy, sassy Miss. Connelly.

Should she choose love over having the career of a lifetime? Or can she find a way to have both? Donovan certainly thinks so, because he's never giving up on her or on them. Even if it means quitting Team USA.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nature vs Nurture...What If It's Both?


Nature vs Nurture
What If It's Both?

What makes a human being behave the way they do? Why do some people have disabilities and/or are gifted while others do not? These are questions that have been asked by mankind since the dawn of time. The argument of nature versus nurture isn’t a new argument. The idea of nature versus nuture began within the discipline of human development in the 16th century (Nesterak, 2015). Nature dictates that a person’s biology and genes are the deciding factor on how a person turns out. They can’t change who they are because they were born that way. Nurture, on the other hand, argues that that a person becomes who they are based on how they react to their environmental influences.
            Eugenics, the principal of beliefs that aims to improve the genetic disposition of human beings, has been practiced since Ancient Greece. Eugenics has caused many unjust laws and tragedies throughout human history. While genetics does play a part in human development, it doesn’t solely dictate who were are and become. But just how much of role does genetics have in human development?
Epigenetics
            Epigenetics is a fairly new science in human development. Conrad H. Waddington coined the term epigenetics in 1942 to define the scientific study of how environment influences genetic expression (What Is Epigenetics, 2016). Waddington’s approach to the genetic study of humans doesn’t focus so much on how the genes express themselves but what they are doing. Although human beings are born with a certain genetic disposition that allows for personality and biological traits that doesn’t always mean that those traits will be dominant in that child.
            Genetic Science Learning Center. (2013, July 15) explained there are inactive and active genes within a person’s DNA that are controlled by the epigenome. Our DNA is wrapped around a protein known as histones. Chemical tags lie upon the histone and DNA forming a second layer known as the epigenome. It is the responsibility of the epigenome to shape the physical structure of the genome. The epigenome wraps itself around inactive genes causing them to be unreadable and relaxes around the active genes so they are more easily accessible (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2013). 
            While the epigenome changes a person’s gemone, it is important to know that a person’s DNA never changes. This means while a child carries DNA from both parents, he or she may have some traits from them that may never reveal themselves. The epigentic process is not a one time occurs nor is it always the same. Researchers have identified several different types of the epigenetic process including ubiquitylation, sumolyation, acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation (Weinhold, 2006).
            A person’s genomes continue to change throughout their lifespan due to the way they interact with influences. Some of these influencers have been identified as environmental, age, lifestyle and disease (What Is Epigenetics, 2016). Social science research studies have helped us to understand the impact some of these influencers have upon the human development of certain population groups. Societies and individuals have been forced to adapt to their changing world throughout history. Major societal changes, such as war and poverty, can change the way parents rear their young (Collins, 2000). David Moore, (as cited in Nesterak, 2015) found children who remained for a long time within impoverished homes tended to show adverse biological consequences later on in their adulthood. These adverse effects can still be upon these children even if they managed to live a life in middle class during their adulthood. Children who grew up in middle class homes and remained middle class do not suffer from the same adverse effects as their impoverished childhood peers who live in middle class during their adulthood. The epigenetic process allows for humans to adapt to their surroundings and circumstances. If human development was a purely natural phenomenon then we would not be able to adapt to our world.
            Epigenetic research is not so easily to conduct due to ethical reasons. Genetic researchers would have to conduct biological tests on human subjects in a tightly controlled environment in order to further their research. In order to continue their research without violating ethics, researchers have been using monkeys and rats. (Nesterak, 2015). The results of these studies have furthered the knowledge of epigenetics.
Conclusion
            Nature versus nurture has been a topic of interest throughout the world since the 16th century. Some politicians and scholars have advocated for supreme genetic disposition in human development by fully enforcing eugenic laws that have caused human tragedies and injustice.  A relatively new science, epigenetics,  argues that human development is both nature and nurture. Epigenetic researchers have found humans adapt to their influences through a change in their genomes. More research needs to be conducted in order to understand more about how this adaption process works in human development.


References
Collins, W. A., Maccoby, E. E., Steinberg, L., Hetherington, E. M., & Bornstein, M. H.        (2000).          

Contemporary research on parenting: The case for nature and nurture. American    Psychologist, 55, 218–232.

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2013, July 15) The Epigenome at a Glance.            Retrieved September 09, 2016, from             http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/intro/

Nesterak, E. (2015, July 10) The End of Nature Versus Nurture. The Psych Report.   Retrieved from http://thepsychreport.com/books/the-end-of-nature-      versus-nurture/

Weinhold, B. (2006, March) Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environ Health       Perspect. 114(3), A160-A167. Retrieved from             http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1392256/

What is Epigenetics? (2016) Epigenetics: Fundamentals. Retrieved from        http://www.whatisepigenetics.com/fundamentals/

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ohio's Archaic Heritage: Stone Tools #history #nativeamerican

Ohio's Archaic Heritage

Knives, Points, Axes and Scrapers

The Archaic Period is divided up into three stages. These are: Early (8000B.C.E. - 6000 B.C.E.), Middle (6000 B.C.E. -3500 B.C.E.), and Late (4000 B.C.E. -1500 B.C.E.). Sometimes historians and scientists will add a Terminal Stage between (1500 B.C.E.–700 C.E.) This end stage overlaps the Woodland Period. We will be talking about this period in our next series. Early Archaic life resembled a Paleoindian culture as small groups continued to life the Paleoindian nomadic lifestyle. It isn't until the Middle Archaic Period where some of these groups start to develop a more sedetary lifestyle. The change from nomadic to sedentary did not happen all at once nor was it across the board. This change was gradual and varied from group to group, as did the acceptance of the atlatl.

The Archaic people created knifes, spearheads, scrapers and other tools out of ground stone. They rarely threw their tools away when they became worn. Instead they would reshape the item into something else. The transition from Paleoindian to Archaic was a gradual procession that occurred as the large mammals became extinct and the climate became warmer. As we learned in our last post, the Archaic hunters had to change their hunting methods in order to survive.

Archaic tool kits reflect the change in hunting techniques as they now contain a wide range of ground stone tools that include celts and axes used to cut and work trees, grooved rounded stones to weight fishing nets, spear points, knives, a variety of scrapers, as well as tools and ornaments made of bone, antler, and shell. Another distinction between the Paleoindian and Archaic cultures were their spear points. This was due to the discovery of the atlatl.

Axes, Chisel, Gouges and Adzels
The transition to a sedentary life required that the Archaic to develop new tools that would allow them to work with wood. Woodworking was important for the Archaic people because it allowed them the ability to create shelters, canoes and other daily used items.

The flint they had been using to create their points, drills and other tools was not suitable for woodworking because flint shatters when it hits something hard. The Archaic people used other stones to create their axes, chisels, gouges and adzels. Just like the skilled huntsman, an expert craftsmen was highly valued by his people.

Stone axes were very effective on wood as seen by this video.



Three dugout canoes have been found in different parts of Savannah Lake, Ashland County, Ohio. One of these canoes, dating to 1600 B.C., is 20 feet in length. Savannah Lake is located between the Lake Erie and Ohio River watersheds. This find proves that the Archaic people were using the waterways for travel purposes. The Archaic people fished more than they hunted game so it would make sense for their settlements and activity to be located close to waterways.

Points

The change from a Paleoindian point to an Archaic point did not happen overnight. Archaeologists have identified several "transitional points" that were used in the Archaic Period as the Archaic people began to transition out of their Paleoindian lifestyle.

A Paleoindian Spearhead found in Ohio

The images below are of Archaic points that were found at the Falls of Ohio State Park in Indiana. This park sits on the banks of the Ohio River. Many points can be found along the Ohio River. Notice the different sizes and shapes of each spearhead and the progression in time.

Archaic Points
http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/FallsoftheOhioStatePark-ArchaicCulture.html
The most famous of all Ohio Archaic Points is a fine example of the Archaic people's resourcefulness.

Known as the Ohio Dovetail, settlers discovered these dovetailed shaped points while plowing their fields. The Ohio Dovetail took on many shapes and sizes. They were usually worn out knives that were reshaped into a spearhead. They are so numerous that they are still being found today. The picture below shows an Ohio Dovetail that was found in Licking County and is currently being sold on EBAY.

An Ohio Dovepoint 

Unfortunately many stool tools and points find their way into the market instead of being preserved so everyone can enjoy a piece of cultural history. 





Monday, September 5, 2016

#LTW: #gifted students and #memory problems


Memory is very important when it comes to learning anything new and storing it away for future use. Sometimes gifted students have problems with their short term memory, especially the spatially gifted learner.

Memory

            Although the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes have their own distinct functioning in the brain, they all contribute to the learning process through memory acquisition and retention. The occipital lobe, located in the back of the brain, is responsible for the processing of incoming information.
The temporal lobe, located in the lower part of the cerebral cortex, is responsible for controlling the information transfer from short-term to long-term memory. When a student learns something new the information is first processed through the short-term or working memory then stored in the long term memory after the temporal lobe transfers the information to the hippocampus
 Bruning, Schraw & Norby found that people can hold large amounts of information with in their memory when information is presented in chunks. Chunks are meaningful units of information presented to the learner. A learner cannot hold more than seven chunks of information at one time. Monru (2013) found gifted students are able to process larger chunks of information at one time. They also are able to retain more knowledge within their short-term memories than their peers. Geake (2009) found gifted children’s working memory has a higher efficiency rate than their non-gifted peers. Gifted children are able to achieve this through the use of a high-level frontal cortex with a bilateral frontal-parietal network.
The parietal lobes, located near the crown and rear of the head, constructs spatial maps and mental images. Munro (2013) found gifted children begin with a higher prefrontal activity but as they progress into their teen years the enhanced activity transfer to the parietal lobes. Thus the student loses their advanced abstract thinking and gains the ability to learn more quickly through mental images and spatial reasoning. Some gifted students excel in mental images and spatial reasoning more than others. These gifted students are known as gifted visual-spatial learners.

Sword (2011) identified two types of gifted visual-spatial leaner; 1) children who are identified with extremely high IQ’s on an IQ test because they have a greater ability completing tasks with visual-spatial and auditory-sequential thinking process. And 2) bright children who are often are not identified with a high IQ on a standardized IQ test because they have a great visual-spatial with a lower than normal auditory-sequential thinking process. The later are after “at-risk” because they are not identified and/or receive the extra support that is required for them to become academically successful. Sword (2011) found gifted visual-spatial learners possess poor auditory short-term memory and think primarily in pictures. Thus, when teaching a gifted visual-spatial learner the educator needs to be aware that these gifted students need to visualize the material in order to learn. Sword (2011) also found gifted visual-spatial learners experience oversensitivity to physical stimuli due to their supersensitive nervous systems.   

References
Asher, J. (2006) Cortex Matures Faster in Youth with Highest IQ. Retrieved from National Institute of Health website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2006/cortex-matures-faster-in-youth-with-highest-iq.shtml
Bruning, R. H., Schraw, G. J., & Norby, M. M. (2011). Cognitive psychology and instruction (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Butnik, S (May/June 2013). Understanding, Diagnosing and Coping with Slow Processing Speed. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10782.aspx
Geake, J. (2009). The Brain at School: Educational Neuroscience in the Classroom. Retrieved from ttps://books.google.com/books?id=jwNFBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=gifted+parietal&source=bl&ots=4WKKXCPmQP&sig=Fh0idjpigXrKyD5uo-Txm1T08BY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFgQ6AEwCWoVChMIr-CgwbCQxgIVCBmSCh0cowJU#v=onepage&q=gifted%20parietal&f=false
Gross, G. (2013, October 21). Who is the gifted Child [Web log post]? Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/who-is-the-gifted-child_b_4119720.html
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Anatomy of the brain. Baltimore, MD: Author
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Connectivism learning theory. Baltimore MD: Author.
Monru, J. (2013). High-Ability Learning and Brain Processes:How Neuroscience can help us to understand how gifted and talented students learn and the implication for teaching. Paper presented a the Research Conference, Australia
Mrazik, M., & Dombrowski, S. C. (2010). The Neurobiological Foundations of Giftedness. Roeper Review, 32(4), 224-234. doi:10.1080/02783193.2010.508154
Sword, L. (2011). I think in pictures, you teach in words: The gifted visual-spatial learner. Tall Poppies Retrieved from http://www.giftedchildren.org.nz/national/article4.php
Treffinger, D (Ed.).