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Inside the second grader's brain

What insights can neuroscience offer parents about the mind of a second grader?

By Hank Pellissier

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Teacher power

Your second grader will thrive best with a teacher who has high standards for her students. According to professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine Daniel Siegel teachers’ expectations of students’ abilities have a huge effect on student learning. In one study, teachers were mistakenly told that some of their students who had been previously identified as learning disabled were in fact gifted. After the teachers raised expectations, the students performed up to expectations. Children this age often develop affectionate relationships with their teacher; it's not uncommon for them to weep when the year ends.

Photo credit: cole24_

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Hank Pellissier is the author of Brighter Brains - 225 ways to elevate and injure IQ. He is a frequent contributor to and he has previously written columns for the New York Times,, and