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science-smart

The Science of Smart

Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better. In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.

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American RadioWorks | Hearing is Seeing
science-smart

The Science of Smart

Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better. In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.

Recent Posts

  • 08.20.14

    Variation is key to deeper learning

    Humans obviously learn a lot of things through trial-and-error. A level of "desirable difficulty" built into a learning and exam process appears to boost the overall retention of new skills or knowledge.
  • 08.19.14

    Learning to love tests

    If there's consensus on anything in education, it's this: Tests are awful. But maybe we've been thinking about tests all wrong. Research shows that tests can actually be powerful tools for learning -- but only if teachers use them right.
  • 08.19.14

    Paul Tough on how children succeed

    Paul Tough talks about his new book, How Children Succeed. He says it's character that matters when it comes to learning. Children need curiosity, optimism and self-control.
  • 08.18.14

    This is your brain on language

    For decades psychologists cautioned against raising children bilingual. They warned parents and teachers that learning a second language as a child was bad for brain development. But recent studies have found exactly the opposite.


Adoption stories


Naomi Garbisch, Andrew Garbisch, ages 18 and 21, 2005, Cook, MN. This shows a brother and sister together shortly before each leaves for college.

Lois Garbisch
Cook, MN

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1980s

We adopted two children, separately, from Korea. The boy was 12 months old then; age 21 now. The girl was 22 months old; age 18 now. We have a birth child who is older by a few years.

We live in a very small town in rural Minnesota which is mostly white, as we are. Some people predicted that we would experience more prejudice or racial problems because this is a small town. We actually found that it may have been easier for the children here. Of course, we don't know what may have been said behind their backs. They experienced only a few remarks to them personally.

The biggest difference of being in a small place rather than in a metro area, is that people know who we are. Someone may see a child who is "different" and wonder and ask, but then it is over and done with.

My children participated in many school activities and sports, and they just were treated as individuals. Actually, my son has told me that he used his minority status to his advantage because he stands out. But these two would probably stand out if they were white, as well, because they both have smiles that light up the room.

I've heard that in the metro areas, Asian children may often be asked, "where are you from?" Or they are assumed to be refugees. Or they are assumed to be Chinese, etc. My children mostly haven't had to deal with these questions because people know who we are.

Parents have to work at getting cultural information and experiences for adopted children. In some ways this is more difficult when the family is far from the city. On the other hand, these children, in general, tend to show little interest. We found that our white daughter read more of the Korea books we bought than the two Korean children did. But it is necessary to "just do it" ie, do Korean things. Don't wait for the children to ask, because they won't.

We took the family to Korea with the tour set up by the YMCA, with other families who had adopted from Korea. This was a wonderful experience for all of us. Our children met kids like themselves, and for the first time, they were in the majority, as least in looks. The country of Korea is beautiful, and the Korean culture is wonderfully rich, and mostly unknown to Americans.

We also had a Korean foreign exchange student in 1996. We have kept in touch with his family, visited them in Korea, and had both him and his sister visit us here in the last few years. I'm sure that we would never have had this enrichment of our lives without having adopted Korean kids.



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks | Hearing is Seeing
science-smart

The Science of Smart

Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better. In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.

Recent Posts

  • 08.20.14

    Variation is key to deeper learning

    Humans obviously learn a lot of things through trial-and-error. A level of "desirable difficulty" built into a learning and exam process appears to boost the overall retention of new skills or knowledge.
  • 08.19.14

    Learning to love tests

    If there's consensus on anything in education, it's this: Tests are awful. But maybe we've been thinking about tests all wrong. Research shows that tests can actually be powerful tools for learning -- but only if teachers use them right.
  • 08.19.14

    Paul Tough on how children succeed

    Paul Tough talks about his new book, How Children Succeed. He says it's character that matters when it comes to learning. Children need curiosity, optimism and self-control.
  • 08.18.14

    This is your brain on language

    For decades psychologists cautioned against raising children bilingual. They warned parents and teachers that learning a second language as a child was bad for brain development. But recent studies have found exactly the opposite.