These College Majors Are Unusual, But They're Totally Real
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When it comes to secondary education, there is truly something for everyone. We're talking about the real college majors and programs that are so unusual and niche, they almost seem made up. Think turf grass science and bakery studies. You can thank us for telling you about The Beatles, Popular Music & Society degree at Liverpool Hope University later.
University Of Miami Has The Nation's First Chair For Atheism Studies
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The world's newest major religion is no religion. In recent years, more people than ever identify as atheist, agnostic, or non-religious. Following that trend, the University of Miami has established the first academic chair for the study of atheism in the United States. The change came after a wealthy atheist donor named Louis J. Appignani gave the university a $2.2 Million endowment in April of 2016. "I'm trying to eliminate discrimination against atheists," 83-year-old Appignani told The New York Times. "So this is a step in that direction, to make atheism legitimate." Religion departments are standard facets of universities, but now, teachings of secularism and atheism are creeping into the mix. Scholars say atheism is just now beginning to emerge as an accepted academic field, and Appignani and the University of Miami is evidence of that. Watch these videos to learn more about atheism, and why it's so popular.
Marie Curie Couldn't Legally Attend College, So She Did It Illegally
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Marie Curie is the trailblazing scientist known for receiving two Nobel Prizes, one in physics and another in chemistry, among her many other contributions to science. But her achievements were quite close to never happening at all. During Marie Curie's time in Poland in the 1800s, higher education for women was illegal. The country, then controlled by Russian, Prussian, and Austrian powers, strictly limited what could be taught, and banned women from attending college altogether. But that didn't stop Curie. She attended what was known as the Flying University, a secret organization that began in 1882 in Warsaw, Poland. Polish professors, philosophers, and historians led seminars and lectures for students who were shunned by the current government-controlled education system of the time. To avoid detection from officials, since this type of schooling was illegal, the Flying University sessions jumped from private home to private home. By the 1890s, the school had nearly one thousand students from both sexes. Get a quick recap of Curie's education and career in the video below.
Having Books In The Home Is As Important To Your Child As Your Own Education
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For ages, education experts have believed that the most important factor in how much education a child goes on to attain is how educated that child's parents are. Not so, according to a 20-year study of 27 different nations by researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno. Professor Mariah Evans and her team studied children and families of all backgrounds and education levels, and what they found was striking: having books in the home is as important as how educated parents are when it comes to a child's educational attainment. The difference between being raised in a home without any books and being raised in a home with 500 books has as much of an impact as the difference between having parents with three years of education and having parents with 15 years of education. Even if a child is raised by barely literate parents, growing up in a home with a 500-book library can lead that child to complete 3.2 more years of schooling, on average. Five hundred books may sound like a lot, but a child doesn't even need that many to get the benefit—even having as few as 20 books around the house can significantly impact your child's future education. Discover ways to help your child love reading with the videos below.
Whether You Read or Listen, Your Brain Processes Books The Same Way
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As more books become available in audio format, more and more diehard readers seem to reject the audiobook as "cheating." But science says that your brain does just as much work—and receives just as much benefit from—listening to a book as it does reading one. According to a New York Magazine interview with psychologist Daniel Willingham, two processes take place when you read a book. One is decoding, where your brain translates letters on a page into words that have meaning, and the other is language processing, where you figure out what the words mean together in the context of the story. When it comes to language processing, the mental processes between reading and listening are identical: a 1985 study found that if you read books well, you also listen to them well, and vice versa, and a 1977 study found that college students were able to summarize a story equally well after reading it as after listening to it. Decoding, for its part, is unique to reading. But this doesn't really matter, since after you've passed a certain reading level—around late elementary school or so—decoding becomes second nature and doesn't require any extra mental power. Discover what reading—and listening to—books can do for your brain with the videos below.