One of the most affected industries regarding the new health care reform is with biotechnology. One of the many provisions in the new health care reform bill is to reduce the prices of the medical prescriptions charged to Medicare and Medicaid. This will hurt the biotechnology industry because the research for new medication is very expensive and tedious work.The size of the impact to the biotech industry is beginning to be realized and the health insurance providers are starting to resort to eliminating new medication, in favor of the more traditional medications of years ago. Since it takes time for the pharmaceutical companies to exhaust their patents on new health care medication, the health insurance industry is turning away sooner than what was originally expected.This will translate into less medical prescriptions for the medical healthcare provider and the individual to choose. Many of the medical health care prescription medications we have on the market today are slowly disappearing as the pharmaceutical demand for them are dwindling by the millions.The losses to the biotech industry is becoming evident and many of the staff are deciding how much longer they will continue with the companies. The provisions, suppliers, health insurance industry, and supporters are no longer able to offer high finances to continue the funding of current projects.What will this mean for you and your family members? This will mean the health insurance industry will have more control over what you are able to purchase unless you have the monetary means to pay for a given medical prescription out of pocket. It always comes down to what is affordable and what is not affordable.Many individuals who suffer with orphan diseases will find they will no longer have access to the medication they so desperately need. The funds are drying up because of the new health care reform bill and the prescription medication for the orphan diseases will dry up. This is because as funding dwindles, the money that remains will be focused on the more popular diseases.This will sadly leave many individuals with a government-run health insurance policy without the necessary health care they require. How will a medical health care physician have the ability to identify and help a patient with an orphan disease when there is no prescription medication to keep it maintained?This will leave millions of individuals to be forced to take care of themselves the best they are able and pray for better days in the future yet to develop. How sad for the families with children who need health care treatment. Where will they go? Whom will they turn to?
Commercial loan brokers can be an invaluable resource to you if you are seeking business funding. However, there are many positives as well as many negatives when working with this type of firm. Foremost, the best benefit that you will receive when working with a loan broker is that you are able to have your funding request reviewed by several hundred different lenders. These firms often maintain expansive databases of banks and financial institutions that are seeking specific types of loans among borrowers that have varying credit qualities. As such, if you have a unique capital need or have had credit trouble in the past then you may want to consult with a business loan broker regarding these issues. These firms also tend to have connections with private investors, and they can potentially give your proposal to third parties if you do not qualify for traditional debt financing.One of the negatives of using this type of firm to secure capital is that the fees are extremely high. It is very common that a loan broker will charge 3% to 6% of the face value of the loan if they are successful in completing your funding request. In many cases, these very high fees are immediately deducted from the proceeds that are disbursed to you. As such, you should make sure that you can appropriately afford this additional cost when you are entertaining the idea of working with a capital brokerage.Most importantly, prior to working with any funding broker, you should check all applicable references and licenses that are required by the company that is providing you with these services. There are many unscrupulous firms that are primarily seeking to have you pay large upfront fees without ever delivering on their promise to assist you in securing business capital. The only fees that should be paid to a broker prior to a loan closing are those that relate to document preparation or business plan development. Usually, these fees are approximately $500 to $1,000. Again, the best way to ensure that these upfront costs are being used appropriately is to speak with clients that have worked with this particular business in the past.Once you have decided to work with a capital brokerage, the company will send you a number of documents that you need to review and sign. We strongly recommend that your attorney review these documents to make sure that they are in line with all applicable state and federal laws as it relates to loan brokering. Additionally, your hired firm is going to need several pieces of financial information from you including your formal capital request, information pertaining to your business, and an overview of your personal financial history. In many cases, this firm will have the ability to immediately review your credit score as it relates to securing business funds.In closing, by working with a commercial loan broker you are in an excellent position to receive the business debt that you need. However, it is imperative that you complete an extensive amount of due diligence prior to working with any company that acts in this capacity.
The cryptocurrency trading software package is an integrated system to manage all aspects of cryptocurrency trading platform like all kinds of crypto buy, sell, exchange, lending, MLM & affiliate management, converting, live market comparison & analyzing etc.
Important features you should consider:
Buy, Sell And Exchange: Nishue is the impressive trading management system offers a smooth and secure methodology for your users to effortlessly Buy, Sell and exchange cryptocurrencies.
Lending system management: This system is completely brokering friendly has a system to manage Crypto lending service, like create manage offers, maintain and moderation etc
Unique Admin Module: Nishue contains a secure and advanced Admin Module for you to control your Cryptocurrency exchange end-to-end.
Separate customer profile: Separate customer profile module that helps your users to easily track and check all Open deposit or withdraw orders, Records, Transactions etc. on just a click.
MLM & affiliate management: This marketing ready automation tools facilitate to manage your level wise affiliate commission, contribution history, and documents.
Market comparison & Converter: Two additional system has been integrated for live Crypto Comparison, Conversion & Depth analysis.
How Cryptocurrency Trading Software Is Helping To Grow Your Crypto Platform:
Coin Deposit & Withdraw: Crypto trader need to maintain enormous Deposit and Withdraw request daily. Trading software aid to manage your activity with its auto set algorithm.
Coin Package & Lending offer: Keep your various coin package and lending offer at the fingers end of your customer. You can create, manage and advertise your offer using a well-designed package.
Level wise commission: If you follow the MLM strategy to reward your respective participants, and worried about set their commission? OK, It is ready to auto calculate their level wise commission.
Notification & Risk management: Every crypto trading platform must arrange push notification system to keep itself and its client up to date about many alarming issues thus help eliminate risk. In this case, a system project is totally perfect.
Multiple Payment Gateway: You can Integrate your cryptocurrency wallet, Local currency, Payeer Even Mobile Banking system as a Payment method within this software to make your transaction hassle free.
Daily, Weekly & Monthly ROI: Are you worried about maintaining ROI as per you said. This cryptocurrency trading management software can auto calculate ROI, commission, and others as per your given instruction.
Free Responsive Website: It must have integrated a fully responsive, SEO optimized dynamic website with our system and it is totally free. It will help you to manage your enterprise smoothly.
Crypto Comparison, Conversion & Depth analysis: Crypto live market cap & coin convertor two addition system has been integrated for live Crypto Comparison, Conversion & Depth analysis
100% secured System: A trading software is designed after having highly security issue in mind. Secured Integer framework, two-factor authentication, and much other security systems have been applied in this cryptocurrency trading software.
The absolute package exclusively for spot cryptocurrency trading that allows users to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin through Coinbase. Built upon the same technology that powers the Nishue software, It incorporates proven market-leading tools developed over 25 years to provide both professional and active cryptocurrency traders with a better experience than what’s currently offered by other crypto-only trading solutions.
If you keep an eye on the market, crypto trading can be profitable for you. However, you may find it hard at times. Fortunately, if you need assistance, you can give a go to crypto signal services. The signals offered by them can be used to make the right decision, at the right time. You can choose from a lot of service providers. Given below are a few tips that can help you choose the right one. Read on to know more.
When opting for a service, quality is the number one factor to consider. Ideally, the trading platform should have an awesome success rate as far as predictions are concerned. Aside from this, it should provide relevant impulses so you can get a better idea of the market trends and trades.
Moreover, you should be able to receive the signal promptly so you can make the right moves. The service provider should be able to generate signals as fast as possible.
Keep in mind that the service should be reliable as you are going to make your trade decisions based on their guidance. Hence, you might want to opt for a service that you can depend on. This is the only way to make the right choice and be on the safe side.
What you need to do is hire the services of a provider who is legitimate. You are going to consult expert traders, not an automated software program.
How can you find out if a provider is genuine? The best way is to give a go to their service. Many providers offer a free trial service. This is true even if you are going to hire any service, not just crypt trading.
The trial service will allow you to find out if the service is reliable. Once you have tested the service, you can go ahead and pay for it for a long-term.
After the trial period expires, you will have to pay for the service. Here it’s important to keep in mind that providers who offer crypto signals for free of charge may not be reliable. In the same way, you might not want to pay a lot of money for the trial period either. As a matter of fact, the price of packages should be fair so you can enjoy the service without breaking the bank. So, you might want to do your homework to get the right service without spending a good deal of money.
Although it’s great if their support is available round the clock, the important thing is to get the right information at the right time. They should be able to answer your questions until you are satisfied.
Without reliable customer support, you can’t benefit from the crypto signal service the way you should.
In short, if you are going to hire the service of a crypto signal service, we suggest that you follow the tips given in this article. This way you can make the right choice.
Crypto currency vs. Fiat currency
Are you aware of the fiat currencies and the crypto currencies? They both are currencies in one form or the other and are open for public use across the world. But they are both different and distinct in their own ways. There is always one group that favors the use of cryptos, while the other has a soft corner for the fiat currencies.
In cashless society- crypto money play a huge role
If you have a look at the market of the 1970s and 1980s, you will find that the cash played the dominant role. But, with the change in the technology, electronic transactions have become the usual norm. Today, more and more people are influenced in becoming the cashless society. With the progress towards the cashless society, cryptocurrencies have a big role to play.
Crypto currency and fiat currency are always at loggerheads
Cryptocurrency and fiat currency are popular types of digital currency, especially when it is about an online transaction. They both are currencies currently in use in the market but have some differences in them. There is a hell lot of hypes that you will hear on a daily basis comparing the crypto money and the fiat money. This article will highlight the difference between the two in a more comprehensive and clear manner.
Differentiating in what the currencies stand for
Before going for the difference between the two, you must understand what do they stand for and how are they are defined.
The fiat currency is a legal tender that has the support of the central government, and it operates in the physical form. For instance, US dollars, British Pounds, Euro etc. On the other hand, the crypto currency is a non-legal tender, and doesn’t have any backup from the central government or bank.
Hence, the difference between crypto currency and fiat currency is noted as follows:
• Crypto-currencies are decentralized and global in nature. There are no one entity or government that controls the currency with their laws and regulations. The Fiat currency is centralized, under the control of the laws and regulations of the banks and government.
• Crypto-currencies have their existence only in the digital domain. On the other hand, you will find that the fiat currencies have a tangible and physical existence.
• There is a limited supply of crypto-currencies with a maximum set of them getting supplied in the market. Whereas, the fiat money has an unlimited supply as the government and bank are entitled to produce coins and paper money whenever the situation is required.
• The Bitcoin and other crypto type currencies are created by the computers, while the fiat currencies are issued by the local government and the banks.
• Cryptocurrencies are presented as the public and private code pieces. On the other hand, the fiat currencies are presented in the form of coins and paper money.
• The value of the crypto currencies is not recognized by the supply and demand of the market. Whereas, the fiat currency value is determined by the market regulations of supply and demand.
The different types of crypto and fiat currencies
In the last one decade, the popularity of crypto type currencies has emerged as a huge success. It was in 2009, when Bitcoin was first introduced, and years after several other types of crypto currencies have emerged. Starting from Litecoin. Dogecoin, Ripple to the Dcash and Zcash, there is a plethora of them. On the other hand, the fiat currency has a rich and ancient roots, with the Great British Pound, that dates back to 775 AD. It is considered as the oldest currency in the world that is still in use.
The differences in the anonymity between the two currencies
When you are using the fiat currencies, you need to undergo a user identification or verification process. You are asked to upload a recent picture of yourself and some of the required documents to be issued as per the public authorities. You don’t need to undergo any of the required processes with the crypto currencies. Though your personal information and confidential details don’t get public, but all your transactions are recorded and tracked in both the fiat and the crypto currencies.
Fiat currency vs crypto currency: transparency level
• The transparency level with the crypto type currencies are considered to be more. This is because the revenue streams are displayed in a public chain. Everyone can witness their own and others’ transactions.
• The fiat or govt. currencies are not transparent, as there are not public chains to see the revenue streams of the people.
A comparative historical roots
If you compare the crypto money with that of its counterpart, fiat or government currency, you will find that their existence and creation brings the difference. The Fiat or government currency, dates back its existence as early as 775 AD with the introduction of the Great British Pound. This is why fiat type currency is easily accepted by the people all over.
On the other hand, the crypto coin was perhaps first introduced only a decade ago, with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009. The challenge that the Bitcoin and other crypto currencies face is catching up with the immense popularity and increasing fan base of the fiat currency. Crypto currency, is no doubt gaining importance and popularity in the economic market, but it has still not been accepted widely in the society as the fiat currency.
A comparative history of the two currencies:
• It was in the 11th century, when the Chinese Song dynasty was perhaps the first one to issue the paper money. It was not allowed to exchange with valuables like gold and silver or silk.
• There were Tally sticks that were introduced as a fiat or government currency. 1100 Tally sticks were introduced as a combat for the shortages in gold.
• 1971, was the year, when the fiat currency received a worldwide recognition. President Nixon introduced it in order to eliminate the dollar pegging system to gold.
• It was in 1998, when the idea of an anonymous electronic cash system emerged by Wei Dai. Bitgold-the very first crypto currency was created by Nick Szabo, but it didn’t receive as much attention as Bitcoin.
• In 2009, Bitcoin was introduced in the market, that became the first crypto currency that was accepted across the globe. In 2011 and after, a series of several other crypto currencies were introduced. Some of the popular ones include, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, Dash and so on.
The traits of both the currencies
The potential of the crypto type currencies and fiat currencies, accessing their traits is important. You will find that in some of the criteria, Bitcoin and other crypto currency is superior than the fiat or government currency, and in some cases, the latter surpasses. It is absolutely your call to choose the type of currency (crypto type currency or fiat type currency) based on your personal needs and requirements.
Let us compare their traits with respect to certain factors.
• Both the crypto coins and fiat type currencies are interchangeable in nature.
• As per the portability is concerned both the currencies secure more or less the same position.
• With respect to the non consumable criteria, crypto currency and fiat type currency have the equal status.
• Crypto type currencies have high durability as compared to the fiat-currencies that have moderate level of durability.
• Both the crypto or virtual currencies and the fiat or government currencies ensure secure and safeguarded transactions and exchange.
• Crypto or digital currencies are highly divisible in nature. On the other hand, the fiat type currencies are moderately divisible.
• In terms of the transaction process, the crypto currencies are easy and hassle free. Whereas, on the other hand, the traction process associated with the fiat currencies are easy, but not like the cryptos.
• The crypto based currencies are decentralized and global in nature, unlike the fiat currencies that are centralized and functions under the laws and regulations of the government.
• The crypto based currencies have high scarcity, where as, the fiat currencies are unlimited as the government can issue coins and paper money whenever there is a need.
• The crypto based currencies are based on mathematical algorithms, and are programmable. The fiat currencies are not at all programmable.
• The fiat currencies are sovereign in nature, while the crypto currencies are not.
The process of the functioning of the currencies
You can find the significant differences between the crypto or digital currencies and the fiat currencies with the way they both operate and the transaction process that take place. They are contrasting in nature. The transfer of money using the Bitcoin is very quick, and you absolutely don’t need any third party association.
On the other hand, if you are involved with the money exchange using Fiat type currency, a mobile wallet is in use. You can exchange an amount of e-money that gets transferred into the equal e-value amount. Both the fiat and the crypto currencies enable you to purchase everything that you desire. But the processes involved are absolutely distinct from each other.
Depending on the things you purchase, you will find that one currency form is better than the other. This is absolutely your choice.
Is Bitcoin, a crypto currency better than the fiat-currency?
The long term benefits and the capability of the Bitcoins is still not established. But it has been predicted by the crypto currency gurus and experts, that they will go a long way, especially revolutionizing the way the online transactions are done. In the current market, the Bitcoin is mainly included in the online casinos and the gambling, but it is not limited to it.
Furthermore, when you compare the fiat currencies, the Bitcoin allows you to seize the power and authority from the banks and the government since it is not controlled. The cryptography based currency has the capability to create or come up with the free market capitals. Fiat currencies are affected by the inflation and the changes in the market, unlike the crypto based currencies. Such aspects make individuals believe that cryptograph based currencies will soon take over the mainstream currencies and bring a transformation in the way the money is used.
Why is Bitcoins considered to be a better aspect than the fiat type currencies?
• Bitcoin gives you the opportunity to re-create a free market capitalism.
• The power of controlling the money is absolutely with the individuals, and not with the banks like the fiat type currencies.
• When there is an inflation, the Bitcoin is not affected. But the Fiat type currency will be easier to lose and get affected by it.
• The Bitcoin currency is easy easier to exchange and transfer as compared to the fiat or government currencies.
• The transaction fees involved with the Bitcoin are way cheaper and easily affordable.
Crypto currencies seem to be a favorable option among the people
The fiat type currencies are the centralized and legal way of exchanging money. But, the crypto currencies have acquired immense popularity in the past few years. There will never be anyone who would act as a middle man, like the case with the banks. Moreover, the cryptos are way cheaper and less expensive that the conventional fiat currencies.
Send money anywhere directly without waiting for the bank’s approval
You can send money to anyone in the world directly, and it is super fast. The money gets cleared within a few minutes time. You don’t have to wait for the traditional clearing and verification processes of the banking systems, which might take up to several days to get a clearance. Since it is decentralized and doesn’t come under the law and regulations of the government, nobody has any power to do anything with your account.
The blockchain technology has a very big role to play
Thanks to the crypto currencies, that gives us the power and the authority to become our very own bank, and take control over our finances. It is because of the blockchain technology that offers a higher level of sophistication while dealing with the finances. In fact, there are some mainstream financial industries that have started incorporating the idea of the technology.
Cryptocurrency have been around for a while now and there are multiple papers and articles on basics of Cryptocurrency. Not only have the Cryptocurrency flourished but have opened up as a new and trusted opportunity for investors. The crypto market is still young but mature enough to pour in the adequate amount of data for analysis and predict the trends. Though it is considered as the most volatile market and a huge gamble as an investment, it has now become predictable to a certain point and the Bitcoin futures are a proof of this. Many concepts of the stock market have now been applied to the crypto market with some tweaks and changes. This gives us another proof that many people are adopting Cryptocurrency market every day, and currently more than 500 million investors are present in it. Though the total market cap of crypto market is $286.14 Billion that is roughly 1/65th of the stock market at the time of writing, the market potential is very high considering the success despite its age and the presence of already established financial markets. The reason behind this is nothing else but the fact that people have started believing in the technology and the products backing a crypto. This also means that the crypto technology have proven itself and so much that the companies have agreed to put their assets in the form of crypto coins or tokens. The concept of Cryptocurrency became successful with the success of Bitcoin. Bitcoin, which once used to be the only Cryptocurrency, now contributes only 37.6% to the total Cryptocurrency market. The reason being, emergence of new Cryptocurrencies and the success of projects backing them. This does not indicate that Bitcoin failed, in fact market capitalization of Bitcoin has increased, rather what this indicates is that crypto market have expanded as a whole.
These facts are enough to prove the success of Cryptocurrencies and their market. And in reality investment in Crypto market is considered as safe now, to the extent that some invest as for their retirement plan. Therefore what we need next are the tools for analysis of crypto market. There are many such tools that enable you to analyze this market in a manner similar to stock market providing similar metrics. Including coin market cap, coin stalker, cryptoz and investing. Even thought these metrics are simple, the do provide crucial information about the crypto under consideration. For example, a high market cap indicates a strong project, a high 24hour volume indicates high demand and circulating supply indicates the total amount of coins of that crypto in circulation. Another important metric is volatility of a crypto. Volatility is how much the price of a crypto fluctuates. Crypto market is considered as highly volatile, cashing out at a moment might bring in a lot of profit or make you pull your hairs. Thus what we look for is a crypto that is stable enough to give us time to make a calculated decision. Currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ethereum-classic (not specifically) are considered as stable. With being stable, they need to be strong enough, so that they do not become invalid or simply stop existing in the market. These features make a crypto reliable, and the most reliable Cryptocurrencies are used as a form of liquidity.
As far is crypto market is concerned, volatility comes hand in hand, but so do its most important property i.e. Decentralization. Crypto market is decentralized, what this means is that the price fall in one crypto does not necessarily means down trend of any other crypto. Thus giving us an opportunity in the form of what are called mutual funds. It’s a Concept of managing a portfolio of the crypto currencies that you invest in. The Idea is to spread your investments to multiple Cryptocurrencies so as to reduce the risk involved if any crypto starts on a bear run
Similar to this concept is the concept of Indices in crypto market. Indices provide a standard point of reference for the market as a whole. The Idea is to choose the top currencies in the market and distribute the investment among them. These chosen crypto currencies change if the index are dynamic in nature and only consider the top currencies. For example if a currency ‘X’ drops down to 11th position in crypto market, the index considering top 10 currencies would now won’t consider currency ‘X’, rather start considering currency ‘Y’ which have taken it’s place. Some providers such as cci30 and crypto20 have tokenized these Crypto indices. While this might look like a good Idea to some, others oppose due to the fact that there are some pre-requisites to invest in these tokens such as a minimum amount of investment is needed. While others such as cryptoz provide the methodology and a the index value, along with the currency constituents so that an investor is free to invest the amount he/she wants to and choose not to invest in a crypto otherwise included in an index. Thus, indices give you a choice to further smooth out the volatility and reduce the risk involved.
The crypto market might look risky at first look and many might still be skeptical of its authenticity, But the maturity that this market has attained within the short period of its existence is amazing and the proof enough for its authenticity. The biggest concern that investors have is volatility, for which there had been a solution in form of indices.
An enormous amount of research shows the importance of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) for students in elementary school through college for enhancing learning and improving important post-school outcomes.
Research by psychologists Richard Ryan, PhD, and Edward Deci, PhD, on Self-Determination Theory indicates that intrinsic motivation (doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable), and thus higher quality learning, flourishes in contexts that satisfy human needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Students experience competence when challenged and given prompt feedback. Students experience autonomy when they feel supported to explore, take initiative and develop and implement solutions for their problems. Students experience relatedness when they perceive others listening and responding to them. When these three needs are met, students are more intrinsically motivated and actively engaged in their learning.
Numerous studies have found that students who are more involved in setting educational goals are more likely to reach their goals. When students perceive that the primary focus of learning is to obtain external rewards, such as a grade on an exam, they often perform more poorly, think of themselves as less competent, and report greater anxiety than when they believe that exams are simply a way for them to monitor their own learning. Some studies have found that the use of external rewards actually decreased motivation for a task for which the student initially was motivated. In a 1999 examination of 128 studies that investigated the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivations, Drs. Deci and Ryan, along with psychologist Richard Koestner, PhD, concluded that such rewards tend to have a substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation by undermining people’s taking responsibility for motivating or regulating themselves.
Self-determination research has also identified flaws in high stakes, test focused school reforms, which despite good intentions, has led teachers and administrators to engage in precisely the types of interventions that result in poor quality learning. Dr. Ryan and colleagues found that high stakes tests tend to constrain teachers’ choices about curriculum coverage and curtail teachers’ ability to respond to students’ interests (Ryan & La Guardia, 1999). Also, psychologists Tim Urdan, PhD, and Scott Paris, PhD, found that such tests can decrease teacher enthusiasm for teaching, which has an adverse effect on students’ motivation (Urdan & Paris, 1994).
The processes described in self-determination theory may be particularly important for children with special educational needs. Researcher Michael Wehmeyer found that students with disabilities who are more self-determined are more likely to be employed and living independently in the community after completing high school than students who are less self-determined.
Research also shows that the educational benefits of self-determination principles don’t stop with high school graduation. Studies show how the orientation taken by college and medical school instructors (whether it is toward controlling students’ behavior or supporting the students’ autonomy) affects the students’ motivation and learning.
Self-determination theory has identified ways to better motivate students to learn at all educational levels, including those with disabilities.
Schools throughout the country are using self-determination instruction as a way to better motivate students and meet the growing need to teach children and youth ways to more fully accept responsibility for their lives by helping them to identify their needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.
Researchers have developed and evaluated instructional interventions and supports to encourage self-determination for all students, with many of these programs designed for use by students with disabilities. Many parents, researchers and policy makers have voiced concern about high rates of unemployment, under-employment and poverty experienced by students with disabilities after they complete their educational programs. Providing support for student self-determination in school settings is one way to enhance student learning and improve important post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Schools have particularly emphasized the use of self-determination curricula with students with disabilities to meet federal mandates to actively involve students with disabilities in the Individualized Education Planning process.
Programs to promote self-determination help students acquire knowledge, skills and beliefs that meet their needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness (for example, see Steps to Self-determination by educational researchers Sharon Field and Alan Hoffman). Such programs also provide instruction aimed specifically at helping students play a more active role in educational planning (for example, see The Self-directed Individualized Education Plan by Jim Martin, Laura Huber Marshall, Laurie Maxson, & Patty Jerman).
Drs. Field and Hoffman developed a model designed to guide the development of self-determination instructional interventions. According to the model, instructional activities in areas such as increasing self-awareness; improving decision-making, goal-setting and goal-attainment skills; enhancing communication and relationship skills; and developing the ability to celebrate success and learn from reflecting on experiences lead to increased student self-determination. Self-determination instructional programs help students learn how to participate more actively in educational decision-making by helping them become familiar with the educational planning process, assisting them to identify information they would like to share at educational planning meetings, and supporting students to develop skills to effectively communicate their needs and wants. Examples of activities used in self-determination instructional programs include reflecting on daydreams to help students decide what is important to them; teaching students how to set goals that are important to them and then, with the support of peers, family members and teachers, taking steps to achieve those goals. Providing contextual supports and opportunities for students, such as coaching for problem-solving and offering opportunities for choice, are also critical elements that lead to meeting needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness and thus, increasing student self-determination.
The jigsaw classroom technique can transform competitive classrooms in which many students are struggling into cooperative classrooms in which once-struggling students show dramatic academic and social improvements.
In the early 1970s, in the wake of the civil rights movement, educators were faced with a social dilemma that had no obvious solution. All over the country, well-intentioned efforts to desegregate America’s public schools were leading to serious problems. Ethnic minority children, most of whom had previously attended severely under-funded schools, found themselves in classrooms composed predominantly of more privileged White children. This created a situation in which students from affluent backgrounds often shone brilliantly while students from impoverished backgrounds often struggled. Of course, this difficult situation seemed to confirm age-old stereotypes: that Blacks and Latinos are stupid or lazy and that Whites are pushy and overly competitive. The end result was strained relations between children from different ethnic groups and widening gaps in the academic achievement of Whites and minorities.
Drawing on classic psychological research on how to reduce tensions between competing groups (e.g., see Allport, 1954; Sherif, 1958; see also Pettigrew, 1998), Elliot Aronson and colleagues realized that one of the major reasons for this problem was the competitive nature of the typical classroom. In a typical classroom, students work on assignments individually, and teachers often call on students to see who can publicly demonstrate his or her knowledge. Anyone who has ever been called to the board to solve a long division problem – only to get confused about dividends and divisors – knows that public failure can be devastating. The snide remarks that children often make when their peers fail do little to remedy this situation. But what if students could be taught to work together in the classroom – as cooperating members of a cohesive team? Could a cooperative learning environment turn things around for struggling students? When this is done properly, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.
In response to real educational dilemmas, Aronson and colleagues developed and implemented the jigsaw classroom technique in Austin, Texas, in 1971. The jigsaw technique is so named because each child in a jigsaw classroom has to become an expert on a single topic that is a crucial part of a larger academic puzzle. For example, if the children in a jigsaw classroom were working on a project about World War II, a classroom of 30 children might be broken down into five diverse groups of six children each. Within each group, a different child would be given the responsibility of researching and learning about a different specific topic: Khanh might learn about Hitler’s rise to power, Tracy might learn about the U.S. entry into the war, Mauricio might learn about the development of the atomic bomb, etc. To be sure that each group member learned his or her material well, the students from different groups who had the same assignment would be instructed to compare notes and share information. Then students would be brought together in their primary groups, and each student would present his or her “piece of the puzzle” to the other group members. Of course, teachers play the important role of keeping the students involved and derailing any tensions that may emerge. For example, suppose Mauricio struggled as he tried to present his information about the atomic bomb. If Tracy were to make fun of him, the teacher would quickly remind Tracy that while it may make her feel good to make fun of her teammate, she is hurting herself and her group – because everyone will be expected to know all about the atomic bomb on the upcoming quiz.
When properly carried out, the jigsaw classroom technique can transform competitive classrooms in which many students are struggling into cooperative classrooms in which once-struggling students show dramatic academic and social improvements (and in which students who were already doing well continue to shine). Students in jigsaw classrooms also come to like each other more, as students begin to form cross-ethnic friendships and discard ethnic and cultural stereotypes. Finally, jigsaw classrooms decrease absenteeism, and they even seem to increase children’s level of empathy (i.e., children’s ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes). The jigsaw technique thus has the potential to improve education dramatically in a multi-cultural world by revolutionizing the way children learn.
Since its demonstration in the 1970s, the jigsaw classroom has been used in hundreds of classrooms settings across the nation, ranging from the elementary schools where it was first developed to high school and college classrooms (e.g., see Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Rosenfield, & Sikes, 1977; Perkins & Saris, 2001; Slavin, 1980). Researchers know that the technique is effective, incidentally, because it has been carefully studied using solid research techniques. For example, in many cases, students in different classrooms who are covering the same material are randomly assigned to receive either traditional instruction (no intervention) or instruction by means of the jigsaw technique. Studies in real classrooms have consistently revealed enhanced academic performance, reductions in stereotypes and prejudice, and improved social relations.
Aronson is not the only researcher to explore the merits of cooperative learning techniques. Shortly after Aronson and colleagues began to document the power of the jigsaw classroom, Robert Slavin, Elizabeth Cohen and others began to document the power of other kinds of cooperative learning programs (see Cohen & Lotan, 1995; Slavin, 1980; Slavin, Hurley, & Chamberlain, 2003). As of this writing, some kind of systematic cooperative learning technique had been applied in about 1500 schools across the country, and the technique appears to be picking up steam. Perhaps the only big question that remains about cooperative learning techniques such as the jigsaw classroom is why these techniques have not been implemented even more broadly than they already have.
In the early 1960s, social psychologist William McGuire published some classic papers showing that it is surprisingly easy to change people’s attitudes about things that we all wholeheartedly accept as true. For example, for speakers armed with a little knowledge of persuasion, it is remarkably easy to convince almost anyone that brushing one’s teeth is not such a great idea. McGuire’s insight into this curious phenomenon was that it is easy to change people’s minds about things that they have always taken for granted precisely because most people have little if any practice resisting attacks on attitudes that no one ever questions.
Taking this logic a little further, McGuire asked if it might be possible to train people to resist attacks on their beliefs by giving them practice at resisting arguments that they could easily refute. Specifically, McGuire drew an analogy between biological resistance to disease and psychological resistance to persuasion. Biological inoculation works by exposing people to a weakened version of an attacking agent such as a virus. People’s bodies produce antibodies that make them immune to the attacking agent, and when a full-blown version of the agent hits later in life, people win the biological battle against the full-blown disease. Would giving people a little practice fending off a weak attack on their attitudes make it easier for people to resist stronger attacks on their attitudes that come along later? The answer turns out to be yes. McGuire coined the phrase attitude inoculation to refer to the process of resisting strong persuasive arguments by getting practice fighting off weaker versions of the same arguments.
Once attitude inoculation had been demonstrated consistently in the laboratory, researchers decided to see if attitude inoculation could be used to help parents, teachers, and social service agents deal with a pressing social problem that kills about 440,000 people in the U.S. every year: cigarette smoking. Smoking seemed like an ideal problem to study because children below the age of 10 or 12 almost always report negative attitudes about smoking. However, in the face of peer pressure to be cool, many of these same children become smokers during middle to late adolescence.
Adolescents change their attitudes about smoking (and become smokers) because of the power of peer pressure. Researchers quickly realized that if they could inoculate children against pro-smoking arguments (by teaching them to resist pressure from their peers who believed that smoking is “cool”), they might be able to reduce the chances that children would become smokers. A series of field studies of attitude inoculation, conducted in junior high schools and high schools throughout the country, demonstrated that brief interventions using attitude inoculation dramatically reduced rates of teenage smoking. For instance, in an early study by Cheryl Perry and colleagues (1980), high school students inoculated junior high schools students against smoking by having the younger kids role-play the kind of situations they might actually face with a peer who pressured them to try a cigarette. For example, when a role-playing peer called a student “chicken” for not being willing to try an imaginary cigarette, the student practiced answers such as “I’d be a real chicken if I smoked just to impress you.” The kids who were inoculated in this way were about half as likely to become smokers as were kids in a very similar school who did not receive this special intervention.
Public service advertising campaigns have also made use of attitude inoculation theory by encouraging parents to help their children devise strategies for saying no when peers encourage them to smoke. Programs that have made whole or partial use of attitude inoculation programs have repeatedly documented the effectiveness of attitude inoculation to prevent teenage smoking, to curb illicit drug use, and to reduce teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. In comparison with old-fashioned interventions such as simple education about the risks of smoking or teenage pregnancy, attitude inoculation frequently reduces risky behaviors by 30-70% (see Botvin et al., 1995; Ellickson & Bell, 1990; Perry et al., 1980). As psychologist David Myers put it in his popular social psychology textbook, “Today any school district or teacher wishing to use the social psychological approach to smoking prevention can do so easily, inexpensively, and with the hope of significant reductions in future smoking rates and health costs.” So the next time you think about inoculating kids to keep them healthy, make sure you remember that one of the most important kinds of inoculation any kid can get is a psychological inoculation against tobacco.