Integration of Nursing Informatics Skills and Competencies

Computer systems support the development of wisdom in nursing science. From both mandatory and optional readings for this class, I have developed a new vision of nursing informatics. This is the vision that nursing informatics is inseparable from nursing science and that it comprises four major competencies of nurses: data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (Matney et al., 2011). You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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In McGonigle & Mastrian (2015), it is explicitly stated that nursing informatics has become an integral part of the nursing profession. Given this, skills and competencies associated with this field of knowledge need to be cultivated in nurses. Specifically, as a nurse, every professional is required “to use information technology to communicate, manage knowledge, manage error, and support decision-making” (p.12). Further, nursing informatics competencies are those that help the nurse ensure that she/he delivers health care which is both of high quality and safety. Based on the report by Association of Colleges of Nursing QSEN Consortium (2012), informatics is one of core nursing competencies and embraces a number of clearly defined skills, including the following: application of performance improvement tools (such as Lean, PDSA, Six Sigma) in carrying out system analysis and system design to improve care; participation in the processes of selection, design, implementation, as well as evaluation of various information systems; searching, retrieving, and managing data to make adequate decisions with the help of information and knowledge management systems; promoting access to existing patient care information for healthcare providers; and accessing and evaluating high quality electronic sources that contain health care information (Association of Colleges of Nursing QSEN Consortium, 2012).
In this way, nursing informatics professionals have their own set of competencies essential for the types of services they deliver. They need to integrate a number of skills with the aim of achieving their nursing care and information technology goals.

References
American Association of Colleges of Nursing QSEN Consortium. (2012). Graduate-level QSEN

competencies: Knowledge, skills and attitudes. Retrieved

from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/faculty/qsen/competencies.pdf.
Matney, S., Brewster, P. J., Sward, K. A.,Cloyes, K. G., & Staggers, N. (2011). Philosophical

approaches to the nursing informatics data-information-knowledge-wisdom

framework. Advances in Nursing Science, 34 (1), 6-18.

Knowledge Sharing

In Chapter 5, Fullan asserts that knowledge sharing is the “wave of the future” and certainly convinces his audience of its importance and social benefit. However, just teaching people information or having them ingest new knowledge will not lead to change or growth, because new information needs to be implemented and used to become useful. Fullan argues that while many companies invest resources into training and technology, they do not do it from the perspective of knowledge creation and sharing.

Although knowledge creation and sharing is an ideal objective, it is hard to locate, determine what is essential to share and then how to disseminate it throughout an organization. It seems obvious that tacit and explicit knowledge sharing is vital to properly functioning and effective company systems and structure. Companies spend billions of dollars in training, professional development, and worker’s knowledge, therefore it is vital that businesses find the way to share knowledge, skills. Losing inestimable amounts of social capital in the form of knowledge is not in their best interest because it affects quality, efficiency and overall performance of operations that incur several departments. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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One way that businesses succeed in knowledge sharing activities is to encourage an organizational culture that values “mutual trust, active empathy, access to help, lenience in judgment, and courage” (Fullan, 2011, p. 82). While these qualities are not considered conventionally businesslike, they help create an environment where knowledge sharing and creation naturally occur because they are promoted. Also, from an HR management and a bottom line perspective, these activities are the most logical way to maintain and preserve the institutional knowledge and expertise within the walls of any organization. For example, a person who has realized the value of their knowledge and the importance of sharing it is: “a caring expert” who “is an organizational member who reaches her level of personal mastery in tacit and explicit knowledge and understands that she is responsible for sharing the process” (as quoted in Fullan, p. 86).
Chapter 6 (“Coherence Making”)deals with change and understanding that it is a necessary dynamic for evolving and growing. Fullan argues that “disturbance” done consciously can elicit desired and calculated outcomes (p. 109). However, top down approaches to management or enforcing structure and organization where it goes against nature and creativity and that a certain level of chaos is necessary to spur new thinking and solutions. This chapter also emphasizes qualities such as listening, slow learning/knowledge, patience, and points out that effective leaders do not have all of the answers and should not.
In Chapter 7, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, Fullan presents three lessons regarding how leaders need to take on the qualities of the hare from the classic fable and embody patience, listening and slow learning in order to win. These qualities contribute to building deeper coherence and committed members within an organization. The lessons in this chapter are meant to encourage traditional leaders to become leaders for cultures of change. Some of the leadership lessons that I found important in this chapter were: letting go of control, changing the approach to strategy to become a “context setter”, and developing and maintaining a vision as a leader and change agent (p. 112).

What Is The Epic of Gilgamesh About?

This video is an animated version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the great stories of ancient civilizations. Gilgamesh was a ruler in Mesopotamia, and he was known for both his strength and his capacity for building great structures. A man who was seen as something close to a God by the people around him, he took it upon himself to build those structures in order to protect his people from threats around them. As the video makes clear, though, no amount of structures could protect the people under Gilgamesh’s care from Gilgamesh himself. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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Gilgamesh goes out on a long journey with Enkidu, and during the process, they are faced with tremendous challenges. They go into the forest, and they fight off both sickness and other threats that might have ultimately hurt them. Eventually, after the two built a raft and floated down the river, Enkidu falls sick, and he eventually dies. Gilgamesh is saddened by this, but he is motivated to not suffer the same fate as his friend. In response to the loss of Enkidu, Gilgamesh determines that he is going to seek out immortality in whatever possible. In order to do so, Gilgamesh must go and speak with a wise boatman, who tells him all about a host of different things that have taken place in the past, including a great flood. It is then that Gilgamesh meets the Ancient One, who is supposed to provide him with eternal life. Gilgamesh is unable to stay awake in order to fulfill the Ancient One’s wishes. Gilgamesh loses his opportunity for immortality at this point. Eventually, Gilgamesh loses another opportunity to gain immortality when, again, he could not stay awake. Upon returning home, Gilgamesh understands that he will not have eternal life, but he looks at the things that he has built, and he understands that it is not his fate to live forever, but for his creations to carry on his legacy long after him.
This is one of the most important stories ever told, and it exists as a significant relic both of history and literature. One of the most important takeaways that one can have about this story is that during the early development of society, there was a tremendous of respect for the leaders. Gilgamesh can be understood as the writer’s vision of what an ideal leader looks like. He is strong and able to do things that no man could do. This shows that the people in early civilizations often held their rulers out to be more than just human, and this can help one understand how these leaders assume such places of unassailable power.
In addition, this story shows the significance of creation stories and how religions potentially developed. Gilgamesh was on a great quest to find immortality and eternal life. He was confronting the biggest questions in life – why are we here and what is the point of it all? In order to find those answers, he marches long and far, and he encounters many dangers. This is significant, too, because it shows that even the strongest people are in search of those answers. What this communicates, then, is that religion took hold in many ancient civilizations as a means of answering the difficult questions that the people had no means of answering on their own. Religions eventually became more complex, but their roots go back as far as time, with people coming up with various theories for how to live on forever, as death was just as uncertain then as it is now.

Internet Information Providers

This industry is very attractive for incumbent organizations. Facebook, Twitter, and Google all have an established presence and foothold in this sector. Judging by shares and price, each of these companies is doing very well as they all have high market capitalizations. According to Yahoo, Google’s market capitalization (as listed) is over half a trillion dollars, at $562.6 billion. Data from Yahoo also shows that Google and Facebook have ROE percentages of 15.02 and 19.76, respectively. These show very good returns. However, data from Yahoo also shows Twitter with a ROE of -10.18%. This company does not seem to be doing as well as Google or Facebook. Here we can see that Google and Facebook are generating a lot of profit for their shareholders, while Twitter is not. This industry is attractive and for the most part, the returns from these stocks are very good. Incumbent organizations are able sustain competitive advantage as there are many barriers to entry for new firms, and companies of this size are able to form strategic alliances and continue to capitalize on new investment opportunities in the industry.

Considering long term potential for the industry, attractiveness is very high. Looking at long-term debt, we see that Google has a fairly high ratio, and Twitter’s is extremely high. This means that each of these companies have long term debt obligations in comparison to their shareholders equity. However, these types of companies have intricate assets, and companies in the technology sector make many long term investments. The technologies that these companies utilize continue to grow, offering new opportunities every day. Therefore, the industry should see continued success over the next 5 to 10 years. However, Twitter does not seem nearly as attractive as Google or Facebook, since its ROE is negative and it has very high long term debt to equity ratio. These companies show large market capitalization, meaning they have the breadth to attract a number of investments and opportunities in the future in the form of mergers, alliances, and new product developments. Advancements in technology, which increase year after year, make companies in this industry extremely attractive in the long run. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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Human Sexuality Course Reflection

To be honest, walking into class at the beginning of semester I felt interested, yet, a little bit uncomfortable about discussing sexuality in class. However, over the course of semester, the topics we covered, the materials we read, the discussions we had, and personal reflections I had made me more open to discussing and thinking about sexuality. Further, the course has challenged some of the stereotypes I had and equipped me with terminology to approach the topic of sex without feeling shame. Overall, the course has helped me to develop a multi-facet concept of human sexuality that is not limited to sexual behavior. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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Topics covered in this course have affected my perceptions of human sexuality. Before, I interpreted sexuality merely as behavior aiming at obtaining sexual pleasure and did not necessarily see it as being laden with all the other aspects, including, values, self-concept, cultural norms, etc. In other words, my perception of sexuality has evolved from thinking of sexuality as of separate aspect of one’s life, to regarding it as an important domain of one’s life which is interwoven into complex personality structure with all the values, beliefs, goals, interests, habits, and attitudes one has. Sexuality is not an independent sphere, but is rather an important extension of the person.
Being an important domain of one’s personal life, sexuality may serve as a source of both satisfaction and frustration. Sex is an important component of romantic relationships that helps to build intimacy and brings fun and pleasure to both partners. The course has supplemented this preexisting belief with understanding that in order to make sex a positive aspect of their relationships, couples have to communicate openly about it. Discussing their values, levels of commitment, desired sexual experiences, contraception will make sex more pleasant and relaxed for both partners (Herbenick). Before taking this course, I was convinced that talking about sex would take all the fun and excitement out of it. However, my attitude has changed and I know know that treating sex responsibly is a mature, safer, and more rewarding approach.
Discussing sexuality in the context of relationships, this course has led me to believe that in order to have a strong and satisfying relationship, it is important to find a person who has similar values, expectations, and desires when it comes to sex. The course has highlighted how different the values and beliefs regarding sex may be. Taking into account that sexual compatibility is important for relationship satisfaction (Mark, 2012), these matters have to be discussed and settled before taking any serious steps in a relationship. Luckily, the course has equipped me with terminology and knowledge needed to approach these matters.
The course has deepened my knowledge about male and female physiology. This is not to say that I did not know sex-related organs before taking this course, but my knowledge was rather sporadic. Now, I have a better understanding or male and female reproductive systems. Importantly, I am now aware that the norm is quite wide when it comes to the shape and size of sexual organs. Finally, I know more about sexually transmitted diseases and contraception than I did before taking this course and this information is important for making informed decisions.
Some of the course material has surprised me. Namely, learning about some of the historical attitudes towards sexuality and masturbation was somewhat disturbing. Seeing pictures of various chastity devices and learning about restricting social norms in different societies made me think of sexual revolution as of even more important step towards personal liberation. This is especially true for women, who were subjected to more limitations and social disapproval regarding sexuality. Further, I have come to believe that we are lucky to have reliable birth control methods available to us, as it offers additional sexual freedom.
The course has done a lot to enhance my understanding of sexuality and has allowed for me to form better informed attitudes and beliefs about sexuality. All the material featured in the course was valuable and interesting. At the same time, it would be beneficial to add more information about social aspects of sexuality, including practical advice about how to approach the topic of sex with your partner, how to make clear that someone’s sexual remarks are not welcome etc. Discussing these matters is important as we all are well-informed theoretically, but lack skills and knowledge on how to approach these questions in real life. All in all, this course has helped me to develop a more mature, conscious, and responsible attitude towards sexuality and provided me with knowledge that will influence how I approach sex and build relationships.

References
Herbenick, D. (2009, March 9). Communicating About Sex: You Know It Matters, But How To Do It? Retrieved from https://kinseyconfidential.org/communicating-sex-matters/.
Mark, K. (2012, March 20). Sexual Compatibility: The Importance to Your Satisfaction. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-pleasure/201203/sexual-compatibility-the-importance-your-satisfaction.

Traditional teaching vs. Progressive teaching

With the ever-changing times and changes happening with people with every single passing decade, the debate regarding traditional and progressive teaching methods becomes more and more prominent. There will probably be never a unified opinion regarding the necessity for new teaching strategies and methods. There will never be a consensus whether time tested teaching ways are still working effectively decades later. Instead of joining the pointless battle among the supporters of whichever approach, this paper will attempt to seek understanding regarding the primary differences between the two approaches as well as pick out the best elements of each and unite them into something new. It is clear that the debate regarding traditional and progressive teachings boils down to a simple subjective perspective since some people would be more receptive to traditional ways and vice versa. What is clear is that the old methods have to be constantly mixed with the new ones so that the entire system of education could remain up-to-date and relevant to the needs and challenges of current times. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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The differences between two approaches can be summed nicely in a series of various principles or rather how each system views some notion or element to education differently. Traditional teaching deems school as a preparation for life. The entire studies are supposedly aimed to preparing a child to adulthood by providing everyone with the necessary skill set and knowledge. According to the progressive system, school is already a part of life, and this approach seems to be far more interesting nowadays and logical. The traditionalist approach lifts quite a bit of responsibility from the students’ shoulders and for a very long period of time, up to eleven or twelve years. The progressive approach, on the other hand, offers to accept life immediately, in the moment, thus teaching students that every decision has consequences, and that there is no a trial period to life. Such a vision is far more realistic and is more able to prove while studying at school is not some boring chore, which has to be completed in order to please the parents, but something beneficial for the students first and foremost.
Traditional system of teaching regards learners as passive participants in the learning process whose mission is to absorb information and accept authority from the teachers. The progressive way of teaching would rather deem learners as active participants in the learning process – partners to teachers so that problem solving could happen with the participation of both parties. Again, the same trend emerges as it becomes apparent that the progressive style of teaching is putting far more responsibility on the student, who has to do all the “dirty work” of finding much information, processing it accordingly, and only resort to the teacher if there are some truly non-understandable elements.
The traditional perspective believes that parents are to stay away out of the educational realm completely while the progressive way of thinking considers parents to be the primary teachers in the lives of children with the biggest potential of setting the right goals and plans for their children. Traditional teaching utilizes linear learning with the gradual accumulation of skills and knowledge while progressive teaching is not afraid to take “scenic routes” and deflect from the primary course for the sake of more breadth and depth in education. Traditional teaching is more inclined to keep disciplines separated while progressive methods of teaching often attempt to integrate disciplines so that the students of any age would keep seeing the big picture and various interdisciplinary notions which would lead to better understanding of every single discipline as a result.
Another important difference between two approaches, which has to be singled out, is that traditional teaching believes in success based on memory and recall within a particular time frame and space. This means that the students have to rely on their memory rather than logic and ability to make connections. Progressive teaching has faith in application of knowledge over time including collaboration with the teaching party.
If one is to compare the approaches by bell hooks and Ron Scapp, they coincide in the notion that a school should be a fun place and not an ordeal, which has to be endured. This approach makes them progressivists at the foundation. Traditional teaching regards school as the task of endurance while progressive way of thinking believes in school as a fun part of life, which has its own challenges nonetheless. Bell hooks notes the importance of the dialogue between the teacher and the students as the first step on the way to crossing boundaries. She is a person who was raised within the traditional paradigm, and it was only after becoming a teacher that she understood the necessity in the change of approach. She believes in constantly shaking up the process so that the students could remain engaged at all times and not resort to boredom. Another important thesis, which should be singled out among her thoughts is that any notion or scientific theory, which cannot be talked about understandably in an everyday conversation cannot and should not be used for education. Scapp was a progressive educator from the start, and his beliefs are rooted in pragmatism rather than the ephemeral “what is right.” In his opinion, the debate over the right methods of teaching is often sent off into the ditch by the discussions of what is right. His belief is rooted in the notion that students have to be given everything necessary without being bogged down by unnecessary information and actions within the day to date studying process.
It can be argued endless which system is better or worse as each has drawbacks and cannot seem to exist apart from each other. Lectures, for instance, still remain the hit within the methodic department at the universities, because, apparently, there is no better way of delivering lots of information to a large group of people sitting within one room. At the same time, many lecturers engage the audience these days and attempt to start a dialogue so that the delivery of information would not be one way. It is clear that delegating more responsibilities to students is necessary, but a student cannot do well at times without the teacher’s firm hand, because a student can often lose track of what is important and what has to be paid undivided attention due to the lack of experience. Either way, it seems that for the sake of the most effective studying process, both approaches have to be united in the harmonious way. At times, there are situations when students should be passive in order to absorb the information as much as humanely possible. The passive role has to be varied with the active one all the time in order to keep the students’ mind engage and interested in what is happening. After studying both approaches, the obvious old cliché comes to mind – everything is good in moderation. Therefore, teachers should try to unite both approaches, use their best elements whenever necessary, and to vary them accordingly so as to make the process of teaching effective.

Division of Study Skills

There are many ways to study, and the choices a student makes to get through college are basically a means to an end that hopefully leads to knowledge, a high grade, and future success. While the study skills a student has may develop over time, they are often combined with innate skill that can be frustrating to those who do not come by the skills naturally. No matter what study method a student uses, there are benefits and drawbacks to each method. To have one study style is to have found a compromise between the costs and the rewards of those study habits to gain whatever academic achievements a student deems important. The purpose of this paper is to articulate the division of study skills used by college students and explain some of their advantages and disadvantages.

The first type of study skill used by very few students is the dedicated, motivated method. These students typically have good grades, but they earned them through hard work. Often, these students do not know the meaning of the word procrastination. They do not hurry through their assignments because they start them early. They do not stress about due dates because they are finished early. They have time to contemplate and learn to a greater extent because that is what they spend their leisure time doing, schoolwork. This is the greatest drawback to this plan, time consumption. The students using these study skills are very good at schoolwork, but they have little time for anything else. It the long-term, some would argue that this does not matter because school takes up very little time relative to a lifetime, but others would argue that it’s a waste of the college experience. The conundrum lies in the tradeoff between fun and dedication, but those who have this skill do not necessarily see it as a problem. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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There are also students who are very particular about their conditions when studying. They may require complete silence and not be able to study unless they can find a quiet environment. Others carry headphones to drown out outside sound from their hearing range. Some must have a certain writing utensil, lighting condition, or other specific item to study effectively. The advantage to this study skill is that the student has found a tool that will allow them to study. The disadvantage is that they cannot study without this tool. It is a crutch, but as long as it’s available, there is no problem.
Night owls are students that like to study late into the night. They are likely late to their classes, but they make up for it by studying into the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes these people go to the library to keep their focus on their studies. Often, night owls fall simultaneously under the category of procrastinators because they have to get their work done before their class the next morning. The advantage to this study skill is that the person is accomplishing the task at hand, even though it is late at night. The disadvantage is that they are likely forgoing other commitments in the morning, and they are possibly giving up social time.
The opposite of night owls exists, but they are rare. These individuals get up early to study prior to class. This can be a benefit because many students have more effective learning capacity first thing in the morning. However, the effort that is used on early morning study is lost in early morning classes, where a student has already exhausted some of his or her ability for the day.
The procrastinator is the most infamous of all the study habits. Waiting until the last minute is never advised, but some people do their best work at crunch time. Working on a strict deadline creates a stressful environment in which some thrive. You’ll often hear of people racing to class after turning in an assignment two minutes prior to the deadline, and although exasperated, they are performing life as usual. The advantage to the study skills of the procrastinator are that they are able to connect haphazard, disorganized, and poorly learned material into cohesive, intelligible work. It takes skill to create acceptable work in those conditions. However, the procrastinator loses the permanency of learning that occurs with quality time spent studying.
The last study skill is inexplicable unless you possess it. There are some who seem to absorb content through lecture and osmosis. Every college student who is not one of these magical learners has known one or heard of one. These are the students that show to every social gathering, possibly stay up late, and they ace their exams every time. They are sponges that absorb information, and they have active enough social lives that they could not have learned in any other environment than in the classroom. The advantage to this is obvious because they don’t require repetition or time to contemplate to learn. The disadvantage is that when instructors do not fully teach out of the classroom, there is no way these students can ingest the content required for an A. However, they sometimes inexplicably do.
The division of study skills is vast and varied, and it ultimately does not matter which skill a student has, as long as it is a means to a passing grade and a furtherance toward success. While each student is shackled with their particular learning style, they can usually find the advantages of their method and focus on success with that method. For others, they must remove those shackles and change their ways, but that is a more difficult process.

School Uniform

Dear Neil Kokemuller,

One cannot overstate the importance of education. Our children have barely learned to walk when they start their formal education career in a school. The society hopes the children will acquire the knowledge, skills, and character that will help them thrive in the real world and become productive members of the society. Thus, it is not surprising for different stakeholders including the parents to pay close attention to a school’s culture, rules, and environment to ensure the children are getting a well-rounded education. While almost everyone agrees each child is entitled to a good education, the stakeholders may have quite different opinions as to what constitutes a good education. A case in point is a school’s uniform policy which may be supported by some stakeholders while the others would see as detrimental to the overall learning process. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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The critics of a school uniform argue the role of school uniforms in reducing violence in the school has been exaggerated. They point out to Dr. Alan Hilfer who suggested the reduction in violence might have more to do with school violence awareness and prevention programs than school uniforms. The critics are concerned a school uniform policy prevents a child from expressing his individuality. The students may wear clothes that best reflect their unique personalities and tastes while a school uniform encourages sameness. The school uniforms are also criticized for imposing financial burden on low and middle income groups. Even if the school provides school uniform, the financial burden doesn’t disappear but is simply transferred to the tax payers. The critics of the school uniform are concerned the school uniforms probably increase violence outside the school’s boundaries. The school uniforms make it easier to identify the students from a rival school. The students from the schools with uniform policy may be bullied by the students from the schools with no uniform policy. Last but not least, the school uniforms may promote high levels of school pride, increasing the risk of inter-school conflicts .
The supporters of school uniform argue it creates a sense of community among the students. A school uniform may promote pride in the school which, in turn, results in greater respect for the organization. The supporters also believe school uniforms promote several desirable behaviors among the students. The school uniform teaches them it is what is on the inside that counts and not what is on the outside. The President Bill Clinton supported the idea of school uniforms in a March 1996 speech by arguing school uniforms will influence the young people to evaluate themselves on the basis of inner qualities rather than outward appearance .
The school uniform eliminates certain distractions such as worrying about clothes every day or comparing yourself to the peers. It may also reduce bullying of the students from lower socio-economic backgrounds who may, otherwise, be taunted by their fellow students from more prosperous socio-economic backgrounds. It is estimated roughly 160,000 students miss school in America every day due to fear of intimidation by the fellow students . The supporters of the school uniform believe it may help reduce crime among the students. In 1994, Long Beach, California school district became the first public school district to adopt school uniform policy. The school fights and muggings declined by 50 percent and sexual offences declined by 74 percent in the Long Beach, California school district in just a year .
If the supporters of the school uniform were to believe, the financial burden on the low and middle income groups goes down because they do not have to buy a whole wardrobe of dresses for their children . They may have to make initial investment in the school uniform but it will save them the need to buy other clothes later. The supporters also point out the popularity of school uniforms in many other countries including developed nations like Japan and the U.K. . The critics of the school uniforms do have valid concerns but the potential benefits of the school uniform exceed the potential shortcomings of such a policy. Thus, school uniforms should be embraced by the public schools because they encourage children to focus on more important things such as academics and personal characteristics rather than less important issues such as one’s physical appearance and socio-economic status.
It is important to take into account the desires of students, and a significant proportion of the students may welcome an opportunity to express their personal styles in school. The schools’ administrations could borrow a page from the corporate world by allowing the students to express their personal styles once a week. In other words, the students would be required to wear a school uniform four days a week while they could dress casually on the fifth day of the week. This policy will help achieve the benefits desired by both parties to the issues. The uniform policy will create a sense of community among the students, and encourage them to focus on students and co-curricular activities instead of outshining their fellow students in fashion trends. The uniform policy will also help reduce the socio-economic tensions in a school environment. The casual day will allow the students to express their personal styles, and may also help promote the goodwill towards the school. Last but not least, such a compromise will improve the working relationships between the supporters and the critics of school uniform policy.

Psychological Effects of Musical Training

The effects of listening to music are known to many people because the effects range from relaxation to excitement. However, the effects upon the brain development of performing musicians is not as common of a phenomenon simply because there are less musicians than there are listeners of music. This essay is interested in certain people who are musically gifted and train as musicians from an early age. After performing research, it is evident that there are differences in the brain structure of musicians who have trained since they were young, from the brains of others. For the purposes of this essay, the effects of musical training on the brain will be explored. It is possible that musical training satisfies a survival need that is deep-seeded within human nature. Furthermore, musical training has applications outside of musical performance, such as a learning aid, because of the way that it impacts brain development. This essay argues that musical training is a strenuous and healthy method to increase brain plasticity.Musical training. It can be argued that there is no other endeavor that requires as much of the brain as music demands from the human mind (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014). What is meant by this statement is that musical training stimulates a multisensory motor experience (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014). Being able to play an instrument, or sing, requires a skillset that includes reading a complex symbolic system, translating it into bimanual output with metric precision, sometimes relying upon memory or improvisation (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014). Furthermore, musical performance requires the timing with others who are going through the same neuro-experience (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014). The significant aspect of musical training is that it stimulates the brain in multiple ways which lead to increased plasticity of the brain through the use of the neural networks.

One of the most demanding parts of playing an instrument is sight reading. The reason that this is one of the most demanding parts of playing an instrument is that it requires the musician to simultaneously process vast amounts of information in a short period of time (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014). Since one must pay attention to everything in music, the effects upon the brain are beneficial. Having formal musical training is something that sharpens attentional and executive brain functions through the stimulation of different neural pathways (Miendlarzewska & Trost, 2014).

Musical training as a survival mode. Humans are animals and our brains are wired for survival. Part of survival is procreation. It has been researched that musical training is something that wires the brain towards survival because any mind that has the luxury of indulging in music must have all other parts of survival accomplished: “Music making is a reasonable index of biological fitness, and so a manifestation of sexual selection—analogous to the peacock’s tail. Anyone who can afford the biological luxury of making music must be strong and healthy” [italics] (Schäfer, Sedlmeier, Städtler, & Huron, 2013). Therefore, it is possible that musical training enhances the ability to survive sexual selection.

Musical training builds upon a foundational skill. The human brain has been found to have neuro circuits which respond to musical rules, i.e. chord progressions, beat, harmony, whether one is a trained musician or not (Herholz & Zatorre, 2012). Somehow, there is implicit understanding of the musical laws, even for novices and untrained musicians: “These results seem to indicate that passive exposure to music alone is sufficient to alter the neural response to musical sounds to some extent” (Herholz & Zatorre, 2012). If the neural response can be passively altered simply by listening to music, then the impact of the neural response from non-passive musical involvement, such as intensive musical training, is understandably significant.

Musical training as a learning device to increase reading skills. Because of the significant way that musical training has been proven to impact the ability to learn through increasing the plasticity of the brain, it has now been used as a learning aid for struggling readers (Gordon, Fehd, & McCandliss, 2015). By listening to music, struggling readers are able to identify with rhythm and meter (Gordon, Fehd, & McCandliss, 2015). Often the issues that hold a reader up can be solved through stimulating the neural pathways that are unstimulated without musical training (Gordon, Fehd, & McCandliss, 2015). Therefore, musical training has proven itself to improve neural plasticity because it has helped struggling readers put together words that, prior to musical training, did not make sense.

Conclusion

In conclusion, musical training is without a doubt something that increases brain plasticity because of the unique demands that music requires of the performer. This plasticity can be helped in many areas of one’s brain development; it seems that music is the missing piece to the puzzle when it comes to brain development. It is likely that the synapses that musical training exercises creates plasticity in other areas of the brain. Furthermore, musical performance is itself a multisensory experience. Therefore, the effects of musical training on the brain are that in increases plasticity, and it has applications that are above and beyond performing music. The recommendation of this author is to start one’s children in music at an early age—after all, it certainly will not harm a developing mind, and the evidence is strong that musical training may be the single most efficient way to develop a young person’s mind. You’re lucky! Use promo “samples20”
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References
Gordon, R. L., Fehd, H. M., & McCandliss, B. D. (2015). does music training enhance literacy skills? A meta-analysis.  Frontiers in Psychology,  6, 1777. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01777
Herholz, S. & Zatorre, R. (2012). Musical training as a framework for brain plasticity: behavior, function, and structure. Neuron, 76(3). doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.10.011
Miendlarzewska, E. & Trost, W. (2014). How musical training affects cognitive development: rhythm, reward and other modulating variables. Frontiers in Neuroscience.   doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2013.00279
Schäfer, T., Sedlmeier, P., Städtler, C., & Huron, D. (2013). The psychological functions of music listening.  Frontiers in Psychology,  4, 511. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00511