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Students need tools to safeguard their mental health in uncertain times

Sian Beilock – Hechinger Report |

My own research has shown that when people are afraid of math, neural alarm signals go off in the brain before a math test — not during or after. Our anxiety comes from our worries about what might or could happen. 

This seems especially true for young people. They haven’t lived through similar experiences they can draw upon for context. That’s why seeing uncertainty for what it is, even during these unprecedented times, can prove challenging.

Sian Beilock, a cognitive scientist, is president of Barnard College at Columbia University.

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