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scientists say listening to Mozart won't make kids smarter

-Researchers are debunking a popular theory that listening to the music of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart spurs brain development in children under 3 years of age.

The theory was widely publicized after 1993 and 1995 studies conducted on college students at the University of California-Irvine showed an increase in spatial reasoning immediately after exposure to a Mozart piano sonata.

But Kenneth Steele, a psychology professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and John Bruer, who heads the McDonnell Foundation in St. Louis, say there's no real benefit, and that one would see the same results listening to any kind of music or none at all. "People have tried to produce the effect all kinds of ways," Mr. Steele says.

Steele's research is published in the July issue of the journal Psychological Science. Bruer's book, "The Myth of the First Three Years," will be published next month.

Senate fights over how to better train teachers

WASHINGTON - Before summer recess began this week, a legislative fight over teacher training raged in the Senate as Republicans introduced legislation to turn President Clinton's plan to hire 100,000 new teachers into grants for states to educate and hire teachers as they please.

States know best whether they need more teachers, better-trained teachers, or a combination of the two, Senate Republicans said last week. Sen. Judd Gregg (R) of New Hampshire is sponsoring legislation similar to a bill passed by the House last month. Clinton has said he would veto that measure.

Interest groups complained that the Senate bill holds districts, schools, and teachers to lower standards on content knowledge and training.

Both the House and Senate versions would authorize $2 billion annually for five years.

- Compiled from news wires by Eric Unmacht

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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