Executive Function Isn’t What You Think It Is (Maybe)

As a soccer coach, I want my students to get better at soccer. As an English teacher, I want my students to get better at English. And, as a hip-hop dance instructor, I want my students to get better at hip-hop dance. To accomplish

What’s Better than Attention? Attention + LEARNING!

We know that exercise breaks help young students pay attention. Do those breaks help older students pay attention, AND LEARN? Continue reading

What’s the Ideal Size for Online Discussion Groups?

We’re all learning lots about online teaching these days: new software (Zoom), new vocabulary (“asynchronous”), new fads (teaching in pajamas). In many cases, we’re just going with our instincts here. Relying on our experience, we know to [insert technique here].

“How to Study Less and Learn More”: Explaining Learning Strategies to our Students

Because cognitive science gives us such good guidance about learning, we want to share that information with our students. “Study THIS WAY!” we cry. “Research says so!” Alas, all too often, students don’t follow our advice. A key part of

Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive

How are you feeling? We ask this question often because our feelings are an important source of information about our internal lives, yet too often we do not ask or answer with sincerity. Marc Brackett, a Yale professor and Director

What’s Better Than Caffeine (And Doesn’t Require Electrodes)?

Is there an easy way to help students use their working memory more effectively? Do we have to zap their brains with electricity to accomplish this goal? Continue reading

The Limits of “Desirable Difficulties”: Catching Up with Sans Forgetica

Can a hard-to-read font improve student learning? That’s a very strange question, but in 2019 we had some reasons to think the answer was “yes.” Just published research updates our understanding. Continue reading

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman

Scott Barry Kaufman, author/editor of bold and brilliant books including Ungifted, Wired to Create, and Twice Exceptional, once again released a powerful, creative, and comprehensive book to help people reach their fullest potential and create a better society. Transcend: The

“Doing Science” or “Being a Scientist”: What Words Motivate Students?

If teachers could boost students’ motivation — even slightly — by changing our language, would that effort be worth the time? Continue reading

Unbearable Irony: When Dunning-Kruger Bites Back…

People who don’t know much about a topic typically overestimate their expertise. We call this the Dunning-Kruger Effect. So: what happens when someone who doesn’t know much about the Dunning-Kruger Effect tries to explain it? Brace yourself for an excess of irony. Continue reading