A graphic of two heads facing each other in conversation: one with a lightbulb inside, the other with a question mark.

The Trad/Prog Debate Gets Weird

Few debates rage hotter in education circles than that between educational progressives and educational traditionalists. (I’m emphasizing “educational” in these phrases, because they don’t necessarily align with political trad/prog divides. This blog doesn’t do politics.) One recent summary — relying


The founder and director of the Emotional and Self-Control Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Ethan Kross has been a leading voice in a field that is helping us understand the workings of the conscious mind and how understanding its

Book Cover for The Hidden Lives of Learners by Graham Nuthall. The cover shows a mountain range in front of a blue and cloudy sky.

The Hidden Lives of Learners

Many times over the last several years, I’ve heard enthusiastic reviews of a seemingly-magical book called The Hidden Lives of Learners, by Graham Nuthall. Here’s the magic: Nuthall’s frankly astonishing research method. Working in New Zealand classrooms in the 1980s, he

Photograph of the author, wearing a blue shirt, pink tie, and glasses, smiling at the camera

To 600, and Beyond…

WordPress informs me that this is the 601st article I’ve posted on this blog. That’s a few hundred thousand words since 2015 or so. I’ve been honored over the years to meet so many of you who read this blog,

Man wearing Virtual Reality goggles, making gestures in the air

My Detective Adventure: “VR Will Transform Education”

A friend recently sent me a link to an article with a click-baity headline: something like “Virtual Reality Will Change Education Forever.” Her pithy comment: “This is obviously nonsense.” (It’s possible she used a spicier word that ‘nonsense.’) On the

An image of a brain in a human head, with EEG waves in the background

How Teachers Can Use Neuroscience in Education

I recently saw two very different looks at neuroscience and learning, and I thought they made a useful pairing for this blog. Here goes…   Regular readers know that I’ve recently been exploring research into movement and learning. That is:

Downside to Oxytocin

Warning: Misguided Neuroscience Ahead

I recently ran across a version* of this chart: As you can see, this chart lists several neurotransmitters and makes recommendations based on their purported roles. If you want to feel love, you should increase oxytocin. To do so, play

Thrivers by Michele Borba

Michele Borba begins this book by making a very important distinction: we have sought to raise children who strive, but while strivers can reach for more, they are left feeling empty and with dwindling psychological reserves when their goals are

African American student wearing a bow tie, hand to forehead, looking frustrated and disappointed

The Limitations of Retrieval Practice (Yes, You Read That Right)

Last week, I wrote that “upsides always have downsides.” That is: anything that teachers do to foster learning (in this way) might also hamper learning (in that way). We should always be looking for side effects. So, let me take

Upsides Always Have Downsides: “Side Effects” in Education Research

Here at Learning and the Brain, we believe that research can improve education. Specifically, research into psychology (“how the mind works”) and neuroscience (“how the brain works”) can help teachers and schools. After all, we spend all day working with