Balancing Direct Instruction with Project-Based Pedagogies

Tom Sherrington’s essay on direct instruction and project-based pedagogies is now available on his website. And: it prompts important questions about the novice/expert continuum. Continue reading

Dangerous Fluency: Performance Isn’t Always Learning

Cognitive science research helps teachers understand learning better than our students do. We should be confident in offering wise counsel. For instance: based on research, should be ban technology from classrooms? Continue reading

A Hidden Strength of “Concreteness Fading”

Upbeat, perky brand names for teaching methods distract from sensible conversations about their real merits. Continue reading

Concrete + Abstract = Math Learning

Should math instruction focus on concrete examples (frog puppets and oranges) or abstract representations (numbers and equations)? This research suggests: a careful balance of both. Continue reading

When Good Classroom Assignments Go Bad

Classroom assignments often sound like great ideas, until they crash into working memory limitations. Happily, we’ve got the strategies to solve this kind of problem. Continue reading

Can Multiple-Choice Tests Really Help Students?

Surprise: a well-designed multiple choice question might in fact help students. Why? Because it requires extra retrieval practice to sort out all the answers. Continue reading

Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence–The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence guides readers through a meditative practice based on focused attention, open awareness, and kind intentions to strengthen the mind and improve mental and physical well-being. Daniel J. Siegel, the author, is a NYT

More about Macbeth and Memory

Earlier this month, I wrote about the distinction between autobiographical memory and semantic memory. Both kinds help us live meaningful lives. But, schools focus on semantic memory: we want our students to know facts and skills over the long term.

Does Music Training Help Us Pay Attention?

We can’t improve our students working memory. But, recent research from Chile suggests that music training might benefit one part of our attention system. Continue reading

Getting the Timing Right: Critical Thinking Online

Spacing practice out helps students learn all sorts of things. Can it help them learn to be critical thinkers online? Continue reading