Beyond Slogans and Posters: The Science of Student Motivation

In many cases, cognitive science offers clear teaching advice. You’re curious about working memory? We’ve got LOTS of strategies. Wondering about the limits of attention? Good news! Alas, in other cases, research doesn’t give us such clarity. If, for instance,

Does Chewing Gum Improve Memory and Learning?

I recently read a striking Twitter claim from a well-known teacher: chewing gum helps memory and concentration. In fact, according to the teacher, research supports this claim: the tweet cites this study as one of many to make this gum-chewing

Jerome Kagan: A Teacher’s Appreciation

A guest post, by Rob McEntarffer   I didn’t get to learn about Jerome Kagan (1929-2021) during my teacher’s college training. I regret that. While I was a teacher, my contact with Kagan’s research was limited to teaching about temperament research

Why Don’t Students Like School? (2nd. ed.) by Daniel T. Willingham

Why don’t students like school? Daniel T. Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, addresses this and nine other significant questions about how the human mind works and the implications for teaching in his book aptly titled, “Why

Let’s Talk! How Teachers & Researchers Can Think and Work Together

Once you say it out loud, it’s so obvious: Teachers benefit from learning about psychology and neuroscience. AND, psychologists and neuroscientists (in certain fields) benefit from learning more about classroom teaching. These beliefs inspire our conferences and seminars and summer

A Beacon in the Mindset Wilderness

For a few years now, I’ve been in the Mindset wilderness. Three years ago, I spent lots of time tapping the brakes. “Yes,” I’d say, “we do have plenty of good research behind this strategy. HOWEVER, let’s be realistic. A

“Compared to What”: Is Retrieval Practice Really Better?

When teachers turn to brain research, we want to know: which way is better? Are handwritten notes better than laptop notes? Is cold-calling better than calling on students who raise their hands? Is it better to spread practice out over time,

Making “Learning Objectives” Explicit: A Skeptic Converted?

Teachers have long gotten guidance that we should make our learning objectives explicit to our students. The formula goes something like this: “By the end of the lesson, you will be able to [know and do these several things].” I’ve

The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention by Simon Baron-Cohen

Cambridge University professor of psychology and psychiatry, Simon Baron-Cohen, recently published The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention. Baron-Cohen argues that for the last 70,000-100,000 years humans have been the only species with the “Systemizing Mechanism,” or the ability

Introducing “Interteaching” (Works Online Too!)

Have you heard of “interteaching” before? Me neither. The headlines for this blog sound like this: “INTERTEACHING” HELPFULLY BALANCES TEACHER AND STUDENT EFFORT/RESPONSIBILITY and “INTERTEACHING” WORKS ONLINE AND ASYNCHRONOUSLY, according to recent research. Let’s take those headlines one at a