Monthly Archives: September 2017


Neuroscience and Neuromyths

Does neuroscience education help reduce a teacher’s belief in neuromyths? According to this recent study: not as much as we would like. In some cases, neuroscience education does help teachers. For instance, 59% of the general public falsely believe that

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Parents, High School Start Times, and Sleepy Teens

Research findings that support later high-school start times have been more and more common in recent years. (See also here.) And teachers I know are increasingly vocal about letting teens sleep later. And yet, when I talk with high school

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More Thoughts on Gender Differences

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a skeptic about gender differences in learning. Although they certainly do exist–I think particularly about differences in 3d mental rotation–I often think they’re overstated or overemphasized. At the same time, my emphasis

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Decisions, Decisions: Helping Students with Complex Reasoning

Most of us have heard the adage about the two ways that someone can get into a swimming pool: jump right in, or enter slowly to acclimate to the temperature a few inches at a time. Most of us have

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The Effect of Alcohol on Learning…

…might not be what you’d expect. My prediction would have been that if I have a glass of wine before I learn some new vocabulary words, I won’t learn those words as well as I would have fully sober. That prediction,

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Innovating Minds: Rethinking Creativity to Inspire Change by Wilma Koutstaal and Jonathan Binks

How can creativity and innovation give rise to positive changes in ourselves and the world around us? Wilma Koutstaal, University of Minnesota Professor of Psychology, and Jonathan Binks, who runs the organization InnovatingMinds4Change, tackle this challenging question in their book

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Criticizing Critical Thinking

Over at Newsweek, Alexander Nazaryan wants to vex you. Here’s a sample: Only someone who has uncritically mastered the intricacies of Shakespeare’s verse, the social subtexts of Elizabethan society and the historical background of Hamlet is going to have any original or

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Lighten the Load

You’d like an 8 page summary of Cognitive Load Theory, written in plain English for teachers? You’d like three pages of pertinent sources? Click here for a handy report from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (That’s not a

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How Best to Count

Should young children count on their fingers when learning math? You can find strong opinions on both sides of this question. (This blog post uses 4 “No’s” and 5 exclamation points to discourage parents from allowing finger counting.) Recent research

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Resources for “Desirable Difficulties”

Here on the blog, we write a lot about desirable difficulties: that elusive middle ground where cognitive work is hard enough but not too hard. Over at The Learning Scientists, they’ve got a handy list of resources to guide you

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