Monthly Archives: March 2018

Homework Improves Conscientiousness: Do You Believe It?

Obviously, conscientious students are more likely to do their homework. Researchers in Germany have found initial reasons to believe that doing homework improves conscientiousness. We can reasonably hope that homework benefits students beyond the learning its helps consolidate. Continue reading



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Adolescents and Self-Control: Do Teens Recognize High Stakes?

Why is adolescent self-control so difficult? Recent research suggests that teens don’t consistently recognize the difference between high-stakes and low-stakes situations. And: the brain networks that help them do so don’t mature until we turn 19 or 20. Continue reading



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Point/Counterpoint: Escaping the Inquiry Learning Debate

In the absence of consistent research findings, assessing Inquiry Learning can be a challenge. Teachers should rely on basic cognitive variables — like working memory and attention — to reach conclusions about its usefulness. Continue reading



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Uniquely Human: How Animals Differ From People

What separates humans from other animals? What makes us uniquely human? This question can be fun to debate. The most common answers — “tool use” and “language” — have their champions. However, lots of animals communicate with sounds. Several species



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Teens and Cell Phones: The Good, The Bad, The (Not So) Ugly

Debates about teens and cell phones often miss a crucial distinction. Although digital technologies can exacerbate problems for the few adolescents who are already struggling, they can provide real social benefits for the majority who are doing just fine. Continue reading



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Feeling the Possibilities: Virtual Reality and Teaching

Regular readers of this blog know that I like technology, but I’m not easily wowed about its educational uses. From my perspective, many “you just have to try this” technologies fail to produce nearly as much learning as they promise.



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The Mindset Controversy: Is It Time to Give Up?

Few theories have gotten more teacherly attention than Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset. As you no doubt know, she has found that a “fixed mindset” (the belief that ability and intelligence can’t really change) demotivates people. On the other hand,



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The Neuroscience of Intelligence by Richard Haier

The Neuroscience of Intelligence explores intriguing ideas about the neuroscientific and genetic bases of intelligence such as that genes play a more critical role than does environment in determining intelligence, that there are neurological markers of intelligence, and that we



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The Benefits (?) of Interactive Online Science Teaching

Few educational innovations have gotten more hype than online learning, and few have a more checkered track record. For every uplifting story we hear about a Khan Academy success, we get at least one story about massive drop-out rates for



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Alcohol and Learning: Does Drinking Harm Memory?

Back in October, I published one of the blog’s most popular articles: a summary of a study showing that moderate drinking benefits memory. In brief, that study showed that drinking before learning muddled memories. However, moderate alcohol after learning produced a modest



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