Monthly Archives: May 2018

Let’s Get Practical: More Flashcards Are Better

What flashcard strategies yield the most learning? Research suggests that relatively large flashcard piles spreads repetitions out, and therefore helps students learn better than relatively small piles. Because students prefer small to large, teachers should offer them consistent — and firm — guidance. Continue reading



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Concerned about Concussions: Athletes and Actors

Teachers have often worried about athletes and concussions. New research suggests we should worry about actors and concussions as well. Two-thirds of professional actors suffer concussions, and 30% experience five or more. Those numbers encourage us to keep our eyes on student actors and techies. Continue reading



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When You Want Higher Brain Entropy, Add Caffeine

Taking caffeine increases your level of “brain entropy,” a measurement of the “different neural states that a brain can access.” High brain entropy just might be good…and so it might also be good for caffeine to raise it. Clearly, the relationship between caffeine and cognition is complicated. Continue reading



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3rd Graders Beware! The Perils of Mindfulness Research

Despite suggestive research about its benefits, teachers should know the perils of mindfulness research. In this study, for example, yoga might have helped 3rd graders improve their emotional quality of life…but the study lacks an active control group. We can hope that the mindfulness helped, but we can’t be sure. Continue reading



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Solving the Nap Research Problem (BTW: Naps Help!)

New research from China shows that daytime naps improve several cognitive functions — like sustained attention. Just as important, those naps don’t make it harder to sleep at night. In fact: frequent nappers sleep better than non-nappers. So, grab a pillow! Continue reading



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Look Here Not There: The Limits of Psychology

Daniel Willingham argues that we should acknowledge the limits of psychology education and research for teachers. Although empirical generalizations give us useful guidance, most theories and epistemic assumptions are simply to broad to be helpful. Continue reading



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Brains in the Classroom: Research-based Advice for Students

Rather than nag students by telling them to give up their bad study habits, we might instead help them use their current study strategies more effectively. This new study shows students how best to reread, underline, take notes, and use flash cards. Continue reading



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How Would You Like Inventing a New Math?

Five years ago, I had lunch with a 13-year-old who was thinking about attending my school. He spent much of the lunch telling me about string theory. As one does, when one is 13, and obsessed with string theory. I



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