Monthly Archives: January 2019

Two Swings, Two Misses: The New York Times on Education

Two recent articles in the New York Times have gotten lots of teacherly attention. What’s Love Got to Do With It? The first, an op-ed by David Brooks, announces that “students learn from people they love.” Brooks’s piece includes some



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Big Hairy Audacious Education Proposal of the Month

John Medina’s books have been a gateway drug for many a brain-focused teacher. (Like so many others, I myself was introduced to the field by his book Brain Rules.) His most recent book, Attack of the Teenage Brain!, joins a



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Two Helpful Strategies to Lessen Exam Stresses

Exam stress bothers many of our students. Sadly, it hinders students from lower socio-economic status (SES) families even more. As a result, these students struggle — especially in STEM classes. And, this struggle makes it harder for them to enter



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Strategies that Backfire: Monitoring Screen Time

Paradoxically, monitoring screen time for young children increases their screen usage. A better strategy: modeling the behavior we want to see. Continue reading



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Does Drawing a Simple Picture Benefit Memory?

If a picture is worth 1000 words, how many words is drawing a picture worth? More specifically, Jeffrey Wammes & Co. have been exploring this question: is it true that drawing benefits memory? If I draw a picture of a



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The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves by Eric R. Kandel

One of the most complex unsolved mysteries in science is how the brain produces consciousness.  The study of brain disorders not only helps us understand and treat those conditions; it also renders insights into questions about human consciousness, sense of



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Spiders in Budapest: Deeper Understanding of the Brain

“Why can I forget what the capital of Hungary is, but not that I’m afraid of spiders?” Michael S. C. Thomas kicks off his website “How The Brain Works” with this intriguing question. Dr. Thomas is a good person to



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Dodging “Dodgy” Research: Strategies to Get Past Bunk

If we’re going to rely on research to improve teaching — that’s why you’re here, yes? — we need to hone our skepticism skills. After all, we don’t want just any research. We want the good stuff. But, we face



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Research Summary: The Best and Worst Highlighting Strategies

Does highlighting help students learn? As is so often the case, the answer is: it depends. The right kind of highlighting can help. But, the wrong kind doesn’t help. (And, might hurt.) And, most students do the wrong kind. Today’s



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Let’s Have More Fun with the Correlation/Causation Muddle

We’ve explored the relationship of correlation and causation before on the blog. In particular, this commentary on DeBoer’s blog notes that — while correlation doesn’t prove causation — it might be a useful first step in discovering causation. DeBoer argues



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