Yearly Archives: 2021

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The Best Kind of Practice for Students Depends on the Learning Goal

In some ways, teaching ought to be straightforward. Teachers introduce new material (by some method or another), and we have our students practice (by some method or another). Result: THEY (should) LEARN. Alas, both classroom experience and psychology/neuroscience research suggest

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When Does Technology Distract Students? The Benefits of Research that Contradicts My Beliefs

I spoke with several hundred students last week about research-based study strategies. As always, students were fascinating to hear about psychology and neuroscience research: for instance, the benefits of retrieval practice. And, as always, they did not love my alarming

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Learning Science for Instructional Designers by Clark Quinn

Learning Science for Instructional Designers: From Cognition to Application is a wonderful synthesis of the learning sciences for those who would like to engage in purposeful reflection and make design choices in their practice. Clark Quinn takes the perspective that

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Why I Still Love Learning and the Brain Conferences

I attended my first Learning and the Brain in 2008; I believe the topic was “The Science of Attention.” Since then, I’ve attended at least two dozen: in New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco. Discussing Stress, and Memory, and Ethics,

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Is “Cell Phone Addiction” Really a Thing?

I recently read a tweet asserting “the fact that cell phones are proven to be as addictive as drugs.” Of course, people casually use the word “addictive” about all sorts of things: chocolate, massages, pumpkin-spice lattes. (No doubt somewhere Twitter

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Learning Without Borders: New Learning Pathways for all Students by Yong Zhao

In Learning Without Borders: New Learning Pathways for all Students, Yong Zhao outlines an ongoing and necessary paradigm shift in education, offering new ways of thinking and examples from the frontier of this trend. This is a timely piece that

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The Best Way to Take Class Notes

Teachers often ask me: “how should my students take notes?” That question typically springs from a heated debate. Despite all the enthusiasm for academic technology, many teachers insist on hand-written notes. (Long-time readers know: I have a provocative opinion on

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What is “Mind, Brain, Education”? Defining the Undefinable…

Here at Learning and the Brain, we bring together psychology (the study of the MIND), neuroscience (the study of the BRAIN), and pedagogy (the study of EDUCATION). That is: we bring together THREE complex fields, and try to make sense

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Changing the System: Where Do We Start?

I recently spent two hours talking with a group of splendid teachers from Singapore about Mindset Theory. We talked about “charging” and “retreating.” We discussed “performance goals” and “learning goals.” Of course, “precise praise” merited lots of attention. At the

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Understanding Adolescents: Emotion, Reason, and the Brain

Kurt Fischer — who helped create Learning and the Brain, and the entire field of Mind, Brain, and Education — used to say: “when it comes to the brain, we’re all still in kindergarten.” He meant: the brain is so

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