Monthly Archives: March 2023

Two students in conversation

Think, Pair, Share: Does It Help? If Yes, Why?

On some days, I find myself drawn to esoteric research studies. A few months ago, for example, I wrote about the effect of earworms on sleep. (Yes, scholars really do research earworms.) Today, I’ve found as straightforwardly practical a study

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A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) is an excellently constructed tour of the mind improving your approach to learning and problem-solving. While there are many learning strategy books out there,

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Young girl looking intently into a museum display case

Cultural Field Trips: Do They Really Enhance SEL?

Here at Learning and the Brain, we like research-informed teaching suggestions. At the same time, we remember Prof. Dan Willingham’s timeless motto: “one study is just one study, folks.” That is: one study might show a particular conclusion – but

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4 students sitting at a table discussing something visible on a laptop

Should We Teach Math and English the Same Way?

Because we teachers are a busy lot, we sometimes want simplicity and clarity: “I’m honestly too busy to sort through all the options and variables; just tell me what to do.“ In fact, when I went to my first Learning and

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Young rowan tree seedling grow from old stump in a sunlit forest.

When Prior Knowledge Bites Back: The Dangers of Knowing Too Much

In this blog, we typically highlight the benefits of prior knowledge. For example: if a student knows a lot about baseball, she’ll be much more successful in understanding a reading passage about baseball. That same student could struggle mightily with

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portrait of father teaching daughter how to read by using simple words and letters on a flash card at home

Practical Advice for Students: How to Make Good Flashcards

Flashcards feel to me like a research sweet-spot. In the first place: for the most part, students believe that they help — and are even willing to make them! In the second place: flashcards should help. After all, flashcards promote

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