Monthly Archives: July 2023

Open Classroom Plans: The Effects on Reading

I’ve written frequently over the years about the effects of classroom decoration on learning. The headline is: althought many teachers have been trained to DECORATE, those decorations can distract students and thereby reduce learning. We’ve tested this question for students from

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Psych by Paul Bloom

I should have known better! I was expecting just another in a long line of basic reiterations of Psychology 101. But this is Paul Bloom! ­— a talented storyteller and Psychology Professor at University of Toronto engaging a variety of

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Group of middle-school children working with electrical equipment and an ipad

Learning How to Learn: Optimists and Realists

In schools, optimism helps teachers a lot. At the beginning of the year, my students JUST DON’T KNOW all sorts of things: how to write a good essay; how to analyze Macbeth; how to define “gerund.” In all likelihood, your students don’t

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Introducing “Schema Theory”

In the last few years, I’ve increasingly wondered if “schema theory” just might work a special kind of magic. If I understand it right (and if it’s true), then schema theory unites two distinct topics: the cognitive science behind good

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Students talking with each other around a table

Should students “teach” other students?

You will often hear about an exciting strategy to help students learn: they should teach one another. Imagine a unit on — say — “siege warfare.” And, imagine that my student (let’s call him Lancelot) learns enough about siege warfare to teach his

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