Yearly Archives: 2023

Learning Styles Vector

The Unexpected Problem with Learning Styles Theory [Reposted]

Our blogger will be taking the first two weeks of August off. This post generated plenty of conversation when he published it last October.   I recently read a much-liked Twitter post that said (I’m paraphrasing here): If you try

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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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Screen Shot 2023-06-26 at 6.38.37 PM

How Teaching Happens by Paul Paul Kirschner, Carl Hendrick, and Jim Heal

Who would have thought that a book about teaching could begin with a discussion of the gore of public amputations in the 19th century and blood-stiffened frocks that could stand on their own? But this is the perfect beginning for

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Child sitting on a stool creates fantastic color patterns in the air

Oops, Twitter Did It Again: Creativity and the “Positive Manifold”

I’ve written before that edu-Twitter can be a great help to teachers. I myself regularly learn about fascinating research, and practical teaching applications, from the wise accounts I follow. Of course, Twitter is also notorious for its edu-nonsense. (No claim

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Middle aged preschool teacher having vocabulary lesson at kindergarten

Have I Been Spectacularly Wrong for Years, Part 2 [Removed 6/14/23]

On Sunday of this week, I published my response to my interview with Dr. Morgan Polikoff. When I shared it with him, he responded that I had misrepresented his position. I try hard never to misrepresent another’s position — especially

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Young woman sitting on a brightly lit staircase working on a computer

The Best Place to Study…Depends on the Goal

A wise friend recently asked a question that goes something like this: Research shows that new memories connect to the places where they’re formed. So: if I study geometry in the library, I’ll do better on a geometry test taken

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