Executive Function Isn’t What You Think It Is (Maybe)

As a soccer coach, I want my students to get better at soccer. As an English teacher, I want my students to get better at English. And, as a hip-hop dance instructor, I want my students to get better at hip-hop dance. To accomplish



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What’s Better than Attention? Attention + LEARNING!

We know that exercise breaks help young students pay attention. Do those breaks help older students pay attention, AND LEARN? Continue reading



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What’s the Ideal Size for Online Discussion Groups?

We’re all learning lots about online teaching these days: new software (Zoom), new vocabulary (“asynchronous”), new fads (teaching in pajamas). In many cases, we’re just going with our instincts here. Relying on our experience, we know to [insert technique here].



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“How to Study Less and Learn More”: Explaining Learning Strategies to our Students

Because cognitive science gives us such good guidance about learning, we want to share that information with our students. “Study THIS WAY!” we cry. “Research says so!” Alas, all too often, students don’t follow our advice. A key part of



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What’s Better Than Caffeine (And Doesn’t Require Electrodes)?

Is there an easy way to help students use their working memory more effectively? Do we have to zap their brains with electricity to accomplish this goal? Continue reading



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The Limits of “Desirable Difficulties”: Catching Up with Sans Forgetica

Can a hard-to-read font improve student learning? That’s a very strange question, but in 2019 we had some reasons to think the answer was “yes.” Just published research updates our understanding. Continue reading



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“Doing Science” or “Being a Scientist”: What Words Motivate Students?

If teachers could boost students’ motivation — even slightly — by changing our language, would that effort be worth the time? Continue reading



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Unbearable Irony: When Dunning-Kruger Bites Back…

People who don’t know much about a topic typically overestimate their expertise. We call this the Dunning-Kruger Effect. So: what happens when someone who doesn’t know much about the Dunning-Kruger Effect tries to explain it? Brace yourself for an excess of irony. Continue reading



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Music and Memory: A Learning Strategy?

We know that sleep is good for learning. Is there anything we can do to make it EXTRA good? Perhaps, used strategically, music might hold the key. Continue reading



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How Do Children Explain Academic Success? (And: How Do We Know?)

All students think EFFORT is important for success. Do all students — even younger students — think that SKILL matters? Recent research explores this question. Continue reading



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