Beyond Slogans and Posters: The Science of Student Motivation

In many cases, cognitive science offers clear teaching advice. You’re curious about working memory? We’ve got LOTS of strategies. Wondering about the limits of attention? Good news! Alas, in other cases, research doesn’t give us such clarity. If, for instance,



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Does Chewing Gum Improve Memory and Learning?

I recently read a striking Twitter claim from a well-known teacher: chewing gum helps memory and concentration. In fact, according to the teacher, research supports this claim: the tweet cites this study as one of many to make this gum-chewing



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Let’s Talk! How Teachers & Researchers Can Think and Work Together

Once you say it out loud, it’s so obvious: Teachers benefit from learning about psychology and neuroscience. AND, psychologists and neuroscientists (in certain fields) benefit from learning more about classroom teaching. These beliefs inspire our conferences and seminars and summer



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A Beacon in the Mindset Wilderness

For a few years now, I’ve been in the Mindset wilderness. Three years ago, I spent lots of time tapping the brakes. “Yes,” I’d say, “we do have plenty of good research behind this strategy. HOWEVER, let’s be realistic. A



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“Compared to What”: Is Retrieval Practice Really Better?

When teachers turn to brain research, we want to know: which way is better? Are handwritten notes better than laptop notes? Is cold-calling better than calling on students who raise their hands? Is it better to spread practice out over time,



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Making “Learning Objectives” Explicit: A Skeptic Converted?

Teachers have long gotten guidance that we should make our learning objectives explicit to our students. The formula goes something like this: “By the end of the lesson, you will be able to [know and do these several things].” I’ve



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Introducing “Interteaching” (Works Online Too!)

Have you heard of “interteaching” before? Me neither. The headlines for this blog sound like this: “INTERTEACHING” HELPFULLY BALANCES TEACHER AND STUDENT EFFORT/RESPONSIBILITY and “INTERTEACHING” WORKS ONLINE AND ASYNCHRONOUSLY, according to recent research. Let’s take those headlines one at a



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The Rise and Fall and Rise of Growth Mindset

Few theories in education have had a more dramatic story arc than Carol Dweck’s “Mindset.” Based on research she started in the early 1970s, Dweck published her sumptuously-titled book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to



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Proxy Battles: The Value of Handshakes at the Door

Should teachers welcome students to the classroom with elaborate individual handshakes? Or — in these COVIDian days of ours — with elaborate dances? (If you’re on Twitter, you can check out @thedopeeducator’s post from March 17 of 2021 for an



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The 10-Minute Rule: Is The Lecture Dead?

The “10-minute rule” offers teachers practical guidance. It typically sounds something like this: If students aren’t intrinsically interested in material, they can pay attention to it for no more than 10 minutes. Ergo: teachers should do something different every ten



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