ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew began his classroom life as a high-school English teacher in 1988, and has been working in or near schools ever since. In 2008, Andrew began exploring the practical application of psychology and neuroscience in his classroom. In 2011, he earned his M. Ed. from the “Mind, Brain, Education” program at Harvard University. As President of “Translate the Brain,” Andrew now works with teachers, students, administrators, and parents to make learning easier and teaching more effective. He has presented at schools and workshops across the country; he also serves as an adviser to several organizations, including “The People’s Science.” Andrew is the author of "Learning Begins: The Science of Working Memory and Attention for the Classroom Teacher."
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ABOUT THE BLOG
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
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
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
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
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
ChatGPT and Beyond: The Best Online Resources for Evaluating Research Claims
If we’re going to make “research-based” claims about education — and we are! — then we better have the research goods. So, how can we at Learning and the Brain — and you as teachers and administrators — find and
“Seductive Details” meet “Retrieval Practice”: A Match Made in Cognitive Heaven
Here’s a common problem: your job today is to teach a boring topic. (You don’t think it’s boring, but your students always complain…) What’s a teacher to do? One plausible strategy: You might enliven this topic in some entertaining way. You’ve
Starting Class with “Prequestions”: Benefits, Problems, Solutions
We’ve known for many years now that retrieval practice works. That is: after we have introduced students to a topic, we might REVIEW it with them the next day. However, they’ll remember it better if we ask them to try to
The Trad/Prog Debate Gets Weird
Few debates rage hotter in education circles than that between educational progressives and educational traditionalists. (I’m emphasizing “educational” in these phrases, because they don’t necessarily align with political trad/prog divides. This blog doesn’t do politics.) One recent summary — relying
The Hidden Lives of Learners
Many times over the last several years, I’ve heard enthusiastic reviews of a seemingly-magical book called The Hidden Lives of Learners, by Graham Nuthall. Here’s the magic: Nuthall’s frankly astonishing research method. Working in New Zealand classrooms in the 1980s, he