“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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“Seductive Details”: When Do Cool Stories and Videos Interfere with Learning?

When teachers include cool stories and funny videos in our lessons, does that ultimately help our students learn? A recent meta-analysis crunches the numbers. Continue reading



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Beyond Retrieval Practice: The Benefits of Student-Generated Questions

Is it better to have students ANSWER questions or to ASK question? Recent research from Germany provides a helpfully specific way to think about study strategies. Continue reading



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An Exciting Event In Mindfulness Research [Repost]

I’ve been reviewing old posts, looking for information that might be particularly helpful in today’s strange times. This post — from September — gives us greater confidence that mindfulness helps reduce stress. It’s particularly persuasive research because it studies both



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Dr. Kurt Fischer: A Tribute

Professor Kurt Fischer changed my professional life. If you’re reading this blog, odds are good he helped change yours as well. Throughout most of the 20th century, teachers, psychologists, and neuroscientists had little to say to one another. Even psychology



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Pure Inquiry, Guided Inquiry, and PISA

A recent study looking at PISA data gives a fresh perspective on the Inquiry Learning debate. Continue reading



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The Neuroscience of Retrieval Practice

We know THAT retrieval practice helps students learn. It would be really cool to know what difference it makes in the brain. Well, we’re starting to learn… Continue reading



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