Category Archives: L&B Blog

The Benefits of Forgetting

As teachers, we earnestly want our students to REMEMBER what they learned; their habit of FORGETTING leave us glum and frustrated. (In truth, our own forgetting often leaves us glum and frustrated. If you could tell me where I put my

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Neuroplasticity in Rural India

You hear so much about “neuroplasticity” at Learning and the Brain conferences that you already know its meaning: brains have the ability to change. In fact, you hear about neuroplasticity so often that you might start to lose interest. You say

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Correlation Isn’t Causation, Is It?

(Image source) The ever provocative Freddie deBoer explores the relationship between correlation and causation. You know, of course, that the one does not imply the other. DeBoer, however, wants to push your certainty on this point. Are there circumstances under

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Home News

In the excitement of this weekend’s Learning and the Brain conference, I overlooked my own one-year anniversary as editor of this blog. I’ve enjoyed the chance to think aloud with you about teaching, psychology, neuroscience, research–and all the odd topics

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Finding Meaning in Visuals

When you open your eyes, where do they focus? Presumably, your eyes automatically turn to the part of the visual field that stands out the most: the bright red door, the tower jutting up from the cliff, the sharp angle

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The Dangers of Weird Neuroscience

How do psychologists know what they know about human mental processes? Quite often, they run studies to see how people behave: what do they remember? where do they look? what do they choose? how do they describe their thoughts? If

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Does project-based learning work?

The answer to the titular question depends on a) your definition of “project-based learning,” and b) your methodology for measuring success. In a just-published, comprehensive literature review, MDRC takes 84 pages to say: “we can’t really answer the question, because we don’t have

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Cell Phones and Boundaries

Regular readers of this blog—and, people who have even a glimpse of common sense—already know that mobile devices distract college students during lectures. (If you’d like a review of research on this topic, you can check out The Distracted Mind

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Meet the Speakers: Dr. Pooja K. Agarwal

Editor’s note: Dr. Agarwal will be speaking at next week’s Learning and the Brain conference. Here’s your chance to get to know her and her work better… Andrew Watson: I understand that you worked as a teacher before you started

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Multiple-Choice Tests Are A) Good or B) Bad

Teachers hate (and love) multiple-choice tests. On the one hand, they seem dreadfully reductive. On the other, they’re blissfully easy to grade — and easy grading is never to be belittled. In our recent conversation, Pooja Agarwal recommended multiple-choice tests

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