Category Archives: L&B Blog

Changing the System: Where Do We Start?

I recently spent two hours talking with a group of splendid teachers from Singapore about Mindset Theory. We talked about “charging” and “retreating.” We discussed “performance goals” and “learning goals.” Of course, “precise praise” merited lots of attention. At the

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Understanding Adolescents: Emotion, Reason, and the Brain

Kurt Fischer — who helped create Learning and the Brain, and the entire field of Mind, Brain, and Education — used to say: “when it comes to the brain, we’re all still in kindergarten.” He meant: the brain is so

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Let’s Get Practical: Signaling a Growth Mindset

Most teachers know about Mindset Theory: the idea that students’ beliefs about intelligence shape their success in learning. Specifically: If I think that intelligence (whatever that is) can’t change, I learn less. If I think that intelligence can change, I learn more. Once

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How Do Experts Think?

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” It means, more or less, we see what we’re trained to see. If I bring a problem to a plumber, she’ll think about it like a plumbing problem.

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Teachers’ Gestures Can Help Students Learn

Over the years, I’ve written about the importance of “embodied cognition.” In other words: we know with our brains, and we know with and through our bodies. Scholars such as Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Dr. Sian Beilock have done splendid and

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Handwriting Improves Learning, Right?

Here’s a good rule for research: if you believe something, look for research that contradicts your belief. So, if you think that retrieval practice helps students learn, see if you can find research showing the opposite. If you disapprove of

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Why Don’t My High-School Students Just Follow My Advice?

I’ve been teaching for several centuries now. You’d think my students would believe me when I tell them how to make their sentences better. Or how to interpret literary passages. Or how to succeed in life. Why don’t they? Recent

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Let’s Get Practical: What Works Best in the Classroom?

At times, this blog explores big-picture hypotheticals — the “what if” questions that can inspire researchers and teachers. And, at times, we just want practical information. Teachers are busy folks. We simply want to know: what works? What really helps my

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How Can We Help Students Study Better? [Repost]

This story might sound familiar: You attend a Learning and the Brain conference (like, say, our upcoming conference about Teaching During a Pandemic) and come away with FANTASTIC ideas. You go back to your classrooms — in person, online, asynchronous

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“Rich” or “Bland”: Which Diagrams Helps Students Learn Deeply? [Reposted]

Colorful diagrams might raise students’ interest. What do those diagrams do for their learning? Continue reading

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