Group of middle-school children working with electrical equipment and an ipad

Category Archives: L&B Blog

Group of middle-school children working with electrical equipment and an ipad

Learning How to Learn: Optimists and Realists

In schools, optimism helps teachers a lot. At the beginning of the year, my students JUST DON’T KNOW all sorts of things: how to write a good essay; how to analyze Macbeth; how to define “gerund.” In all likelihood, your students don’t

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Introducing “Schema Theory”

In the last few years, I’ve increasingly wondered if “schema theory” just might work a special kind of magic. If I understand it right (and if it’s true), then schema theory unites two distinct topics: the cognitive science behind good

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Students talking with each other around a table

Should students “teach” other students?

You will often hear about an exciting strategy to help students learn: they should teach one another. Imagine a unit on — say — “siege warfare.” And, imagine that my student (let’s call him Lancelot) learns enough about siege warfare to teach his

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Child sitting on a stool creates fantastic color patterns in the air

Oops, Twitter Did It Again: Creativity and the “Positive Manifold”

I’ve written before that edu-Twitter can be a great help to teachers. I myself regularly learn about fascinating research, and practical teaching applications, from the wise accounts I follow. Of course, Twitter is also notorious for its edu-nonsense. (No claim

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Middle aged preschool teacher having vocabulary lesson at kindergarten

Have I Been Spectacularly Wrong for Years, Part 2 [Removed 6/14/23]

On Sunday of this week, I published my response to my interview with Dr. Morgan Polikoff. When I shared it with him, he responded that I had misrepresented his position. I try hard never to misrepresent another’s position — especially

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Young woman sitting on a brightly lit staircase working on a computer

The Best Place to Study…Depends on the Goal

A wise friend recently asked a question that goes something like this: Research shows that new memories connect to the places where they’re formed. So: if I study geometry in the library, I’ll do better on a geometry test taken

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A chess board seen from an angle, with red arrows showing how pieces might move in different combinations

Should Teachers Explain or Demonstrate?

If I were a chess teacher, I would want my newbies to understand … … how a bishop moves, … how castling works, … what checkmate means. To help them understand, I could… … show them (“see how this piece

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Book Cover for Adam Boxer's Teaching Secondary Science: A copmlete guide.

Book Review: Teaching Secondary Science, by Adam Boxer

Let’s start by making this simple: First: You should absolutely buy Adam Boxer’s Teaching Secondary Science: A Complete Guide. Sooner is better than later. Second: You will probably not READ Boxer’s book so much as you will STUDY it. Have a

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Outline drawing of female student drawing

The Potential Benefits of Doodling and Chatting

This post will cover two topics simultaneously. First, I’m going to describe recent research into the benefits (?) of doodling. Second, I’m going to use a cool new artificial intelligence thingy to explore that research. I found both fascinating; perhaps

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Headshot of Dr. Morgan Polikoff, smiling at the camera

Have I Been Spectacularly Wrong for Years? Part 1

Over the years, I’ve used this blog to make several persistent arguments. One of those arguments features in almost every post I write: context always matters. That is: research might suggest that a particular classroom strategy works well. However, teachers

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