Category Archives: L&B Blog

Translating Research to the Classroom: the Case of Discovery Learning

Here at Learning and the Brain, we want teachers and students to benefit from research. Obviously. When psychologists discover important findings about the mind, when neuroscientists investigate the function of the brain, schools might well benefit. Let’s start making connections!

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Have You Heard of…”Prospective Memory”? What It Is, Why Teachers Should Notice

Most of the time, we remember things experienced in the past: My most recent birthday A childhood vacation An obscure factual tidbit from the news However, we also spend some time remembering the future: An errand to complete on the way home

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Online Teaching + Research: Insights from Cognitive Load Theory

Most of us spent the last 2 years learning LOTS about online teaching. Many of us relied on our instincts, advice from tech-savvy colleagues, and baling wire. Some turned to helpful books. (Both Doug Lemov and Courtney Ostaff offer lots

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Teaching Minds & Brains: the Best Books to Read

When I started in this field, back in 2008, we all HUNGERED for good books. After all, teaching is profoundly complicated. And, psychology is mightily complicated. And, neuroscience is fantastically (unbearably?) complicated. If we’re going to put those three fields

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College Students Sitting in Hallway

How Students (Think They) Learn: The Plusses and Minuses of “Interleaving”

As the school year begins, teachers want to know: can mind/brain research give us strategies to foster learning? We might also wonder: what will our students think of those strategies? It seems plausible — even likely — that students will

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Student Doing Homework with Laptop

How To Make Sure Homework Really Helps (a.k.a.: “Retrieval Practice Fails”)

Most research focuses narrowly on just a few questions. For instance: “Does mindful meditation help 5th grade students reduce anxiety?” “How many instructions overwhelm college students’ working memory?” “Do quizzes improve attention when students learn from online videos?” Very occasionally,

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The Best Book on Cognitive Load Theory: Ollie Lovell to the Rescue

Teaching ought to be easy. After all, we have a functionally infinite amount of long-term memory. You don’t have to forget one thing to learn another thing — really. So: I should be able to shovel information and skills into

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The Bruce Willis Method: Catching Up Post-Covid [Reposted]

Because of Covid, our students have fallen behind. How can we help them “catch up”? As I argued back in June, Bruce Willis might (or might not) have helpful answers to that question. In the third Die Hard movie, Brue Willis

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Do Classroom Decorations Distract Students? A Story in 4 Parts… [Reposted]

As we prepare for the upcoming school year, how should we think about decorating our classrooms? Can research give us any pointers? This story, initially posted in March of 2022, paints a helpfully rich research picture. Teacher training programs often

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Is “Cell Phone Addiction” Really a Thing? [Reposted]

A well-known Education Twitter personality claimed that “cell phones are as addictive as drugs.” Are they? What should we do when someone makes that claim? Reposted from November of 2021 I recently read a tweet asserting “the fact that cell

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