Category Archives: L&B Blog

A Little Help, Please…

I’ve got a problem, and I’m hoping you can help me. Here’s the situation… I work as a high school English teacher. And I’m also a consultant – presenting psychology and neuroscience research for teachers and students and parents. In

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Does Higher Engagement Promote Learning?

Long-time readers know: I thoroughly enjoy research that challenges my beliefs. After all, I (probably) have lots to learn when a study makes me think anew. In this case — even better! — I’ve found a study that (I suspect)

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The Downsides of Desirable Difficulties

For several years now, we’ve been talking about the benefits of “desirable difficulties.” For instance, we know that spreading practice out over time helps students learn more than does doing all the practice at once. Why? Because that schedule creates

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Too Good to be True: When Research and Values Collide

Let’s start with some quick opinions: Flipped classrooms… … can transform education and foster students’ independence, or … are often a waste of time, and at best just rename stuff we already do. A growth mindset… … allows students to

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New Research: Unrestricted Movement Promotes (Some Kinds of) Creativity

Teachers like creativity. We want our students to learn what has come before, certainly. And, we want them to do and think and imagine new things with that prior knowledge. We want them, in ways big and small, to create.

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The First Three Steps

Early in January, The Times (of London) quoted author Kate Silverton (on Twitter: @KateSilverton) saying: It’s the schools that have the strictest discipline that have the highest mental health problems. Helpfully, they include a video recording of her saying it.

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A “Noisy” Problem: What If Research Contradicts Students’ Beliefs?

The invaluable Peps Mccrea recently wrote about a vexing problem in education: the “noisy relationship between teaching and learning.” In other words: I can’t really discern EXACTLY what parts of my teaching helped my students learn. Was it my content

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Teaching with Images: Worth the Effort?

According to Richard Mayer’s “multimedia principle,” People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. If that’s true, then we should — obviously — be sure to include pictures in our teaching. However… Whenever we see a broad

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Let’s Get Practical: How Fast Should Videos Be?

Research often operates at a highly abstract level. Psychologists and neuroscientists study cognitive “tasks” that stand in for school work. If we’re being honest, however, we often struggle to see the connection between the research task and actual classroom learning. HOWEVER…

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The Benefits of Direct Instruction: Balancing Theory with Practice

When teachers hear that “research shows we should do X,” we have at least two broad questions: First Question: what’s the research? Second Question: what EXACTLY does X look like in the classroom? People who have the expertise to answer

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