Category Archives: L&B Blog

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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The Best Kind of Practice for Students Depends on the Learning Goal

In some ways, teaching ought to be straightforward. Teachers introduce new material (by some method or another), and we have our students practice (by some method or another). Result: THEY (should) LEARN. Alas, both classroom experience and psychology/neuroscience research suggest

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When Does Technology Distract Students? The Benefits of Research that Contradicts My Beliefs

I spoke with several hundred students last week about research-based study strategies. As always, students were fascinating to hear about psychology and neuroscience research: for instance, the benefits of retrieval practice. And, as always, they did not love my alarming

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Why I Still Love Learning and the Brain Conferences

I attended my first Learning and the Brain in 2008; I believe the topic was “The Science of Attention.” Since then, I’ve attended at least two dozen: in New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco. Discussing Stress, and Memory, and Ethics,

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Is “Cell Phone Addiction” Really a Thing?

I recently read a tweet asserting “the fact that cell phones are proven to be as addictive as drugs.” Of course, people casually use the word “addictive” about all sorts of things: chocolate, massages, pumpkin-spice lattes. (No doubt somewhere Twitter

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