The Effect of Alcohol on Learning…

…might not be what you’d expect. My prediction would have been that if I have a glass of wine before I learn some new vocabulary words, I won’t learn those words as well as I would have fully sober. That prediction,

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Innovating Minds: Rethinking Creativity to Inspire Change by Wilma Koutstaal and Jonathan Binks

How can creativity and innovation give rise to positive changes in ourselves and the world around us? Wilma Koutstaal, University of Minnesota Professor of Psychology, and Jonathan Binks, who runs the organization InnovatingMinds4Change, tackle this challenging question in their book


Criticizing Critical Thinking

Over at Newsweek, Alexander Nazaryan wants to vex you. Here’s a sample: Only someone who has uncritically mastered the intricacies of Shakespeare’s verse, the social subtexts of Elizabethan society and the historical background of Hamlet is going to have any original or


Lighten the Load

You’d like an 8 page summary of Cognitive Load Theory, written in plain English for teachers? You’d like three pages of pertinent sources? Click here for a handy report from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (That’s not a


How Best to Count

Should young children count on their fingers when learning math? You can find strong opinions on both sides of this question. (This blog post uses 4 “No’s” and 5 exclamation points to discourage parents from allowing finger counting.) Recent research

Resources for “Desirable Difficulties”

Here on the blog, we write a lot about desirable difficulties: that elusive middle ground where cognitive work is hard enough but not too hard. Over at The Learning Scientists, they’ve got a handy list of resources to guide you

Finding Inspiration for Retrieval Practice

Like you, the Effortful Educator knows that retrieval practice benefits learning. But: how to get your students to do it? Here‘s one strategy he proposes…if you’re like me, you’ll admire its wisdom and simplicity.


Lefty or Righty?

You’ve surely heard about students being left-brained or right-brained. And: you’ve probably heard that this belief is a myth. The folks over at Ted Ed have made a helpful video explaining the genesis of this belief, and the ways that


How Best to Take Notes: A Public Service Announcement

The school year is beginning, and so you’re certainly seeing many (MANY) articles about the debate over laptop notes vs. handwritten notes. If your research stream is anything like mine, most of the articles you see assert that handwriting is superior


Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Humans are capable of horrifying aggression, dehumanization, destruction, and violence and at the same time inspirational altruism, compassion, and forgiveness. Drawing on an astounding array of evidence from across subfields within biology, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, Robert M. Sapolsky explains