Tag Archives: boundary conditions

Not All of Us Work Effectively in a “Memory Palace”

Students with lower visuospatial aptitude don’t benefit much from “memory palaces.” This research finding leads to important classroom strategies…and to bigger questions as well. Continue reading



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Meet Blake Harvard, “Effortful Educator”

An interview with Blake Harvard: high-school psychology teacher, and Effortful Educator. Continue reading



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Is Failure Productive? (Hint: We Should Ask a Better Question)

Two research groups studied (more or less) the same technique with two different student populations — and got very different answer. These contradictory findings give teachers important lessons about using psychology and education research most wisely. Continue reading



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Does Music Promote Students’ Creativity?

Music played during a creative task distracts students…but, music played before the task might increase creativity. Continue reading



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Can Teachers Be Trusted to Evaluate Research?

Too often, teachers hear that our judgment about classroom applications of scientific research isn’t to be trusted. And yet, teacher judgment is essential when applying research in the classroom. Given that psychology research affects classroom practice only when teachers use it, why put down the teachers who are essential partners in this process? Our field should focus not on competition, but on respectful collaboration. Continue reading



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Good News! Contradictory Research on Desirable Difficulties…

As we regularly emphasize here on the blog, attempts to recall information benefit learning. That is: students might study by reviewing material. Or, they might study with practice tests. (Or flashcards. Perhaps Quizlet.) Researchers call this technique “retrieval practice,” and



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Dodging “Dodgy” Research: Strategies to Get Past Bunk

If we’re going to rely on research to improve teaching — that’s why you’re here, yes? — we need to hone our skepticism skills. After all, we don’t want just any research. We want the good stuff. But, we face



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Research Summary: The Best and Worst Highlighting Strategies

Does highlighting help students learn? As is so often the case, the answer is: it depends. The right kind of highlighting can help. But, the wrong kind doesn’t help. (And, might hurt.) And, most students do the wrong kind. Today’s



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The Limits of Retrieval Practice, Take II…

Just two weeks ago, I posted about a study showing potential boundary conditions for retrieval practice: one of the most robustly supported classroom strategies for enhancing long-term memories. As luck would have it, the authors of that study wrote up their



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The Limits of Retrieval Practice: A Helpful Case Study

Here on the blog, I write A LOT about the benefits of “retrieval practice.” (For example: here and here.) In brief: our students often review by trying to put information into their brains. That is: they “go over” the material. However,



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