Tag Archives: classroom advice

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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The Simplest Motivation Strategy that You’re (Probably) Not Using

Two simple techniques to overcome mundane daily obstacles make it much likelier that our students — and we — will get work done. Continue reading



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The Better Choice: Open- or Closed-Book Quizzes

As predicted by research into “retrieval practice,” closed-book quizzes do in fact help students learn better than open-book quizzes do. Once again, the right kind of difficulties can be desirable in school. Continue reading



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Studying Wrong Answers Helps Learn the Right Ones

With teaching as with baking, sometimes you should follow steps in a very particular order. If you don’t do this, and then that, and then the other, you don’t get the best results. Two researchers in Germany wanted to know if, and when,



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How Can We Encourage Girls to Pursue STEM Disciplines?

When we see alarming statistics about gender disparities in STEM disciplines, we quite naturally wonder how to fix this imbalance. (This hope – by the way – isn’t simply a do-goody desire to sing “It’s a Small World After All.”



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Taking Notes with Graphic Organizers

Researchers office us concrete advice on the best form for handwritten notes: outlines vs. graphic organizers; incomplete vs. complete. Continue reading



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Do Collaborative Projects Reduce or Increase Working Memory Stress?

Should teachers ask students to work on projects in teams? This question generates a great deal of heat. Many education thinkers advocate for the benefits of teamwork. Others insist that learning happens one brain at a time, and so should



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There’s No Polite Way to Say “I Told You So”

Back in 2014, Pam Mueller and Dan Oppenheimer made headlines with their wittily titled study “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Keyboard.” In that study, they found that students learn more from taking handwritten notes during a lecture than from



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Two Helpful Strategies to Lessen Exam Stresses

Exam stress bothers many of our students. Sadly, it hinders students from lower socio-economic status (SES) families even more. As a result, these students struggle — especially in STEM classes. And, this struggle makes it harder for them to enter



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