Tag Archives: classroom advice

Prior Knowledge: Building the Right Floor [Updated]

Researchers can demonstrate that some core knowledge is essential for students to start learning about a topic. Teachers can use that guidance to improve learning for all students. Continue reading



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Soft” vs. “Hard” Skills: Which Create a Stronger Foundation?

As teachers, should we focus on our students’ understanding of course content, or on our students’ development of foundational academic skills? Do they benefit more from learning history (or chemistry or spelling or flute), or from developing the self-discipline (grit,



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Seriously: What Motivates Teachers to Be Funny?

To start 2021 in the right spirit, let’s think about humor in the classroom. It seems that, obviously, humor might be a good classroom strategy. When the lesson slows down, a joke or two might brighten the mood. Once we



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Best Teaching Advice We’ve Got

You want to improve your teaching with psychology research? We’ve got good news, and bad news. And more good news. Good News: we have lots and LOTS of research. We can talk about attention, or working memory, or the spacing



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

“But How Do We Know If It Works in the Classroom?”: The Latest on Retrieval Practice

We’ve heard so much about retrieval practice in the last two years that it seems like we’ve ALWAYS known about its merits. But no: this research pool hasn’t been widely known among teachers until recently. We can thank Agarwal and



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Sooner or Later”: What’s the Best Timing for Feedback?

Given the importance of feedback for learning, it seems obvious teachers should have well-established routines around its timing. In an optimal world, would we give feedback right away? 24 hours later? As late as possible? Which option promotes learning? In



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“Rich” or “Bland”: Which Diagrams Helps Students Learn Deeply?

Colorful diagrams might raise students’ interest. What do those diagrams do for their learning? Continue reading



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Before You Change Your Teaching, Change Your Thinking”

When I attended my first Learning and the Brain conference, more than a decade ago, I had a simple plan: Step 1: Listen to the researcher’s advice. Step 2: Do what the researcher told me to do. Step 3: Watch



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Successive Relearning”: 1 + 1 = +10%

We know that “retrieval practice” helps students learn. We know that “spacing” does too. What happens when we combine those techniques? Continue reading



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Laptop Notes or Handwritten Notes? Even the New York Times Has It Wrong [Reposted]

Which helps students learn more: handwritten notes, or laptop notes? The best-known research on the subject might surprise you… Continue reading



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment