Tag Archives: skepticism

Choosing a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum: Pros and Cons

Should our curriculum focus on knowledge or skills? Jon Brunskill debates this question with himself in this thoughtful post. Brunskill does offer a strong conclusion in this debate. But just as important: the way he frames the discussion. Following Rapoport’s Rules



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Do We Actually Know What We Think We Know?

Teachers trust research when several studies reach the same result. Sadly, the current “replication crisis” means that we don’t always know what we know. Continue reading



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The Unexpected Dangers of Reading (and Writing) Blogs

A recent post on a well-known education blog beats up on that old nemesis: “rote memorization.” To highlight this point, the author links to a study on the benefits of “the generation effect.” When students try to guess at answers



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Nope: Brain Training Doesn’t Work, Volume 262…

A recent study reveal — AGAIN –that “brain training” doesn’t work. Students can learn new things. But we can train their working memory or IQ in some abstract, artificial way. Continue reading



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Problems in Science Communication, Part II: Too Little Skepticism

I spoke at this month’s Signs Summit in Chicago about problems in science communication. Here is the second half of what I said. (You can find the first half, which focuses on “too much skepticism” here.) We live in age that been



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Problems in Science Communication, Part I: Too Much Skepticism

When teachers question guidance offered by outside research experts, we might be faulted for “too much skepticism.” Yet expertise is more useful and meaningful when provided by insiders. Effective science communication depends on researchers who know schools and classrooms through day-to-day experience. Continue reading



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How To Be A Critical Psychology Consumer

Teachers who want to shape our practice with research find ourselves taking on extra responsibilities. In particular, we should probably hone our skills at investigating the research we use. Are we sure — or, sure enough — that the research



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Just Not a Useful Debate: Learning Styles Theory [Updated]

At one of the first Learning and the Brain conferences I attended, a speaker briefly mentioned that learning styles theory doesn’t have much good evidence to support it. That comment turned into a heated debate. Several attendees asked vexed, unhappy



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3rd Graders Beware! The Perils of Mindfulness Research

Despite suggestive research about its benefits, teachers should know the perils of mindfulness research. In this study, for example, yoga might have helped 3rd graders improve their emotional quality of life…but the study lacks an active control group. We can hope that the mindfulness helped, but we can’t be sure. Continue reading



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Can You Resist the Seductive Allure of Neuroscience?

The seductive allure of neuroscience often blinds us. In fact, the image on the right shows the part of the brain — the focal geniculative nucleus — that lights up when we’re taken in by false neuroscience information. Ok, no



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