Learning Research

How to Make Education Research Relevant to Teachers

My goal is to make information useful, usable and used.Research shows that good teachers are the most important ingredient that schools can provide to help students succeed. This is especially true for struggling schools.Now here’s something we’re realizing about our current education research: Too few educators feel that the research that the US government supports has a tangible impact on their work in the classroom. That’s something that has to change.

What’s in a Name? The Potential for Students to Self-Advocate

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. That probably holds true for a lot of people. But for some, like myself, it boils down to more than garden variety procrastination. It’s a research-backed phenomenon—and with a little work, it can be overcome.

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Why Aren’t Schools Using the Apps They Pay For?

With thousands of education apps available today, it can seem like students' success is in the palm of their hands. But easy to forget is that technology is not in itself a solution. For it to work as intended, it must be paired with other critical elements: professional development for teachers, thoughtful implementation and consistent engagement.

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The Secret to Student Success? Teach Them How to Learn.

Sometimes the details former students recall from class is nothing short of amazing. A few years ago I had a student named Abby in my history class, who had always been in self-contained special education classrooms. Her teacher wanted her in my class for socialization purposes, and she did well. A year later, Abby began stopping by my class to deliver notes from the office a few times a week and I was always delighted to see her.

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Digital Devices in the Classroom Can Hinder Long-Term Retention

The question of whether or not to allow students to use smartphones, laptops and other technology in the classroom has been long-debated, and at times, heated.And just as a new school year is set to begin, a new study raises fresh concerns about potential downsides of multitasking during class.

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Whole Brain Teaching Is Weird — and Weirdly Viral

Do a quick internet search for “whole-brain teaching” and it will pull up a string of videos of young students repeating words back to a teacher in unison, waving hands or conducting other movements, and turning to their neighbor every few minutes to share.In some ways, these classrooms look like organized chaos. But there’s a reasoning behind what’s happening on screen: The idea is to trigger different parts of the brain which maybe aren’t flexing their full potential in a traditional one-way lecture format.

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You’re Already Harnessing the Science of Learning (You Just Don’t Know It)

Ten years ago, I read an article in the New York Times with dismay. It was about how clickers were all the rage in schools across the country. It featured colorful photos of students using clickers and quotes from teachers who were thrilled with students’ newfound enthusiasm in class.The article focused on how clickers could help boost engagement and gamification in the classroom. But it only mentioned the word “learn” twice.

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Believe and You Can Achieve? Researchers Find Limited Gains From Growth Mindset Interventions

Despite all the promise surrounding “growth mindsets”—the idea that encourages students to see intelligence as something that can be nurtured and developed, as opposed to something that is fixed and innate—researchers are sounding the alarm bell. They say the intervention, at least as currently applied in today’s classrooms, isn’t shifting the needle on academic achievement.

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Streaming Platforms Show Promise—And Risks—For Developing Literacy In Preschoolers

Some people will testify that they learned new languages fluently simply by sitting in front of a screen and streaming. One person on a Duolingo forum noted after six months of watching Turkish soap operas that she could conversationally speak the language. According to new research coming out of New York University, that may be a possibility for preschoolers.

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Is Technology Bad for the Teenage Brain? (Yes, No and It’s Complicated.)

It’s a question as frustrating as a hangnail, asked virtually every time I give a public lecture on teen brain development. It’s some form of: “is the digital world bad for the adolescent brain?”

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