Alan November explains how he would use the first five days of school to lay the groundwork for a year of learning that goes far beyond the test.
Annie Murphy Paul
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Work in the field shows promising signs that incorporating bodily movements—even subtle ones—can improve the learning that’s done on computers.
The way kids interact with computers and software — and the support they get from adults — is more important to improve learning outcomes than merely having access to the technology, study finds.
When we think and talk about learning, the metaphors we use matter. The language we employ when we describe how learning works can illuminate the process, allowing us to make accurate judgments and predictions—or it can lead us astray, setting up false expectations and giving us a misleading impression of what’s going on.
For children, acting out words on the page can yield benefits. Especially for beginning readers, physically moving objects or one’s own body can provide a crucial bridge between real-life people, things, and actions, and the printed words meant to represent them. Fluent readers take this correspondence for granted, but many children find it difficult to grasp.
If we know that X does Y when Z, is it possible that A does Y when Z, too? That’s often how innovations get their start, in the lab and elsewhere: by taking a familiar starting point and using it as a launch pad to explore new territory.
Parents and teachers wrestle with all the time: Should we be making learning easier for kids—or harder? The answer, according to research in cognitive science and psychology, is both.
Glossy images of diverse student bodies at universities are meant to convey these institutions’ warm embrace of prospective students, employees and supporters. But research suggests that when the images don’t line up with reality, the use of minority member photographs can backfire, generating an effect exactly opposite of the one intended.
Allowing learners to struggle will actually help them learn better, according to research on “productive failure” conducted by Manu Kapur, a researcher at the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore.