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Why Confusion Can Be a Good Thing

Why Confusion Can Be a Good Thing

| February 18, 2013 | 13 Comments

We all know that confusion doesn’t feel good. Because it seems like an obstacle to learning, we try to arrange educational experiences and training sessions so that learners will encounter as little confusion as possible. But as is so often the case when it comes to learning, our intuitions here are exactly wrong. Scientists have […]

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Anxious About Tests? Tips to Ease Angst

Anxious About Tests? Tips to Ease Angst

| February 8, 2013 | 3 Comments

As any parent or teacher knows, tests can create crippling anxiety in students–and anxious kids can perform below their true abilities. But new research in cognitive science and psychology is giving us a clearer understanding of the link between stress and performance, and allowing experts to develop specific strategies for helping kids manage their fears. […]

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Here Comes 2013: The Big Themes in Learning

Here Comes 2013: The Big Themes in Learning

| January 4, 2013 | 29 Comments

Getty Here are three big stories concerning education and learning that you’ll be hearing about in the year ahead—and some pointers on how to think about them. 1. SMART USE OF TECH. Computers have been present in classrooms for a number of years now, of course, and in 2013 excitement about their potential to transform […]

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Beyond Talent and Smarts: Why Even Geniuses Struggle

Beyond Talent and Smarts: Why Even Geniuses Struggle

| November 23, 2012 | 12 Comments

Flickr:Bunchesandbits “The struggle with writing is over.” That message, written on a Post-It note and affixed to his computer, brings the novelist Philip Roth great relief and contentment these days, according to a profile published earlier this week in the New York Times. At the age of 79, the author of more than 31 acclaimed […]

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Why “Googling It” Is Not Enough

Why “Googling It” Is Not Enough

| November 9, 2012 | 14 Comments

Thinkstock Has the Internet changed the way students conduct research? Yes, and not always for the better, reports to a study released last week by the Pew Research Center, “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.” According to a survey of more than 2,000 middle and high school teachers, “research” for today’s students means […]

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What Do Emotions Have to Do with Learning?

What Do Emotions Have to Do with Learning?

| July 6, 2012 | 26 Comments

Thinkstock When parents and teachers consider how children learn, it’s usually the intellectual aspects of the activity they have in mind. Sidney D’Mello would like to change that. The University of Notre Dame psychologist has been studying the role of feelings in learning for close to a decade, and he has concluded that complex learning […]

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Can E-Readers Ease Reading for Dyslexics?

Can E-Readers Ease Reading for Dyslexics?

| June 29, 2012 | 20 Comments

Flickr: libookperson The causes of dyslexia—the disorder that makes reading excruciatingly difficult for about one in twenty school-aged children—have remained frustratingly elusive, as has anything resembling a cure. Training programs for dyslexics have proven effective at improving certain parts of the reading process, such as phonological awareness and auditory perception. Once these skills have been […]

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How Thinking in 3D Can Improve Math and Science Skills

How Thinking in 3D Can Improve Math and Science Skills

| June 22, 2012 | 16 Comments

All of us, children included, live in a three-dimensional universe—but too often parents and teachers act as if the physical world is as flat as a worksheet or the page of a book. We call kids’ attention to numbers and letters, but we neglect to remark upon the spatial properties of the objects around us: […]

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Surprising Tips That Help Kids Learn to Read

Surprising Tips That Help Kids Learn to Read

| June 7, 2012 | 14 Comments

Thinkstock Parents, do you know how to read? More precisely, do you know how to read to kids? Almost every adult who cares for young children knows that sharing books with them is an important way to promote their reading skills. But research shows that subtle features of the way adults act during story-time make […]

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Why Daydreaming Isn’t a Waste of Time

Why Daydreaming Isn’t a Waste of Time

| June 1, 2012 | 32 Comments

Parents and teachers expend a lot of energy getting kids to pay attention, concentrate, and focus on the task in front of them. What adults don’t do, according to University of Southern California education professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, is teach children the value of the more diffuse mental activity that characterizes our inner lives: daydreaming, […]

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