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.
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.
Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth. If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM, we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early.
Listening and observing can be passive activities—in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here’s how to make sure your intentions are good.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the most significant thing about college is not where you go, but what you do once you get there. Historian and educator Ken Bain has written a book on this subject, What The Best College Students Do, that draws a roadmap for how students can get the most out of college, no matter where they go.
What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you know.
Many studies show that engaging in reciprocal back-and-forth conversations gives children a chance to try out language for themselves, and also gives them the sense that their thoughts and opinions matter.