Learning Smarter

Where’s the Joy in Learning?

Where’s the Joy in Learning?

| April 19, 2012 | 10 Comments

Flickr:WoodleyWonderworks A school is not a desert of emotions,” begins an article by Finnish educators Taina Rantala and Kaarina Määttä, published last month in the journal Early Child Development and Care. But you’d never know that by looking at the scientific literature. “In the field of educational psychology, research on feelings is lacking,” the authors […]

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Do Students Really Have Different Learning Styles?

Do Students Really Have Different Learning Styles?

| April 13, 2012 | 26 Comments

Lenny Gonzales Learning styles—the notion that each student has a particular mode by which he or she learns best, whether it’s visual, auditory or some other sense—is enormously popular. It’s also been thoroughly debunked. The scientific research on learning styles is “so weak and unconvincing,” concluded a group of distinguished psychologists in a 2008 review, […]

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What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains

What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains

| April 5, 2012 | 30 Comments

Getty Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however—much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter […]

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How to Deal With Kids’ Math Anxiety

How to Deal With Kids’ Math Anxiety

| March 29, 2012 | 14 Comments

Flickr: Grisha By Annie Murphy Paul In children with math anxiety, seeing numbers on a page stimulates the same part of the brain that would respond if they spotted a slithering snake or a creeping spider—math is that scary. Brain scans of these children also show that when they’re in the grip of math anxiety, […]

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Do Students Know Enough Smart Learning Strategies?

Do Students Know Enough Smart Learning Strategies?

| March 22, 2012 | 13 Comments

Lenny Gonzales What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather gnomic answer: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you know. To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: […]

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Can Stereotyping Girls Harm Boys Too?

Can Stereotyping Girls Harm Boys Too?

| March 9, 2012 | 15 Comments

Getty When Larry Summers, then the president of Harvard, made his infamous remark in 2005 about “intrinsic aptitude” in explaining part of the gap between men and women’s performance in math and science, he was accused of making it harder for women and girls to succeed in those fields. He wasn’t blamed for hobbling the […]

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Why It’s Important to Talk Math With Kids

Why It’s Important to Talk Math With Kids

| March 2, 2012 | 26 Comments

Flickr: Benjamin Rossen Do you speak math with your kids? Many of us feel completely comfortable talking about letters, words and sentences with our children—reading to them at night, helping them decode their own books, noting messages on street signs and billboards. But speaking to them about numbers, fractions, and decimals? Not so much. And […]

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What’s Your Best Guess? Predicting Answers Leads to Deeper Learning

What’s Your Best Guess? Predicting Answers Leads to Deeper Learning

| February 24, 2012 | 5 Comments

Predictions pique our interest. Once we wager that our favorite sports team will win, we want to know the final score. Once we guess the identity of the murderer in a mystery novel, we keep reading to find out if we were right. The same holds true, it turns out, in the learning of mathematics. […]

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How Much Practice is Too Much?

How Much Practice is Too Much?

| February 17, 2012 | 15 Comments

By Annie Murphy Paul Why do I have to keep practicing? I know it already!” That’s the familiar wail of a child seated at the piano or in front of the multiplication table (or, for that matter, of an adult taking a tennis lesson). Cognitive science has a persuasive retort: We don’t just need to […]

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Beyond Strategy and Winning, How Games Teach Kids Empathy

Beyond Strategy and Winning, How Games Teach Kids Empathy

| February 9, 2012 | 7 Comments

Getty By Annie Murphy Paul Until I had children, I couldn’t be bothered with playing games. Couldn’t stand poker, pinochle or gin rummy. Bored out of my mind by Sorry! and Stratego. Never understood the appeal of chess, checkers or backgammon. But once I had kids, games took on a new appeal. Apart from entertaining […]

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