Nov
8

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Socratic Questioning: 30 Thought-Provoking Questions to Ask Your Students

Over a decade ago, cognitive scientists John D. Bransford and Daniel J. Schwartz asked fifth graders and college students to create a recovery plan to protect bald eagles from extinction. Surprisingly, the two groups came up with plans of similar quality (although the college students had better spelling skills). But…

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Nov
1

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How Empathy Affects Learning, And How To Cultivate It In Your Students

“The education system forces people to unlearn the empathy they were born with. It’s a system based on always seeming strong, contributing to the economy, and being number one. Being number one is the rule of game, and how we relate to others is fundamentally dismissed.” –Bernard Amadei, Ashoka Fellow…

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Oct
18

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25 Practices That Foster Lifelong Learning

“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into learners and nonlearners.” –Benjamin Barber, sociologist Is your capacity for learning is fixed or fluid? Can you improve your intelligence and talents through hard work and practice, or…

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Oct
11

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25 Things Skilled Learners Do Differently

Imagine for a moment that all human beings had the same IQ, but that some of us knew how to tap into it better than others. How would we approach education differently? For starters, we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves nearly as much with boosting students’ academic confidence. If a…

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Oct
6

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Teaching Metacognition: Insight Into How Your Students Think Is Key To High Achievement In All Domains

A few years ago, I came across some interesting research by cognitive psychologist Ronald T. Kellogg. He claimed that the mark of an expert writer is not years of practice or a hefty vocabulary, but rather an awareness of one’s audience. This made sense to me, and I wondered if…

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Oct
4

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How To Make Learning Relevant To Your Students (And Why It’s Crucial To Their Success)

We’ve all heard our students ask the question, “When will I ever use this in the real world?” And honestly, it’s a great question–one that we should all spend more time thinking about. Research shows that relevant learning means effective learning, and that alone should be enough to get us…

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Sep
27

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The Secret to Staying Focused

Image by Victo ngai Let’s face it. Eliminating all distractions in order to focus is poor advice. It just doesn’t work, in the same way that most abstinence campaigns never work. Distraction isn’t the problem; in many cases, it aids the creative process. The problem is one of motivation. “Like…

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Sep
24

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Mind Wandering: How It Helps and Harms Learning

What happens on a neurological level while our minds wander is actually pretty fascinating. According to the Neuroenergetic Theory proposed by Killeen et al., our attention starts to lag after just twelve seconds of effort because our neurons run out of fuel. Neurons first look to glial cells for lactate,…

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News

Even Students With Low Self-Esteem Don’t Benefit From Inflated Praise

Monday, June 2, 2014

Today’s talented youth are often lavished with praise by parents and teachers alike, and most of us are familiar with the argument that this practice may actually harm development. But what we aren’t so familiar with is the idea that too much praise may harm the development of struggling students…

Creativity Is Declining Among Teenagers, With One Exception (And What It Says About Our Education System)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New research from the University of Washington Information School and Harvard University has found that some aspects of creativity — such as those employed in visual arts — are gently rising over the years, while other aspects, such as the nuances of creative writing, are declining. Along with a team…

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