News, events, and commentary on bridging neuroscience and education

We Need to Rewrite the Textbook on How to Teach Teachers

by Simon Oxenham

Big Think | February 2, 2016

A report just published by the National Council on Teacher Quality describes a failure of teacher-training courses and the textbooks that accompany them to convey evidence-based practices, instead delivering unsupported anecdotal evidence and well-debunked myths.

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A Study of Motivation

by Kayt Sukel

Dana Neuroscientist Q&As | January 14, 2016

It’s difficult to know what motivates people, but R. Alison Adcock’s lab is using imaging to study how states like desire and curiosity can facilitate “motivated memory.” Her work could have implications in the education field, but also in other learning contexts like psychotherapy and behavior change.

Same Word, Different Meanings: Common Miscommunications between Neuroscience and Society

by Theresa Cheng

Learning & the Brain | January 14, 2016

Words like self-directed, executive function, and ability may have different shades of meaning for scientists and for teachers.

So Much to Read, So Little Time: How Do We Read, and Can Speed Reading Help?

Association for Psychological Science | January 13, 2016

A new report for the APS finds there is no quick and easy way to improve reading speed while avoiding costs to comprehension; however, for those who want to be able to quickly gain a general understanding of text, improved skimming through speed-reading training may be beneficial.

The Science of Learning: Five Classic Studies

by Tom Stafford

The Guardian | December 12, 2015

A few classic studies help to define the way we think about the science of learning. A classic study isn’t classic just because it uncovered a new fact, but because it neatly demonstrates a profound truth about how we learn – often at the same time showing up our unjustified assumptions about how our minds work.

Bilingualism & the Brain: The Lifelong Benefits of Juggling Languages

by Myra Laldin

Learning & the Brain blog | December 11, 2015

Being bilingual is seen as a valuable skill and an advantage today. This, however, has not always been the case.

Strengthening Executive Function Development for Students With ADD

by Dr. Lori Desautels

Edutopia | October 29, 2015

What are the root causes of Attention Deficit Disorder in our children and youth, and how do we address these challenges?

Scientists Weigh in on Special Needs Learning

by Ann Whitman

Dana Foundation Blog | October 5, 2015

“Allowing children to fail, to think they’re ‘dumb,’ is no longer acceptable,” said Dana Alliance member Sally Shaywitz at a recent Capitol Hill briefing on what neuroscience can tell us about educating special needs children. Article includes video from the event.

3 Things Neuroscience Teaches Us About the Changing 'Teenage Brain'

by Kathryn Mills

Learning & the Brain blog | September 28, 2015

What does it mean that the teenage brain is changing, in more ways than one, and those at different speeds?

So Much Talk About ‘The Brain’ in Education is Meaningless

by Jared Cooney Horvath and Gregory Donoghue

The Conversation | September 7, 2015

The next time you read something about neuroscience and education, there are a few simple questions you can ask to inoculate yourself against ultimately meaningless propositions. First: Can I replace the word “brain” with the word “student” without losing any meaning? If so, there is no need to defer to neuroscience.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

by Perri Klass, MD

New York Times Well blog | August 17, 2015

While we know that reading to a young child is associated with good outcomes, there is only limited understanding of what the mechanism might be. Two new studies examine the unexpectedly complex interactions that happen when you put a small child on your lap and open a picture book.

Math Gets More Rigorous for Some Preschoolers

by John Higgins

Seattle Times | August 10, 2015

Preschools typically leave math for grade school, in the belief that 4- and 5-year-olds aren't old enough to understand what 7 stands for. Decades of brain science now show that waiting is a mistake.

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