Insights on Education

From language acquisition to problem solving to social skills, questions of how we learn are central to understanding human development. Formal education has its share of critics—can psychology lead the way to true reform?

Recent Posts on Education

Kids and Animals Helping One Another at Green Chimneys

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 26, 2015 in Animal Emotions
I just returned home from a most inspiring conference called "Growing Together: Kids, Animals and Sowing the Seeds of Resiliency" held at Green Chimneys in Brewster, New York. This interdisciplinary gathering on human-animal interaction shows how much can be done for the kids and the animals who in many ways rescue, help, and heal one another. Green Chimneys rocks!

Sitting Can Drain Brain Power and Stifle Creativity

Sitting has become an epidemic. Not only does sitting increase health risks and obesity—sitting can also stifle creative thinking and disrupt cognitive engagement.

What Is the Optimally Efficient Gap Between Study Sessions?

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Memory Medic
Learning success depends on when you study.

Hate Small Talk? It’s a Skill Worth Learning

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on April 24, 2015 in Off the Couch
Do you hate small talk? You’re not alone, of course. Maybe you’re shy, or introverted, or maybe you’re bored by it. Or do you get irritated by the apparently endless and meaningless chatter? Here are 5 reasons to change your mind. And 5 techniques for getting better at it.

The Grass Moment

By Alfie Kohn on April 24, 2015 in The Homework Myth
If we want to raise kids who aren't self-centered, we should stop emphasizing compliance and instead foster a willingness to question authority

Choosing to Be Child-free

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in A Sideways View
More and more people in the west are choosing not to have children. Is this a puzzle for evolutionary psychologists? What does the research say on this topic?

Why We Get Such Dumb Advice About Love, Money and Health

Does not every teenager already know you should comb your hair and look for a kind, suitable partner? What kind of dumb advice is this?

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Language in the Mind
What accounts for the hullabaloo surrounding the publication of The Language Myth. Is Chomskyan linguistics a form of intellectual fundamentalism? And is language science in the throes of a paradigm shift? It's certainly beginning to look that way!

My Student Wants a Romantic Relationship

Romance, teachers, and students don't mix.

Backward America

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Do we just take it for granted that the U.S. is the best at everything? We don’t seem to notice how bad things really are or how much better off other countries are in ways we used to excel.

What are Learning Styles?

By Phil Newton on April 20, 2015 in From Mouse to Man
What are Learning Styles? Should educators be using them? Do they work? Do they even exist? Do they matter?

Are Athletes Good Role Models?

Being a sport superstar doesn’t automatically qualify a person to be a role model. What are the credentials for the job?

As A Nation, How Can We Best Empower Our Gifted Kids?

Should your child move ahead to that advanced math class? Should they skip a grade? Should they enter college early? What impact will that have on their educational and social/emotional trajectory? What does the research evidence tell us?

Motor Activity Improves Working Memory in Children with ADHD

A new study suggests that a majority of students with ADHD could perform better on classroom work, tests, and homework if they were allowed to sit on activity balls or exercise bikes while learning.

Why Do Rich Kids Have Higher Standardized Test Scores?

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University recently reported that the academic “achievement gap” on standardized tests between lower-income and higher-income children is reflected in brain anatomy.

Honest Sex Ed

What you would say, if you were very being honest, about the role of sex in a life?

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules—But Whose Hand Is It?

The history of the nature/nurture controversy reveals fraud on the nurture side and developments in our view of nature that the imprinted brain theory readily explains.

How The Politics of Memory Affects Us All

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Listen Up!
How our society remembers history affects our sense of identity and well-being. The current controversy about remembering the Vietnam War trickles through families up to the present day, and shapes what kind of future our children will encounter.

Expanding the Heart While Educating the Mind

By Dana Klisanin Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Digital Altruism
The Hippie gene has made its way into the Millennial’s DNA. The “old school” approach to work and education is not right for them. A Millennial would rather be a “freelancer” than a “cog-in-the-wheel” of so-called progress. Their highest aspiration is to become “independent freelancers and global citizens who make a difference in the world.”

Final Exams Are Just Around the Corner

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Head of the Class
Like birth, death, and taxes, finals are inevitable—and always there at the end of term for undergraduates in psychology and all other academic disciplines. How best to prepare for them?

Empathy

How do we come by what's morally right or wrong?

Women’s Pay Gap: Is it Children, Expectations, or Feminism?

It's time for the power structure of corporate and political America to better accommodate women and their families.

Hire an Au Pair? Help Yourself; Help Her; and Help the World

So many moms, and dads as well now, have too much to do with juggling work and home life. Ever thought your family could use a nanny? A nanny may also need you!

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

In an exclusive interview, authors Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer discuss their acclaimed book, "All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism." Not just any children's book, it includes a reading guide about the challenges and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum, along with tips and support information for parents and caregivers.

What to Do When Your Life Takes an Unexpected Turn

As you make your way through life, you are guided by both the long- and short-term goals you’ve set for yourself. However, your plans may take an unexpected turn. From research on “career shocks,” you can learn to manage the unexpectedly good and bad that life throws your way whether in your career or your relationships.

Loving the Process Means Everything for Creativity

By Gregory Ciotti on April 13, 2015 in Habits, Not Hacks
Artists must enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.

Curiosity: The Heart of Lifelong Learning

What makes children want to learn? Curious children often spend a great deal of time reading and acquiring knowledge because they sense a gap between what they know and what they want to know—not because they are motivated by grades.

Do Most People Fit in Liberal and Conservative Boxes?

With so much talk of liberals and conservatives, it's tempting to think the labels really do capture public opinion. But it's not so simple, not even close.

8 Ways a Teacher Is Like a Leader

When most people think of a leader, archetypes often include the president of a country, the boss of a company, or a general in the military. But can a teacher be equated to a leader?

How To Change Your Life

By Sheila Kohler on April 12, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
Change, which is so difficult to achieve in life and to portray in literature is often brought about by a catalyst, a stranger, who comes into our lives and makes us see ourselves in a different and perhaps more truthful light.