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

Advanced Placement Classes Under the Microscope

By APA Division 15 on July 07, 2015 in PsychEd
Last spring, over 4 million high school students took more than 2 million Advanced Placement (AP) tests. According to the College Board, students in AP courses learn more material, are more prepared for college, and finish a bachelor’s degree earlier than non-AP students. But, what is the real impact of AP programs?

Training Reinvented

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 05, 2015 in How To Do Life
A radically different approach to training mental health professionals.

Raising Kids Who Love Reading & Devour Books Voraciously.

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., J.D. on July 04, 2015 in All Grown Up
Tips for raising kids who love reading, devour books voraciously, and practically beg for a trip to the library. Ready to ignite a lifelong love affair with books? Here are 5 questions that can help you to light the first spark:

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 3

Tragically, since recorded history corporal punishment has been the “default” system for disciplining children. In the past century, however, evidence demonstrating its ineffectiveness has mounted to the degree that it can no longer—whether ethically or pragmatically—be justified. It’s therefore regrettable that today it's still common in the U.S.

The Dejobbing of Society and What to Do About It

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in How To Do Life
The synthesis of my interviews, readings, and thoughts on the subject.

How Does Physical Experience Affect Learning?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Go to a typical classroom, and it looks like a show. A teacher stands in front of the room. The teacher talks and demonstrates things from the front of the room. Unlike a show at a theater, the audience (the students) do get a chance to talk on occasion. But, most of the work students do is done from their seats.

Motivation in Education, Therapy, and Parenting

Vengeful parental fantasies often take the form of protecting the child from invented or exaggerated external threats.

Developmental Psychology and Environmental Sustainability

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on June 29, 2015 in EcoMind
In a new book, A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews, Steven Schein used the lens of developmental psychology to view the motivation of sustainability leaders, and he posits that sustainability leaders have developed an ecological self, a postconventional worldview, and an enhanced systems consciousness.

Is High Self-Esteem Bad for You?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in A Sideways View
Research suggests that the belief that bolstering self-esteem leads to many positive psychological and behavioural consequences may be misguided. Indeed it could have seriously unintended consequences and make matters worse

Build Your Young Child’s Future School Success NOW

Prediction is often the key measurement in intelligence tests. Activities allowing your child to recognize, play with, and create patterns build his power of prediction.Successful prediction is one of the best problem-solving strategies the brain has and necessary for successful reading, calculating, test taking, goal setting, and appropriate social behavior.

Rwandan Stories of Change

The Genocide Archive Rwanda helps to preserve history, educate and promote peace building

What's the Real Purpose of Classroom Management?

By Alfie Kohn on June 25, 2015 in The Homework Myth
Is it possible that "managing" the classroom -- that is, controlling the students -- isn't always done in order to facilitate teaching but instead has become (for some educators) the ultimate goal, with the academic content chosen to achieve that goal?

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 2

Given the particular situation, children (like all the rest of us) are doing the best they’re capable of. So what are some ways that parents might effectively confront their child’s annoying, hazardous, or otherwise troublesome behavior—without, that is, having to punish them for it?

Conceptual Chicks & Experiential Eggs: Teaching Philosophies

Last spring I helped design a training program for aspiring college teachers. I had great fun being on the small planning committee; our disagreements were especially enlightening. My favorite disagreement was about whether we should have our students develop and write their teaching philosophy.

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

By Brad Waters on June 24, 2015 in Design Your Path
Going behind the scenes with 23 mental health professionals to gain insight into the pros and cons of the industry.

Curiosity: The Top Trait Among Those Who Succeed

By Gregg Levoy on June 24, 2015 in Passion!
How the power of passionate curiosity—what Buddhists call "beginner's mind"—can help us thrive.

Relational Reasoning Shows How Kids Think Without Thinking

By Garth Sundem on June 23, 2015 in Brain Trust
Study shows how young children intuit relationships that older children over-think and can't see.

College and Mr. Gates

By Mack R. Hicks Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in Digital Pandemic
Bill Gates should be applauded for his generous donations to education, but his blanket call for 11 million college grads won't accomplish much, and could hinder career education.

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

By David Niose on June 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

Inside Out Thinking

Inside Out thinking is the secret to success and a happier life. It makes learning a joy and not a chore—a good lesson for both adults and children.

Preparing to Serve

All sub-disciplines of psychology are represented in the general field of military psychology. Thus, the field offers opportunities for psychologists with interest in clinical practice, teaching, basic and applied research, and consulting.

Play, Common Core, and Early Reading Untangled

In a raging debate, leading researchers in reading education are speaking out in favor of keeping Common Core Kindergarten Literacy Standards. Their message? It’s perfectly fine for five year olds to play AND learn to read in school!

Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Teaching Psychology

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Head of the Class
Fewer students enjoy reading for reading's sake—we need to integrate literary fiction and good non-fiction into the classroom. Doing so can bring psychological ideas alive but also help students appreciate reading for pleasure and insight into behavior.

Anti-Intellectualism and Contemporary America

By Michael W Austin on June 21, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
If we want an educated citizenry, we must educate them.

It's the Hard Work, Stupid.

For decades, scholars have debated whether talent or effort is the better predictor of success. Research on the topic is mixed – but, this said, I say you put your money on effort – and here’s why.

All Things Murder

New edition of long-running "bible" of homicide investigation includes recent innovations and additional photos.

The Life of a Teacher

Teachers make a big difference in our lives. There's something we can do to make a small difference in theirs.

Dyslexia Doesn't Have to Hold You Back

Dyslexia doesn't have to hold you back. In our research, we found that adults with dyslexia used their strengths in visual working memory to focus their attention.

Igniting a Renaissance

How can parents best bring out their child’s gifts? How can we help the gifted child who is more introverted? How can we spur a renaissance in gifted education? How can we persuade the public to care about helping our most talented kids reach their full potential?