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

Poison Apple II: How Smartphones Degrade Learning

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on September 04, 2015 in The Fallible Mind
Today’s students are less capable compared to their earlier counterparts. Education technology is an alluring cost-effective illusion that promises more efficient learning that real teachers provide.

My Best Tweets, Part VI

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 04, 2015 in How To Do Life
27 of my best ideas, each in just a sentence or two.

When College Shopping, Don't Forget About Mental Health

How well a school responds to its students’ mental health needs can be literally lifesaving, and that’s not just for the students already dealing with concerns such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Many mental health issues first emerge in early adulthood, and college - with its stresses, competition and disconnect from familiar support network

Getting Along With Others: Parenting for Social Intelligence

Children and teens can experience social challenges at any point during the school year. Social context—including opportunities for interaction and collaboration with others—makes an enormous difference in what and how much children learn, and how quickly that happens. Here are eight practical tips for parents to help kids build positive relationships.

Emotions That Stimulate Student Learning and Growth

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on September 03, 2015 in The Pursuit of Peace
As Pixar's movie "Inside Out" demonstrates, and as decades of research reveals, specific emotions function in distinct ways. "Knowledge emotions" such as surprise, interest, confusion, and awe may be essential to encouraging students' learning, curiosity, exploration, and reflection this upcoming school year and beyond.

6 Insider Tips for New Ph.D. Students

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Caveman Politics
Welcome to the Ph.D. “business”! It’s peculiar and you’re probably entering it at a huge information disadvantage. Profit from these insider tips.

Young, Confident, Bisexual

By Nick Luxmoore on September 02, 2015 in Young People Up Close
More and more young people are slowly gaining the confidence to resist being defined as one thing or another. More and more say that they "might be bisexual."

Political Correctness Is Bad, When Applied Incorrectly

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Insight Therapy
Trigger Warning: This piece may deeply frustrate those who feast on political correctness hysteria

How To Enjoy Back-to-School Reading Time With Your Kids

By Jamie Zibulsky Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Book Smart
Carving out time each day for a shared reading routine sounds wonderful in the abstract, but it can be challenging to do, for many reasons. So what’s a parent to do? Here are some tips that may help you!

Your Over-Parenting Can Damage Your Child's Education

Teachers have gone from mentoring students to monitoring students. They're urged to report accounts of unblemished success to the parents. That's not an education.

What Extracurriculars Will Help Me Get into Grad School?

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in The Web of Violence
What are the best ways to spend your time outside of class to beef up your grad school applications? The Data Doctor responds.

Ten Academic Commandments for College Students

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Head of the Class
What are some straightforward strategies for academic success that any student can try? Here is a list of ten basic ones that are a great place to start, whether you are a new or a veteran student.

Waving Sadly and Yet Joyfully Goodbye

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 01, 2015 in Kids Being Kids
My wife started back to work fulltime. After admirably serving seven years in the trenches of child warfare on the not so tropical resort island known as Imagonna Pullmyhairout, she joined the ranks of the millions who deserve to be awarded a “Stay at Home Mom” Medal of Honor. As a recovering Mr. Mom, this blog is dedicated to all of you Stay at Home Parents.

What If the Diagnosis of Autism Is Wrong?

How does this happen? There are many neuropsychologists who are excellent and take time to evaluate a child. Sometimes, children do not perform well because they are afraid of the unfamiliar adult or the testing tasks and environment. Sometimes, at a young age, particularly in cases of a language delay, the child doesn’t understand the intent of the question.

Tips for Parents to Increase Physical Activity in Children

According to research, physical activity plays an important role on academic achievement in children and adolescents. As a parent, your child is dependent on you to guide their healthy habits to cope with life. Here are a few tips to help increase physical activity in youth.

What Scientists Know and Need to Share with the Public

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Many scientific studies fail to replicate and this is okay. It is part of the process. However, scientists and the journalists who write about science need to do a better job explaining to the public how science works.

How Parents Can Help Their Child Build Self-Confidence

by Dona Matthews & Joanne Foster. One of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is self-confidence. Help her understand her unique ability profile, show him that all learning happens in small steps, support her in developing her interests, be available as needed especially in times of change, and help him welcome setbacks as learning opportunities.

20 Secrets of Successful Students

Some are common sense, some counterintuitive and all guaranteed to help you get the 'A'.

Killing Academia: The Death of America's Colleges

Wake up, America! Your children are no longer being taught by professors.

Why Are Today’s College Students So Emotionally Fragile?

Brain research reveals why controlling parents stunt their children's growth.

Client-Centered Therapy

Non-directive therapy is often misunderstood as sloppy, unstructured, and passive, but actually it means very actively following the direction of the client, carefully, closely, and creatively.

What We Like About Stories

By Jamie Zibulsky Ph.D. on August 26, 2015 in Book Smart
Two of the characteristics of stories that are most important to us as readers or audience members may seem contradictory: we like surprises, but we also like predictability. Children also value these same elements in books, even from a young age.

Student Questions: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting

Lots of professors love it when students ask questions. At best, questions reflect activity and engagement. As a way to encourage students to ask questions, professors might say something like, “There’s no such thing as stupid questions.” I agree. But I would consider some questions to be “bad.”

Language Learning in a Multilingual Country

What is everyday interaction like in communities where everyone speaks several languages? What language learning strategies do they use? What assumptions do they make about language learning? Dr. Leslie C. Moore answers questions about the two multilingual communities in northern Cameroon where she did her research and about her own language learning in the field.

Mathematical Woes

For many youth math can be a fearful and an intimidating subject. Unfortunately, the struggle with math can occur at an early age, and unless it's appropriately addressed the fear can travel well into adulthood.

Why America Can’t Read

Advanced research in cognitive science including brain scan science is demonstrating that explicit spelling instruction may be the missing link to reading success in America where sixty-five percent of fourth graders read below proficiency levels.

Psychotherapy as a Learning Experience

Therapy is a learning experience. Perhaps findings from the neuroscience of learning and memory can suggest ways to improve the storage of memories that are formed during a therapy session.

Geek Heresy: Bursting the Hi-Tech Hype Bubble

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on August 24, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Kentaro Toyama takes aim at geek myths and cybersolutionism in his new book Geek Heresy. Social media gets a close look as well. Toyama draws important conclusions from his work in India, Africa and the U.S. on what really makes a difference in personal and societal development. Hint: it’s not your smartphone.

Grade Flation

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in One Among Many
Grades are a mixed curse. We can't leave without them, unless the culture changes radically, which it won't. Here's some of the psychology between the preference for easy (and hard) As.

What Does It Take to Succeed in Life?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology describes one of the most comprehensive studies to date looking at the effects of family background, personality, and intelligence on later success. By studying 81,000 participants over an eleven-year period, researchers found that the American Dream is still alive and well. More or less.