Education Essential Reads

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?

Four Reasons to Worry About "Personalized Learning"

By Alfie Kohn on February 24, 2015 in The Homework Myth
When kids create their own meaningful projects, the learning is personal. When kids are fed prefabricated skills and constantly tested (via computer), the learning is "personalized." The latter is profitable for corporations, but not so great for our children.

A+ Students/C- Learners: Education’s Report Card

By APA Division 15 on February 24, 2015 in PsychEd
Today’s educational system is contributing to an undesirable and unanticipated problem—the production of many achievement-oriented, high-performing students who are, at best, mediocre learners. This is a bold and controversial claim that demands substantiation. beginning with what distinguishes good students from good learners.

How to Save Your Career From Social Media Meltdown

By Nancy Rothbard Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in The Science of Work
Sharing the wrong thing on social media can cost you your job.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

Three Dead Grannies, or the Psychology of Deadlines

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in One Among Many
A deadline is a blunt cudgel to beat students (and others) into submission. Can we do without them? [this is a rhetorical question]

Generations Divided

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in The Prime of Life
We live in a society acutely conscious of age. Ours is also an intensely age segregated society that denigrates whole groups of people based on their age.

Object Permanence In Adult Life

Eye contact, a pat on the back, a smile of appreciation, and a shared laugh-out-loud of sheer pleasure are the best and most direct signals of communication, after all.

Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

By Michael Hogan Ph.D on February 20, 2015 in In One Lifespan
There is a strong emerging body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches for a range of difficulties, including chronic pain. We tried to take mindfulness for chonic pain online. We called our programme Mindfulness in Action (MIA). The results of our MIA trial were interesting.

“Islamic Extremism” vs “Violent Extremism”

Some refuse to use the term "Islamic Extremists" to describe the terrorist group, ISIS, calling them "Violent Extremists." By attributing cause and accountability, we are better able to define who they are, delineate their mission and goals, and derive solutions to stop them. Naming them DOES NOT blame, or indict non-violent Muslims - not guilt by religious association.

An Ode to Common Core Kindergarten Standards

There is much wrong with American kindergartens—but Common Core State Standards are not to blame. If interpreted correctly, Common Core standards for literacy enable us to help enhance the kindergarten experience for all kindergarten children—from the underprepared to the most gifted and advanced.

Why We Remember What We Want to Remember

When public figures erroneously report on events that didn’t actually happen in their lives, the whole world knows about it. However, false memories are a common occurrence in everyone’s day-to-day thinking. Remembering what you want to remember may be more a matter of identity than of failing memory.

Feminist Pedagogy in the Classroom

By APA Division 15 on February 10, 2015 in PsychEd
One way to integrate critical thinking into classrooms is through feminist teaching. But, what is feminist teaching? How can educators use feminist teaching as a means to bring critical thinking to classrooms?

God Is Just a Natural Disaster Away

Reversing the effects of secularization in a moment

Cooperative Intelligence: The Precursor for Language?

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on February 03, 2015 in Language in the Mind
We are the cooperative species. While we may not all get along, all the time, our instinct for cooperation was, most likely, the necessary precursor for language.

A Personal Perspective on Football Superstitions

By Rebecca Jackson on January 31, 2015 in School of Thought
Certainly I don’t want my daughter to believe in psychologically unfounded superstitious behavior. I understand that in this immense world, children have very few things that that feel control over.

What Motivates People to Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices?

By Christopher Bergland on January 30, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
A Cornell University study released yesterday offers new insights that can help you create a personalized inner-dialogue and messaging strategy that will motivate you to make healthier lifestyle choices every day.

Love the Environment; But Environmentalists?

We think we've worked out why so many Americans are skeptical about climate change. Is it about conservatism, media coverage, brainwaves, the antics of environmentalists, or science education? The answer lies across the complex terrain of public opinion and understanding.

Muslims, Christians Become More Alike in an Unlikely Place

By Christine Wicker on January 27, 2015 in Pray for Me
In Nigeria, one of the world's hottest spots for religious conflict, changes in prayer practices are bringing two groups together in ways no one could have foreseen.

Writing and Art, Picasso, and the Common Core

What would Picasso have to say about Common Core State Standards now driving the curriculum—and leaving art behind—in over 40 states? As it turns out, both Picasso and psychological studies support a call for cross-disciplinary connections at all levels of education.

Has College Become Dangerous for Students?

A great deal of press attention has focused on the problematic and often unethical behavior of college students in recent years. Campus sexual assaults, excessive drinking, and academic cheating scandals have been headline news impacting even our nation’s most elite universities. What can we do to improve college student behavior and maximize good ethical decision making?

Helping Students Leverage Skills Learned in Psychology

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on January 21, 2015 in Head of the Class
Psychology majors, like most undergraduates, are future-oriented--they look to what will happen after they graduate. But getting there, they often focus more on completing required courses ("hoop jumping") than thinking about what particular and important skills they have learned in their courses, skills that they can share with prospective employers, among others.

10 Psychological Strengths, Including the Most Valuable 2

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on January 21, 2015 in Curious?
What if we put 10 psychological characteristics that have been previously linked to well-being in direct competition? which would win? Check out this "in press" research study that has yet to be released to the public

Amazing Website Predicts All Your Political Opinions!*

I've posted an interactive tool that shows how various features (race, religion, gender, education, etc.) relate to a range of political opinions (abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, healthcare, etc.). Don't let a focus on your own views get in the way of learning about fascinating patterns in the data.

Freedom of Thought

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on January 15, 2015 in The Secular Life
For secular men and women, freedom of thought is valued above all else.

War: What Is It Good For?

By APA Division 15 on January 14, 2015 in PsychEd
Researchers in the educational sciences seem to spend more time fighting paradigm wars than developing better education. It’s time we beat our pens (or word processors) into ploughshares, and see education—and the sciences that try to describe and even predict it—as a true ecological system where different paradigms ‘work’ at different levels for different things.

Twin Congress Highlights and Telling Twins Apart

By Nancy L Segal Ph.D. on January 13, 2015 in Twofold
What you can learn from the International Twin Congress, and a new way to tell twins apart

Climate Change: How To Really Make A Difference

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on January 12, 2015 in Listen Up!
We live with a blanket of denial about human-made climate change, yet there are many paths to an empowered activism that works toward a more hopeful future. Here are some examples.

Are Bilinguals Really Smarter?

Conventional wisdom says that individuals who speak more than one language are more adept cognitively than individuals who speak just one language. A new study, however, challenges the notion that bilingualism enhances cognitive control, despite a large number of studies showing just such an advantage. The alleged culprit? Publication bias.