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How to fix schools so kids really learn
When conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, and climate science deniers claim to be brave truth-tellers and skeptics, how do we distinguish that from genuine skepticism?
What's harder than either traditional or hands-off teaching? Artfully complicating students' thinking. And being in control of putting kids in control.
A meditation on why sugarcoating is best avoided, both literally (in cereals) and figuratively (in education and parenting).
Why do so many teachers privilege test scores (falsely endowing them with "objectivity") over their own, more meaningful knowledge of how kids are faring?
The pervasive (and poignant) desire to be known by millions of strangers—or to bask in the reflected glory of famous people—is an intriguing psychological puzzle.
There's a substantial cost to students, and perhaps especially to working-class students, of our extreme ideology of individualism.
Having some control over what happens to us is a basic human need. Selfish individualism is not.
Part 3 of 3: A new review of 50 years of research finds little support for ABA. The evidence actually supports treating autistic kids as human beings, not bundles of behaviors.
ABA can objectify and dehumanize autistic children, with mindless compliance the price for acceptance. Is it any wonder it's widely despised by the children to whom it's done?
Part 1 of 3: Research has long shown that rewards inevitably backfire. That includes "positive reinforcement" to manipulate children with special needs.
There's a big difference between being politically progressive (when talking about education policy) and also being educationally progressive.
Let's quit the Millennial bashing and, while we're at it, stop the simplistic summaries of Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers, and other huge groups that only have age in common.
The low points of higher ed: How the system for deciding who's accepted makes our society more inequitable, and how the teaching isn't always so hot for those who do get in.
Educators often use a metaphor from the construction industry to describe giving students temporary help. But a closer look suggests the idea is more controversial than it seems.
Progressive teaching is hard to do well. But describing its rationale to skeptical outsiders is also important.
In 1996, Oprah Winfrey did an experiment in which some kids were rewarded for evaluating puzzles, and she invited me to explain the results. Here's what happened.
Should we really adopt a "count your blessings" stance across the board, or is it more authentic to see (and react to) circumstances as they are?
Just because neurotransmitters or hormones are associated with our behavior doesn't mean they cause (or explain) our behavior.
The use of data analytics to monitor students' progress may seem like a beneficial application of technology. But look more closely...
Claims that stress can be productive turn out not only to be simplistic but often to conceal elements of conservative ideology about parenting and masculinity.
How evolution in a classroom can eventually produce a revolution
Paradoxically, the Narcissist-in-Chief offers a useful framework for parenting since he's exactly the kind of person we hope our children will grow up not to resemble.
Why do college (and high school) instructors still spend so much time talking at students when research shows that isn't a particularly effective way to learn?
The reason United can oversell its seats (and drag people off its planes) is related to why student exams are standardized: The focus isn't on excellence but on winning
Narcissism and hypercompetitiveness, like certain other personality features, actually can predict political positions.
Conservative outrage over so-called "helicopter parenting" may be one reason so many want children to be given more freedom
Multiple misconceptions - about motivation, competition, and learning - explain why adults would set high school students against one another in a race to be valedictorian.
To grasp what Trump might do, we have to understand who he is. The clearer that picture becomes, the more horrifying the implications.
If you're told "Do this, and you'll get that," you're likely to become less interested in "this" and more interested in "that." Especially if "that" turns out to be money.
Traditional approaches to raising and teaching kids don't give them credit for what they can do - and yet, at the same time, fail to acknowledge their developmental limits
Alfie Kohn writes about behavior and education. His books include Feel-Bad Education, The Homework Myth, and What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated?