When I was a kid, I guess I often stared off into the middle distances. My parents would bring me back to reality with the comment “A penny for your thoughts”. This was a simple gentle prod to the fact that I was daydreaming. Years later, I look out at my classes and am tempted to use the same prod. Not for the occasional student texting, but for those who minds seem anywhere but on the material I am covering.
Are you reading my mind? People, on learning I am a psychologist, often assume I can. Sure psychological science does provide a lot of information about how humans think, feel, and behave. That said, I don’t read minds although as an educator I would love to have that power. Here’s a new study that just may help me power up.
We all like having someone to blame. Whether it is the state of the economy, security, sanctions (or lack thereof), it just seems to feel better if we can point a finger. Learning is no exception. Educators point fingers all the time. Americans bemoan the state of public education. States experiment with different ways to resurrect dropping exam scores and poor testing results. College faculty often blame high school teachers who often blame middle and elementary school teachers. Teachers also blame parents for not fostering good study habits or disciplining their kids, and blame students for not studying enough.