Public Service Loan Forgiveness program benefits us all and more in this week’s news roundup!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program benefits us all
(Kansas City Star)
PSLF is a necessary program that recognizes that public service is a pursuit of the heart, and is often not lucrative. It enables people like me to pursue their passions and give back to our communities without having to bear the burden of student loan debt for their lifetime.

Turning classrooms into learning laboratories
(Monitor on Psychology)
The LearnLab at Carnegie Mellon University takes a high-tech approach to understanding and improving learning.

Getting culture right Part 2: Understanding group psychology
(The Learning Spy)
If you want schools or classes to be successful you need to address the peer culture. Teachers and school leaders have some real power in this regard. Leaders can do much to change the characteristics of the group and, thankfully, leaders do not have to be group members to be successful leader.

How to Complete a Ph.D. in 5 Years
(Inside Higher Ed)
Spending a very long time in graduate school is expensive and impractical, writes Keisha N. Blain, who describes how to increase the likelihood of finishing faster.

Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think
(The Wall Street Journal – Subscription Required)
As the Trump administration and congressional Republicans push a variety of higher-education paths, including more vocational options, we take a look at today’s college student population

Linking success in some fields to intellectual talent undermines women’s interest in them
(Science Daily)
Due to the cultural stereotypes that portray ‘brilliance’ as a male trait, messages that tie success in a particular field, job opportunity, or college major to this trait undermine women’s interest in it.

The Schoolhouse Network
(Education Next)
Given what we know about the importance of bringing teachers together, how does the physical infrastructure of a conventional egg crate school influence their interactions with colleagues?

Why disparate impact theory is a bad fit for school discipline
Though plenty of conservatives disagree, personally I believe that disparate impact theory has a limited but real role to play in ferreting out discrimination in certain domains, including hiring. When a facially neutral policy is intended to have a discriminatory impact, it’s appropriate for the government to put an end to it.

Higher-ranked colleges don’t necessarily provide a better educational experience
(Science Daily)
College rankings dominate the conversation regarding quality in postsecondary education, but new research reveals that rankings have little to no relationship to student engagement, an important indicator of collegiate quality.

Extending the Silence
Giving students several seconds to think after asking a question—and up to two minutes for some questions—improves their learning.

How Students Pay for Graduate Study
(Inside Higher Ed)
Students who were enrolled in graduate programs last year reported that they paid for 77 percent of their education with money they earned, saved or borrowed, according to a new study from Sallie Mae, the student loan company.

New Analysis of Student Loan Default Data
(Inside Higher Ed)
The looming student loan crisis is worse than previously thought, according to a new analysis of federal data on student loan default, which the U.S. Department of Education released in October.

I ‘Crushed’ My Student Loans in Record Time. (Free Rent Helped)
(The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Tales of rapidly paying off enormous amounts of student debt are popular on the internet, but many borrowers don’t have the advantages to blast away loans.

GUEST POST: Boosting Metacognition and Executive Functions in the Classroom
(The Learning Scientists)
What might the terms metacognition and executive functions actually mean in your classroom? And what can you do to help students in your class make the most of their learning?

A Discussion about Learning in the Classroom
(The Effortful Educator)
What happens when you ask students: What is learning? How do you learn? How do you know when learning has occurred? How do you know when you’ve learned?

Building a better survey experience
(Psychological Science Agenda)
Tips for optimizing the survey process to collect useful survey data.

Is School-Discipline Reform Moving Too Fast?
(The Atlantic)

In some districts, efforts to curb suspensions result in rushed solutions and even a loss of teachers.

He’s Pavlov and We’re the Dogs: Learning and Human Behavior
(Psychology Today)
When the ringing of a bell comes to mean something more than just salivating.

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?
(New York Times)

Many preschool teachers live on the edge of financial ruin. Would improving their training — and their pay — improve outcomes for their students?

The Best Way to Learn to Play a Musical Instrument: Who, What, and Why

About 30 years ago I asked a group of instrumental teachers I was working with to draft a curriculum for their teaching. It felt quite a heresy at the time. (‘A curriculum? But we’re professionals!’) After debating the whys and wherefores of what should be common to all, and what should be distinctly instrumental-specific, a reasonably detailed and comprehensive curriculum was produced, for which I wrote an introduction, including a statement: ‘The single most important ingredient in instrumental success is desire’.

Early intervention is key to support students with anxiety about starting university
(The Conversation)

Roughly one in five students drop out of university in Australia in their first year. Students with prior emotional difficulties, who are doing their degrees part-time, mature age at entry, or from a lower socioeconomic status background are most likely to be in this category.

Are Gummy Bear Flavors Just Fooling Our Brains?
(NPR – The Salt)

Do gummy bears really come in different flavors, or do we just think they taste different because they are different colors?” The newsroom was split on the answer, so we conducted a highly unscientific experiment — a blind taste test. And while initially the question seemed kind of silly, several people played along and once they closed their eyes, their accuracy in differentiating the flavors majorly declined.

Is Your Child Lying to You? That’s Good
(New York Times)

Should parents be troubled when their kids start to deceive them? Odds are, most of us would say yes. We believe honesty is a moral imperative, and we try to instill this belief in our children. Classic morality tales like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “Pinocchio” speak to the dangers of dishonesty, and children who lie a lot, or who start lying at a young age, are often seen as developmentally abnormal, primed for trouble later in life. But research suggests the opposite is true. Lying is not only normal; it’s also a sign of intelligence.

About the Author

Amanda Macchi, MPH
Amanda comes to APA as a recent graduate of the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. During her time at GW, Amanda studied global health, focusing on the challenges facing mental health in low-and middle-income countries. She received her undergraduate degree in marketing from Emerson College in Boston, Mass. In her free time, Amanda loves pyrography and collecting/learning about mid-century modern furniture.
Hunter Clary
Hunter is a communications professional who came of age in the digital revolution, and has witnessed big changes in how we communicate. In his eclectic 20 year career he’s seen vast changes across multiple industries from advertising, B2C, professional services, publishing, and now non-profit. During his time at APA Hunter has watched the growth of in the organization’s web presence; a shift from print to digital media; and the pickup of social channels like the PsychLearningCurve. A tech geek at heart, Hunter is naturally drawn to all things shiny and new especially when it comes to communicating – particularly social media and apps. Hunter seeks to understand the world around him -- add in a penchant for creative design and a reporter’s curiosity and you’ve got Hunter. Through this blog he hopes to help translate quality psychological science into practical uses for educators, students, and parents.