Assessment, Imagination Science, and more in this week’s news roundup!

Toward an Imagination Science
(Scientific American)
Is imagination a fixed ability, or can it be enhanced through targeted intervention?

Multiple-choice Testing: Are the Best Practices for Assessment Also Good for Learning?
(The Learning Scientists)
The vast majority of [multiple choice testing] research has focused on issues related to assessment (e.g., reliability, validity, etc.), and it has produced many pieces of practical advice for educators on how best to construct and use multiple-choice tests to evaluate learning.

Assessment Isn’t A Bad Word
(Effortful Educator)
I believe assessment is unfairly judged in the current climate of education debate.  It is easy fodder for persecution because it is misunderstood and, because of this, is often mentioned with negative connotation by students, teachers, parents, and administration. 

‘Turbo charge’ for your brain?
(Science Daily)
Two brain regions — the medial frontal and lateral prefrontal cortices — control most executive function. Researchers used high-definition transcranial alternating current stimulation (HD-tACS) to synchronize oscillations between them, improving brain processing. De-synchronizing did the opposite.

Promoting Empathy in Middle School
(Edutopia)
Diverse teams of students build a stronger school culture by working together on service projects to address community needs.

No ‘narcissism epidemic’ among college students, study finds
(Science Daily)
Today’s college students are slightly less narcissistic than their counterparts were in the 1990s, researchers report in a new study — not significantly more, as some have proposed.

The Kids Are Alright
(Inside Higher Ed)
College students are more narcissistic than older people. But perhaps young people always have been narcissistic, and it’s not so much a generational problem as it is a problem of youth, research suggests.

How Visual Notes Helped a Student With a Learning Disability Thrive
(Education Week)
Brodie was a bright elementary art student with a quick and dry sense of humor. He liked to draw—he loved to draw—and he was good at it. His solutions to our project problems in elementary art always pushed the limits of the assignments, and as his art teacher, I found my answer to his frequent question of “Can I do it this way?” was “Why not?”

Molecular basis for memory and learning: Brain development and plasticity share similar signalling pathways
(Science Daily)
Learning and memory are two important functions of the brain that are based on the brain’s plasticity. Scientists now report on how a trio of key molecules directs these processes. Their findings provide new leads for the therapy of Alzheimer’s disease.

Creating Buy-In for SEL at Your School
(Edutopia)
Seven suggestions for getting others at your school on board with social and emotional learning.

Building Students’ Resilience on the Bus
(Edutopia)
Six strategies bus drivers can use to support students’ emotional self-regulation.

A Practical Education
(Inside Higher Ed)
Author discusses his new book about why those who major in liberal arts disciplines — and the humanities in particular — make great employees.

Navigating Graduate School With Mental Illness
(Inside Higher Ed)
Jill Richardson shares five coping strategies she developed through personal experience.

Imagine a New Learning Paradigm
(Education Week – Subscription required)
The older [children] get, and the more structured learning becomes, at times, the less curious the grow.

10 Characteristics of Learner Centered Experiences
(Katie Martin Blog)
Education reimagined defines the paradigm shift from teacher-centered to learner-centered as shifting how we see learners and their critical role in their own learning now, and throughout their lives. The critical shift is that “Learners are seen and known as wondrous, curious individuals with vast capabilities and limitless potential.

6 Strategies for Taking High-Quality Notes
(Edutopia)
Get your students thinking deeply while they’re taking notes—and show them how to make the most of those notes later.

What is One Simple Thing You Can Do to Prevent Gun Violence at School? Say Something
(Psychology Benefits Society)
Research has shown that when it comes to violence, suicide and threats, most are known by at least one other individual before the incident takes place.

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.