Focusing on the Student, Not The Class… and more in this week’s news roundup

When The Focus Is On The Student, Not The Class
(NPR Ed)

It’s all part of an approach that Pittsfield, and a growing number of schools across the country, have adopted called student-centered learning. The idea is to ditch traditional classes (think: teacher lecturing from a rigid lesson plan at the front of a class to students in neat rows of desks) for a more personalized approach, where students have a much greater say in what they learn and how they learn it.

Multiple-choice Testing: Are the Best Practices for Assessment Also Good for Learning?
(Learning Scientists)

Multiple-choice tests are very popular in education for a variety of reasons – they are easy to grade, offer greater objectivity, and can allow more content to be covered on a single test. As a result of its popularity and utility, multiple-choice testing has been the focus of a lot of research.

Easing the Shift From Elementary to Middle School
(Edutopia)

A few ways teachers can help new middle schoolers—and their families—cope with this big change.

College Advice I Wish I’d Taken
(New York Times)

I enjoyed going to college at the University of Michigan, an hour from home, but my secret humiliation is: I was the type of mediocre student I now disdain. As a freshman, I cared about my friends, my boyfriend and my poetry. Or, I cared about what my boyfriend thought of my friends, what my friends thought of him, and what they thought of my poetry about him. Here’s what I wish I’d known and done differently.

Attending a middle vs K-8 school matters for student outcomes
(Science Daily)
Students who attend a middle school compared to a K-8 school are likely to have a lower perception of their reading skills, finds a new study.

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better
(NPR Ed)

A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8.

Educators Employ Strategies To Help Kids With Anxiety Return To School
(NPR Ed)

It is often triggered when students are transitioning into middle or high school. Doctors say it should be treated with flexibility and therapy – not punishment.

What training exercise boosts brain power best? New research finds out
(Science Daily)

One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity.

10 Practical Strategies to Foster A Growth Mindset Culture in Your Class
(Educational Technology and Mobile Learning)

10 practical strategies you can use to foster a growth-mindset culture in your class.

Building Resilience, Preventing Burnout
(Edutopia)
Whether you’re a new teacher or a veteran, try these tips for taking care of yourself and staying energized throughout the school year.

A Troubling Side Effect of Praise
(Edutopia)
Young students who are praised for being smart are more likely to cheat, a new study finds.

A Pedagogy Questioned
(Inside Higher Ed)
Penn grad student says she’s under fire on campus and off for using a teaching technique that involves specifically calling on students from underrepresented groups.

Author makes case for ‘surprising power’ of liberal arts education
(Inside Higher Ed)

Robots are taking over the world (and the job market). Majoring in anything but a science or engineering discipline is foolhardy. A humanities or social science degree will get you a great job — as a barista.

Should College Professors Give ‘Tech Breaks’ In Class?
(NPR)
These digital natives should be offered a one-minute tech break in the classroom to check and send messages on their phones. More specifically: “Instructors should initially schedule the breaks every 15 minutes, [Rosen] says, but then gradually increase the time between breaks to teach students to focus.”

Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids’ Schooling
(The Atlantic)
A new study shows that families act on insufficient information when it comes to figuring out where to enroll their children.

GUEST POST: Exploring Retrieval Practice with Younger Students
(The Learning Scientists)

What if the students were learning these habits at a younger age? What if these techniques were just ‘how we do things’—instead of the much less effective, yet popular, methods of re-reading text or copying notes.

This Job Platform Is For Undergrads Who Get Nowhere On LinkedIn
(Fast Company)

The days of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” may be nearing an end now that college students can Handshake their way to better job opportunities.

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.