Simplifying Cognitive Load Theory, Reasons People Procrastinate According to Psychology and more in this week’s news roundup!

Simplifying Cognitive Load Theory
(A Chemical Orthodoxy)
Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) may be the single most important thing for teachers to know, but it was not necessarily designed with teachers in mind. The product of lab-based randomized controlled trials, it is a theory from the specific academic discipline Cognitive Science.

Psychology Says These Are the Top 4 Reasons People Procrastinate

It’s a lot deeper than just being disorganized or knowing what to prioritize.

5 Ways To Make Classrooms More Inclusive
Back in September, teacher Mary Gilreath’s first-grade class was asked to wear blue for Peace Day. An adult worried the girls might not own blue shirts, and Gilreath saw an opportunity for her Boulder classroom. She shared the story with her students.

Six Measurement Myths
(Psychological Science Agenda)
Focus on the specific properties of your constructs, samples and instruments.

Grad Students’ ‘Fight for $15’
(Inside Higher Ed)
Graduate student assistants at campuses across the U.S. are pushing for $15 per hour, what they call a minimum living wage. Many labor for far less, but Emory recently upped stipends to effectively meet that target.

Education Professor: My Students Asked Who I Would Vote For. Here’s What I Told Them.
(Washington Post – Subscription Required, Free Trial)
Educational psychologist David Berliner explained that some of his students had asked how he planned to vote in the midterm elections next month, and he decided to explain in written detail.

Breathing Through the Nose Aids Memory Storage
(Science Daily)
The way we breathe may affect how well our memories are consolidated (i.e. reinforced and stabilized). If we breathe through the nose rather than the mouth after trying to learn a set of smells, we remember them better.

Why Relationships — Not Money — Are the Key to Improving Schools
(Science Daily)
Strong relationships between teachers, parents and students at schools has more impact on improving student learning than does financial support, new research shows. The study found that social capital had a three- to five-times larger effect than financial capital on reading and math scores in Michigan schools.

The Full Measure of a Teacher
(Education Next)
Using value-added to assess effects on student behavior

Brain Wave Device Enhances Memory Function
(Science Daily)
The entertainment of theta brain waves with a commercially available device not only enhances theta wave activity, but also boosts memory performance, according to new research.

Racism, Sexual Assault Contribute to College Mental Health Challenges, Study Finds
(Science Daily)
Racism, Sexual Assault Contribute to College Mental Health Challenges, Study Finds

Narrow STEM Focus In Schools May Hurt Long-Term
(Jay P. Greene’s Blog)
A fascinating recent paper by David Deming and Kadeem Noray, however, suggests that the payoff to students for pursuing STEM may be short-lived.

Superintendent Runcie Describes How He Handled the Aftermath of the Parkland Shooting
(Education Week – Subscription Required, Free Trial)
The after effects of a school shooting involve more than the recovery of students and the healing of a community, especially when that shooting is of the scale to draw the attention of international news media, Broward County, Fla., Superintendent Robert Runcie said in a panel discussion here Thursday.

Mindset and Attitude Affect Our Interactions in Leadership
(Education Week – Subscription Required, Free Trial)
In my first year of leadership, I often struggled with having difficult conversations because I assumed that people would hear my feedback in a certain way, and then I escalated those conversations before they even happened. If I had walked into each of those situations with an open mind, just looking at the facts, not personalizing any of it, they probably would have gone a different way.

Academic Focus or Whole-Child Approach? Inside the Pre-K Curriculum Debate
(Education Week – Subscription Required, Free Trial)
But a recent study finds that young children score higher on tests of school readiness when they get supplemental instruction using curricula designed to build their literacy and math skills, compared to receiving instruction exclusively through the broader whole-child approach.

What the Job Market Is — and Isn’t
(Inside Higher Ed)
Understanding the difference can help take the stress out of looking for a position

In Real Game of Life, Attending Wealthy High School Trumps All
(Inside Higher Ed)
Socioeconomic status of high school has more impact on educational attainment and life success than does attending a high school with high levels of student achievement, study finds.

The Case Against Alphabetical Naming of Authors
(Inside Higher Ed)
New study suggests that the practice — dominant in some fields — unfairly penalizes those whose last names are at the end.

To Boost Mental Health, Try Team Sports or Group Exercise
(KQED – Mind/Shift)
Ryan “China” McCarney has played sports his entire life, but sometimes he has to force himself to show up on the field to play pick-up soccer with his friends.

A Decade of Data Reveals That Heavy Multitaskers Have Reduced Memory
(Medical Xpress)
The smartphones that are now ubiquitous were just gaining popularity when Anthony Wagner became interested in the research of his Stanford colleague, Clifford Nass, on the effects of media multitasking and attention.

Opinion: Bullying Is on the Rise, Survey Shows. How Did We Get Here?
(Hechinger Report)
Is bullying increasing just at my school, or is this part of a larger trend? How did we get here? Who is being bullied, and why? Emboldened by these conversations, we recently took a fresh look at our latest bullying data to better understand this shifting landscape.

Faculty Members Can Build Relationships With Online Students. Here’s How.
(The Chronicle of Higher Education – Subscription Required)
When Simmons University decided to create an online version of its master’s program in social work, Dana Grossman Leeman was “voluntold,” as she puts it, to create the first course for the new venture. She was “absolutely dead set against it.”

Undergraduates Aren’t Sure About Postgraduate Study. These Factors Encourage Them to Apply.
(The Chronicle of Higher Education)
A wide network of relatives, professors, and people already working in a field offer career advice to white undergraduates who are likely to pursue an advanced degree, and those white students are more likely than their black, Hispanic, and Asian peers to have received such guidance.

Study Finds One In Four College Students With Clinical ‘Distress’ In Response To Trump’s Election
(The Hill)

A new study from a team of psychology researchers found significant clinical distress among college students, related to the 2016 presidential election.

How to Help Your College Freshman Avoid Depression
(US News)

The transition from high school to college is fraught, and parents should be alert to the warning signs of distress.

Student Choice, Intuition, and Poor Study Habits
(Effortful Educator)

One of the most concerning statements I see teachers make on twitter regarding student-choice* in the classroom goes something like this: “I provide student-choice in my classroom by allowing students to choose how they study/learn best.”  Why is this so concerning to me?  A majority of students don’t truly know how they study/learn best.

Why Principals Need to Make Student Mental Health a Priority
(Education Week)

Within the first eight days of school this year, three students in a suburban district East of Los Angeles killed themselves. None of the deaths were related—the students had been from different schools, in different grades, and didn’t appear to know one another. But the quick succession of suicides left the community reeling.

Opinion: How Easy High Schools Are Failing Their Students
(The Hechinger Report)

Research underscores the need for systems that challenge and engage.

How Does Stress Affect The Brain?
(Medical News Today)

Regular exposure to stress can impact our physical and mental health, but how does it actually affect our brains? One new Harvard Medical School study answers that question.

The Role of Community in Creating and Healing Trauma in Kids
(KQED – Mind/Shift)
When kids live in violence-prone neighborhoods, the environment can enable trauma in their lives. The RYSE Center in Richmond, California, is seeking to change the community’s culture by providing something to young people that’s sometimes missing in their schools and home lives: love and support.

Want to Offer Internships At Your School? A Tool To Make It Easier
(KQED – Mind/Shift)
Work-based opportunities are becoming more popular in many high schools as educators and parents look for ways to connect academic learning to real-world work. States like Vermont and New Hampshire already have work-based learning pathways at the state level, and voters in cities like Oakland have approved money to expand “linked learning.” Internships are also emerging as a way to help low-income students develop professional networks like those more affluent students have access to through family connections and community.


About the Author

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 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.
Amanda Macchi, MPH
Amanda's passion for advancing the conversation around mental health coupled with her background in marketing,has made for an exciting career at the American Psychological Association. She received her undergraduate degree in Marketing from Emerson College and her graduate degree in Public Health Communications from the George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health here in Washington, DC. In her free time Amanda loves hiking, pyrography, collecting mid-century modern furniture and spending time with her dog, Becky.