Combat Classroom Stress, Distributed Practice, and more in this week’s news roundup

white card on clothes line with heart shaped leaf. Text, thankful & grateful and News Roundup

Quick Classroom Exercises to Combat Stress
These brain breaks and focused-attention practices can help students cope with stress and trauma and focus on their learning.

How can schools use research to better inform teaching practice?
(The Guardian)
To tackle misinformation about what works in teaching, schools must find effective ways to help teachers understand the implications of research.

Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.
(The New York Times)
In a series of experiments at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, students were randomly assigned either laptops or pen and paper for note-taking at a lecture. Those who had used laptops had substantially worse understanding of the lecture, as measured by a standardized test, than those who did not.

GUEST POST: Why you should be a skeptical science consumer
(The Learning Scientists)
In the current system, unfortunately, misleading the reader with overblown results is incentivized. Partly this is due to the publication system, which strongly favors positive findings with a good story.

What we now know about who struggles with student debt
(The Washington Post)
Education debt is having an outsized effect on some older Americans and colleges students with children, trends that researchers say require more nuanced solutions within higher education.

Smart people have better connected brains
(Science Daily)
In intelligent persons, some brain regions interact more closely, while others de-couple themselves.

Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence
(Science Daily)
Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some think it arises from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism is key. A new article makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties — how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands — are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.

Patterns of Neural Connectivity Seen As Key to Intelligence
(Psych Central)
New brain imaging research explores neurobiological reasons for individual differences in intelligence.

To forget or to remember? Memory depends on subtle brain signals
(Science Daily)
Understanding how brains actively erase memories may open new understanding of memory loss and aging, and open the possibility of new treatments for neurodegenerative disease.

Survey taps students’ motivation in STEM
(Science Daily)

Researchers are learning more about undergraduates’ experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes and sharing a set of survey questions that will help researchers and educators at other universities do the same.

New research answers whether technology is good or bad for learning
(The Christensen Institute)
Will this spur the research community to take note and sharpen the questions it asks about technology and learning going forward? Let’s hope so. It’s high time we move beyond a broken debate and simplistic research around whether technology in education is good or bad that serve no one’s interests.

What 150 Years of Education Statistics Say About Schools Today
(Education Week – Subscription Required, Free Trial)

Long before there was an independent federal education department—before many states had school systems, in fact—there was a federal education statistics agency.

Creating Safety and Attachment for Students With Trauma

Students with traumatic experiences bring those experiences with them to school. These strategies can help foster a feeling of safety.

4 Myths About Creativity

A new book argues that everyone can be creative—and that creativity can be taught.

How Metacognition Boosts Learning

Students often lack the metacognitive skills they need to succeed, but they can develop these skills by addressing some simple questions.

5 Strategies to Demystify the Learning Process for Struggling Students
(KQED – MindShift)

Oakley recognizes that “many educators are not at all comfortable with or trained in neuroscience,” so she breaks down a few key principles that teachers can use in the classroom and share with students to help them demystify the learning process.

A Better Way to Study Through Self-Testing and Distributed Practice
(KQED – MindShift)

In fact, only two techniques got the top rating: practice testing and “distributed practice,” which means scheduling study activities over a period of time — the opposite of cramming.

GOP Bill Would Force Students Who Don’t Graduate to Repay Pell Grants
(The Chronicle of Higher Education)

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney, Republican of Florida, and Rep. Ralph Norman, Republican of South Carolina, would compel students to repay Pell Grants — which, unlike loans, do not require repayment — if they did not complete their program within six years.

How to get your book published
(The Monitor on Psychology)

Acquisitions editors reveal what they look for in a book proposal and what you can do to ensure your book is a success

Effects of Mind Wandering
(Particularly Exciting Experiments in Psychology)

The average person spends up to one third of their life engaging in thoughts that are not related to the task at hand. Two recent papers examine the perceptual and cognitive consequences of mind wandering.

Evidence-based education needs standardised assessment
(The Conversation)

The latest Gonski review aims to improve evidence-based decision-making in Australian school education. It recognises that governments’ educational investment must be based on more than politics, just as teachers’ instructional decisions must be based on more than intuition.

Why Neuroscience Should Drive Personalized Learning
(Education Week – Subscription Required, Free Trial)

While personalized learning is a growing market, we have long looked to how the mind works to inform education. The biggest problem with this practice has been the propagation of myths and misinformation. However, new research and focus on how the mind actually works can dispel the false ideas which hinder the progress of personalized education.

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 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.