All Learning is Brain Learning, Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds and much more in this week’s Roundup

All Learning is Brain Learning
(Learning Scientists)
One of the frequent gimmicks supplied to educators is that a product enhances “brain learning” or something of that sort. Well, folks, we’re here to tell you that all learning takes place in the brain.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
(New Yorker)

In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones.

Hunched Over a Microscope, He Sketched the Secrets of How the Brain Works
(NY Times)

Decades before these technologies existed, a man hunched over a microscope in Spain at the turn of the 20th century was making prescient hypotheses about how the brain works. At the time, William James was still developing psychology as a science and Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was defining our integrated nervous system.

Education isn’t natural – that’s why it’s hard
(The Learning Spy)
One of the most troubling conundrums in the field of education is that the common sense observation that children learn so many things by simply being immersed in an appropriate environment is contradicted by the overwhelming empirical data which suggested that explicit instruction outperforms discovery approaches in schools.

DeVos vs. the Faculty
(Inside Higher Ed)

Professors tell students “what to say, and more ominously, what to think,” new education secretary says in her first sustained criticism of higher education.

Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender students
(Washington Post)
The Trump administration on Wednesday revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity, taking a stand on a contentious issue that has become the central battle over LGBT rights.

What Students Can Learn By Writing For Wikipedia
(NPR)
Replacing “alternative facts” with a footnoted, neutral point of view. Some professors say students work harder knowing their research will have a broad audience.

When School Doesn’t Seem Fair, Students May Suffer Lasting Effects
(Education Week – 3 story limit with registration)
When students believe schools are unfair places, their loss of trust can lead to a lack of engagement that affects them for years, researchers say.

Students more likely to succeed if teachers have positive perceptions of parents
(Science Daily)
Researchers have found that teacher ratings of parental involvement early in a child’s academic career can accurately predict the child’s academic and social success.

Nationwide teen bullying and cyberbullying study reveals significant issues impacting youth
(Science Daily)
In one of the latest and most ambitious studies on bullying and cyberbullying in middle and high school students, researchers found that 1 in 5 students said that they had been threatened with a weapon at school, 73 percent of students reported that they had been bullied at school at some point in their lifetime, and 70 percent of the students said that someone spread rumors about them online.

An Interesting Infographic on The Importance of Handwriting for Students
(Educational Technologyy and Mobile Learning)
With the increasing use of digital technologies in our daily life, some of our behavioural aspects are undergoing major transformations. In his book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Internet critic Nicholas Carr discusses the transformative impact of technology on the human mind and concludes that ‘as we adapt to the intellectual environment of the Net our thinking becomes shallower’.

The Value of Psychology to Higher Education
(Psychreg)
Psychology is such a diverse subject that its value to higher education is indeed crucial. However, given the nature of psychology it could be argued that the whole education system could benefit.

Undocumented Teachers Shielded by DACA in Legal and Emotional Limbo
(Education Week – 3 story limit with registration)
Jose Gonzalez’s parents brought him to the United States from Mexico just before his second birthday. In the 23 years since, he graduated high school with honors, earned an Ivy League degree, and received recognition from the Obama White House for his work teaching students in immigrant-filled Los Angeles charter schools. Now, Gonzalez faces a potentially cruel twist of fate: he could go from being lauded by the White House to being a target for deportation as part of President Donald Trump’s widespread immigration crackdown.

What Predicts Success in Psychology Graduate Programs?
(Psychology Today)

This is Year 13 of flipping through dozens of applications to determine the small number of people to be interviewed for a slot in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at George Mason University. At this moment, faculty all over the United States are doing the same thing for social, developmental, industrial/organizational, counseling psychology and human factors programs (among others).  A few notable trends over the past few years.

When the Teacher Becomes the Student
(Faculty Focus)

Most teachers start courses pretty much the same way—introduce the content, go over the course requirements, talk about grades, and spell out various policies. Starling was surprised by how confusing, indeed disorienting, he found this. Every course had its own set of details and requirements that students are supposed to immediately understand and follow. He and his fellow classmates (they all took the same four courses) quickly moved from learning to survival mode. Based on that experience, here are four things Starling resolved to change once he returned to teaching.

My Path to a Career in UX Research
(GradyPsych Blog)

An interesting look at how a psychology degree led to a UX Researcher position.

XY Bias: How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers
(The Atlantic)

In three large classes, men overrated the abilities of male students above equally talented and outspoken women.

Teacher training programs urged to increase focus on social-emotional skills
(Ed Source)

Teachers-in-training need more instruction on how to develop their own and their students’ social and emotional skills, including the ability to reflect on interactions, empathize with others and calm themselves, according to a report released Thursday by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, an advocacy and research group based in Chicago.

Why Do Teens Hide Their Feelings?
(KQED)

Sometimes teens’ emotions are like icebergs: what you see on the surface doesn’t really hint at what’s going on underneath.

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.