A guide to influencing education with science and more in this week’s news roundup!

Why mythbusting fails: A guide to influencing education with science
(Deans for Impact)
“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong,” physicist Richard Feynman said. “In that simple statement is the key to science.” By this measure, the learning-styles hypothesis has failed too many times to count.

A leading Silicon Valley engineer explains why every tech worker needs a humanities education

As much as code and computation and data can feel as if they are mechanistically neutral, they are not. Technology products and services are built by humans who build their biases and flawed thinking right into those products and services—which in turn shapes human behavior and society, sometimes to a frightening degree.

Weekly Digest #65: The Case Against Inquiry-Based Learning
(The Learning Scientists)

In a March blog post, Megan walked through the evidence against pure discovery learning, noting that direct instruction is needed for novices in particular and that, once a baseline of knowledge is established, inquiry-based approaches can be more fruitful. We also talked about active learning in a digest, which is on the continuum of inquiry-learning, but perhaps not as extreme as pure discovery. Today’s digest revisits the idea of inquiry methods.

The Future of Children: Social and Emotional Learning
(The Wallace Foundation)

​​​​Special issue of The Future of Children finds building SEL skills is essential for children and adults need professional development to help guide them​.

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?
(The Guardian)
It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell.

Guest Post: How to Shift a School Towards Better Homework
(Learning Scientists)
Do we do homework well? How can research help us do it better?

Could The Best Memory System Be One That Forgets?
(NPR Shots)
Intuitively, we tend to think of forgetting as failure, as something gone wrong in our ability to remember. Now, Canadian neuroscientists with the University of Toronto are challenging that notion. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, they review the current research into the neurobiology of forgetting and hypothesize that our brains purposefully work to forget information in order to help us live our lives.

How Black Girls Aren’t Presumed to Be Innocent
(The Atlantic)

A new study finds that adults view them as less child-like and less in need of protection than their white peers.

How helpful is Hattie & Donoghue’s model of learning? Part 2: The meta analyses
(Learning Spy)
In this post I want to explore what his [Hattie] meta analyses reveal about the best approaches to take with students at different stages in the journey from novice to expert. 

Misinterpreting the Growth Mindset: Why We’re Doing Students a Disservice
(Education Week – subscription required; free trial)
Guest blog is written by John Hattie.

On the Definition of Learning….
(Daniel Willingham–Science & Education)
There was a brief, lively thread on Twitter over the weekend concerning the definition of learning. To tip my hand here at the outset, I think this debate—on Twitter and elsewhere–is a good example of the injunction that scientists ought not to worry overmuch about definitions. 

Child Care Centers Often Don’t Hire The Most Qualified Teachers, Study Shows
(NPR – Hidden Brain Podcast)
Child care centers don’t necessarily hire the most qualified teachers. A new study shows that child care centers pick applicants who are in the middle of the pack.

Bullying and bias can cost schools millions in lost funding
(Science Daily)
When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states can lose tens of millions of dollars in lost funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe. New research highlights the hidden cost to communities in states that use daily attendance numbers to calculate public school funding.

Is There Anything Grit Can’t Do?
(The Wall Street Journal)
Angela Lee Duckworth, the psychologist who champions ‘passion and perseverance,’ explains the power of ‘noncognitive skills.’

“Grit” Is Trendy, but Can It Be Taught?
(AFT – Ask a Cognitive Scientist)

So is grit a fad or a potentially powerful aid to teaching your students? Predictably, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students
(NBC News)
College counselors are seeing a record number of students like Ebeling, who are dealing with a variety of mental health problems, from depression and anxiety, to more serious psychiatric disorders

Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom
(The Effortful Educator)
One of the largest gaps in my students’ learning that I encounter regularly is a lack of study/learning skills

Using Research to Prevent Bullying
Bullying — both face-to-face and online — is a problem for many youths. Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD, has conducted bullying, harassment and violence research for more than 20 years. She will describe the problem, including gender-based bullying, such as sexual harassment and homophobic name calling. What prevention strategies can be used in schools? How can schools address their social climate to reduce the problem? What can bystanders do when they see someone being bullied?

What No One Told Me about Graduate School
(PhD Student)
There are things no one will tell you about your first year of graduate school, and the Internet is full of postgraduate “advice” from former and current grad students warning people to stay out of graduate school. Some advice: If someone tells you what they wish they would have done or known before entering a graduate program, listen. There are a lot of problems you’re going to have to face in this adjustment period. Having watched others and gone through the process myself, I’m here to offer you my own two sense and help make the transition smoother.

The Harry Potter Personality Test
(The Atlantic)
A new study found that people who identify as Slytherins may be measurably different from the Hufflepuffs of the world.

Starting School Early May Impair Child’s Mental Health
New research now suggests that the youngest pupils in each school year group could be at risk of worse mental health than their older classmates.

9 Ways Parents Can Help Bullied Kids Learn Resilience
(The Washington Post)
Bullying strips kids of their dignity and leaves scars. Some children bounce back, while others struggle to rebound. There is no one-size-fits-all intervention, but here are nine ways parents can build a child’s resilience.

About the Author

Amanda Macchi, MPH
Amanda comes to the 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, furniture making and spending time with her dog, Becky.
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.
Nick Bornstein
Nick is an education and communications intern with the APA. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Nick is a current undergraduate student pursuing a Psychology degree and a minor in Business Administration at the George Washington University. Nick's interests include travel, studying German, history, politics, and economics.