Why Mistakes Matter and more in this week’s news roundup!

Why Mistakes Matter in Creating A Path For Learning
(KQED – MindShift)
In recent years, cognitive scientists have done gobs of research on how making mistakes help us learn, much of it funded by the federal Institute for Education Science. Some findings make intuitive sense. Some are completely surprising. And many important findings that are relevant to teaching are not making it into the classroom, or penetrating very slowly.

GUEST POST: How to Help Students Overcome Misconceptions
(Learning Scientists)
As teachers, you and I want all of our students to come away from our classes learning accurate information. Unfortunately, misconceptions exist in every area of study, and teachers should not ignore them. Studies have consistently shown that if you do not activate and refute misconceptions, no matter what else you do for the course, misconceptions will NOT go away.

REsilience: How healthy conversations about Race Uplift Our Kids
Racism, racial bias, and racial discrimination have myriad negative effects on children of color. They lead to disparities in educational experiences, discipline, developmental outcomes, and overall health and well-being.

Campus Recreation Yoga Program Helps to Fight Negative Effects of Mental Illness
(The Gateway)
Students in the U.S. have turned to yoga as a tool to help with stress management, and UNO’s Campus Recreation hopes to be a notable service where these students will build the foundations of a lifetime of self-care.

Teachers with Student Debt: The Struggle, The Causes and What Comes Next
(NPR Ed)
Teachers are paid significantly less than many other highly educated professionals. We decided to take a look at student debt among teachers specifically, because we see it as a crossroads of several big trends: chronic concerns over teacher pay amid calls to improve teacher quality; the rising cost of higher ed; the increasing reliance on loans to pay for it; and changing policies from the Trump administration.

Private Student Loans: The Rise and Fall (And Rise Again?)
Five billion dollars in outstanding private student loan debt may be forgiven because of poor record keeping by financial companies, an investigation by The New York Times found this week. Loan balances are being erased and lawsuits thrown out because the loans were bundled and resold, like the subprime mortgages that precipitated the Great Recession, and the loans’ current owners are struggling to prove in court that they’re collecting the right amounts from the right borrowers.

Betsy DeVos is a K-12 Advocate. So Why All the Action in Higher Ed?
(Education Week – Subscription required, free trial)
When Betsy DeVos was tapped as U.S. Education Secretary, educators and advocates were terrified the longtime voucher fan would try to “privatize” the nation’s schools. But DeVos has now been in office for going on six months, and she’s been way more active on higher education than she has on K-12.

Causes of Severe Antisocial Behavior Differ for Boys and Girls
The causes of severe antisocial behavior may differ between boys and girls, which could pave the way for new sex-specific treatments, according to a new study.

The Search for Real-World STEM Problems
(Education Week – Subscription required, free trial)
If you want to engage students and get them excited about what they are learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes, ask them to tackle a real-world problem. Then watch their amazement as they realize what they are learning in class actually has real-world applications.

ATF Chief: Devos’ Choice Proposals Are ‘Polite Cousins of Segregation’
(Education Week – Subscription required, free trial)
In a fiery speech, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, condemed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ school choice proposals, calling them “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.”

States’ Top Teachers Went to Capitol Hill to Lobby for Education
(Education Week – Subscription required, free trial)
On Wednesday, dozens of state teachers of the year were at the Capitol here, armed with talking points, compelling stories from their districts, and a fierce determination to protect education funding.

The Ongoing Battle Between Science Teachers And Fake News
(NPR Ed)
Every year Patrick Engleman plays a little trick on his students. The high school chemistry teacher introduces his ninth-graders in suburban Philadelphia to an insidious substance called dihydrogen monoxide. It’s “involved in 80 percent of fatal car crashes. It’s in every single cancer cell. This stuff, it’ll burn you,” he tells them.

Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds
(Science Daily)
Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study. The 18-week study of 318 healthy young adults found that combining physical exercise and mild electric brain stimulation with computer-based cognitive training promoted skill learning significantly more than using cognitive training alone. The enhanced learning was skill-specific and did not translate to general intelligence.

Can personalized learning prevail?
I am 200 percent in favor of personalized learning, defined as enabling every child to move through the prescribed curriculum at his or her own speed, progressing on the basis of individual mastery of important skills and knowledge rather than in lockstep according to age, grade level, and end-of-year assessments. (I’m 200 percent opposed to the “let everyone learn whatever they want to whenever they want to learn it” version.)

About the Author

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.
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.