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Annie Murphy Paul: Why Floundering Makes Learning Better

TED: Sir Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity

PBS News: Bringing Babies to the Classroom to Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying

Study Finds Possible Bias in High School Math Teachers

Head Impacts in College Sports May Reduce Learning in College Athletes

Catastrophic Head Injury Three Times Greater in High School versus Collegiate Football Players

Physically Fit Students Tend to Score Higher on Standardized Tests

The Neuroscience of Effort

Babies Brains Benefit from Music Lessons: Even Before They Can Walk and Talk

Chelsea's Beacon: An Online Magazine for Children

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hormones and learning changes

Puberty Hormones Trigger Changes in Youthful Learning


Brain study of mice has broad implications for the health and education of young girls

June 1, 2017—A University of California, Berkeley, study of mice reveals, for the first time, how puberty hormones might impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.

"We have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a 'switch' in the brain's frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning," said study senior author Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley.

While gleaned from young female mice, the findings, published in the June 1 issue of the journal Current Biology, may have broad educational and health implications for girls, many of whom are entering the first stage of puberty as young as age 7 and 8.
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College Students Study Best Later in the Day


Some universities already offering and encouraging more evening and online courses

April 11, 2017—A new cognitive research study used two new approaches to determine ranges of start times that optimize functioning for undergraduate students. Based on a sample of first and second year university students, the University of Nevada, Reno and The Open University in the United Kingdom used a survey-based, empirical model and a neuroscience-based, theoretical model to analyse the learning patterns of each student to determine optimum times when cognitive performance can be expected to be at its peak.
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Critical Thinking Instruction in Humanities Reduces Belief in Pseudoscience

March 20, 2017—A recent study by North Carolina State University researchers finds that teaching critical thinking skills in a humanities course significantly reduces student beliefs in "pseudoscience" that is unsupported by facts.

"Given the national discussion of 'fake news,' it's clear that critical thinking—and classes that teach critical thinking—are more important than ever," says Anne McLaughlin, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.
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Gesturing Can Boost Children's Creative Thinking

December 14, 2016—Encouraging children to use gestures as they think can help them come up with more creative ideas, according to research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"Our findings show that children naturally gesture when they think of novel ways to use everyday items, and the more they gesture the more ideas they come up with," say psychological scientist Elizabeth Kirk of the University of York. "When we then asked children to move their hands, children were able to come up with even more creative ideas."
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Parents Should Avoid Pressuring Young Children over Grades, Study Says


Teaching compassion, decency may be more important during formative years

November 29, 2016—New research from Arizona State University (ASU) suggests parents shouldn't obsess over grades and extracurricular activities for young schoolchildren, especially if such ambitions come at the expense of social skills and kindness. Doing so, the study says, can work against helping kids become well-adjusted and successful later in life.
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Positive Teacher-Student Relationships Boost Good Behaviour in Teenagers for up to Four Years

August 9, 2016—A new study has found that, for students around the age of 10-11 years old, having a positive relationship with a teacher can markedly influence the development of ‘prosocial’ behaviors such as cooperation and altruism, as well as significantly reduce problem classroom behaviors such as aggression and oppositional behavior.  

The research also found that beneficial behaviors resulting from a positive teacher-student relationship when a child is on the cusp of adolescence lingered for up to four years—well into the difficult teenage years.
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Math Anxiety Doesn't Equal Poor Math Performance

November 4, 2015—Experiencing math anxiety—nervousness and discomfort in relation to math—impairs math performance for some students, but new research shows that it's linked with improved performance for others, at least to a degree.

The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. "Our findings show that the negative association between math anxiety and math learning is not universal," say Wang and Petrill. "Math motivation can be an important buffer to the negative influence of math anxiety."
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Can't Sing? Do It More Often


Regular practice may be as crucial to singing on pitch as it is for learning an instrument

February 9, 2015—If you've ever been told that you're "tone deaf" or "can't carry a tune," don't give up. New research out of Northwestern University suggests that singing accurately is not so much a talent as a learned skill that can decline over time if not used.

The ability to sing on key may have more in common with the kind of practice that goes into playing an instrument than people realize, said lead researcher Steven Demorest, a professor of music education at Northwestern's Bienen School of Music.

"No one expects a beginner on violin to sound good right away, it takes practice, but everyone is supposed to be able to sing," Demorest said. "When people are unsuccessful they take it very personally, but we think if you sing more, you'll get better."
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Concentrating on Word Sounds Helps Reading Instruction and Intervention


Study findings point to the value of word sounds over visual processing during reading instruction or when diagnosing and treating reading disorders

BUFFALO, NY; January 28, 2015—A neuroimaging study by a University at Buffalo psychologist suggests that phonics, a method of learning to read using knowledge of word sounds, shouldn't be overlooked in favor of a whole-language technique that focuses on visually memorizing word patterns, a finding that could help improve treatment and diagnosis of common reading disorders such as dyslexia.
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The Recess Swap


Holding recess before lunch increases fruit and veggie consumption and decreases waste

January 13, 2015—Students participating in the National School Lunch Program are required to select a fruit and a vegetable side. This regulation is intended to get students to eat more fruits and vegetables; however, just because an apple and green beans made it on to the tray doesn't mean that they will be eaten. Many schools have reported that fruits and vegetables are feeding trash cans rather than students. This new study published in Preventive Medicine shows that one simple no-cost change, holding recess before lunchtime, can increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 54%. "
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Evidence for ‘Bilingual Advantage’ May Be Less Conclusive Than Previously Thought

December 5, 2014—Study results that challenge the idea that bilingual speakers have a cognitive advantage are less likely to be published than those that support the bilingual-advantage theory, according to new research published inPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. This research suggests that a publication bias in favor of positive results may skew the overall literature on bilingualism and cognitive function.
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It's Better for Memory to Make Mistakes While Learning


But only if the guesses are 'close-but-no-cigar'

Toronto, Canada; October 27, 2014—Making mistakes while learning can benefit memory and lead to the correct answer, but only if the guesses are close-but-no-cigar, according to new research findings from Baycrest Health Sciences.
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How Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning

October 2, 2014—The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic. New research publishing online October 2 in the Cell Press journal Neuron provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity is piqued. The findings could help scientists find ways to enhance overall learning and memory in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions.
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Expecting to Teach Enhances Learning, Recall


Student mindset has big impact on learning, study finds

August 8, 2014—"When compared to learners expecting a test, learners expecting to teach recalled more material correctly, they organized their recall more effectively and they had better memory for especially important information," said lead author John Nestojko, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology in Arts & Sciences at the Washington University in St. Louis.
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Same Genes Drive Maths and Reading Ability

July 8, 2014—Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King's College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.
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Working Memory: Potential Key to Early Academic Achievement


New research digs for the roots of illiteracy

July 8, 2014—Working memory in children is linked strongly to reading and academic achievement, a new study from the University of Luxembourg and partner Universities from Brazil* has shown. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of socio-economic status. This suggests that children with learning difficulties might benefit from teaching methods that prevent working memory overload. The study was published recently in the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychology.
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Unintended Consequences: Autism, ADHD and Early Diagnosis

June 21, 2014—Raising happy, healthy, secure, responsible children is a formidable task at the best of times. To add to the challenge, parents today increasingly face the possibility that their offspring will be diagnosed—or misdiagnosed—with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder or autism spectrum disorder. A positive diagnosis is often traumatic and life-changing for the entire family; but the results of a misdiagnosis are no less devastating. Enrico Gnaulati explains in this interview with Gina Stepp
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Moral Tales with Positive Outcomes Motivate Kids to Be Honest

June 18, 2014—A moral story that praises a character's honesty is more effective at getting young children to tell the truth than a story that emphasizes the negative repercussions of lying, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
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Multilingual or Not, Infants Learn Words Best When It Sounds like Home

June 4, 2014—Growing up in a multilingual home has many advantages, but many parents worry that exposure to multiple languages might delay language acquisition. New research could now lay some of these multilingual myths to rest, thanks to a revealing study that shows both monolingual and bilingual infants learn a new word best from someone with a language background that matches their own.
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Program to Reduce Behavior Problems Boosts Math, Reading, Study Shows

May 20, 2014—A program aimed at reducing behavior problems in order to boost academic achievement has improved performance in math and reading among low-income kindergartners and first graders, according to a study by researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
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Preschool Teacher Depression Linked to Behavioral Problems in Children


Study suggests unhealthy classroom climate is contributing factor

May 13, 2014—Depression in preschool teachers is associated with behavioral problems ranging from aggression to sadness in children under the teachers’ care, new research suggests.
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Do Scare Tactics Motivate?


Not so much, say researchers. Teachers' scare tactics lead to lower exam scores than focusing on the benefits of success.

WASHINGTON, DC; April 21, 2014—As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
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Language Structure: You’re Born with It

April 8, 2014—Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding light on the age-old linguistic “nature vs. nurture” debate.
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Perceptions of Student Ability, Testing Pressures Hinder Some Science Teachers


Boston College researchers find barriers to use of science teaching method

Chestnut Hill, MA ; April 5, 2014—A survey of science teachers finds they support a new approach to science education, but they struggle to believe that all students are capable of exploring science using a method called argumentation, according to researchers from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.
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Kinder, Gentler Med School: Students Less Depressed, Learn More


Curriculum changes, resilience training lowers anxiety, SLU research shows                                           

ST. LOUIS; March 31, 2014—Removing pressure from medical school while teaching students skills to manage stress and bounce back from adversity improves their mental health and boosts their academic achievement, Saint Louis University research finds.
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Who’s Afraid of Math? Study Finds Some Genetic Factors

Genetics plays a role, but researchers say environment still key

COLUMBUS, OH; March 18, 2014—A new study of math anxiety shows how some people may be at greater risk to fear math not only because of negative experiences, but also because of genetic risks related to both general anxiety and math skills.
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Preschoolers Outsmart College Students at Figuring out Gizmos

BERKELEY; March 6, 2014—Preschoolers can be smarter than college students at figuring out how unusual toys and gadgets work because they’re more flexible and less biased than adults in their ideas about cause and effect, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Edinburgh.
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Study: Classroom Focus on Social and Emotional Skills Can Lead to Academic Gains

WASHINGTON, DC; March 6, 2014—Classroom programs designed to improve elementary school students’ social and emotional skills can also increase reading and math achievement, even if academic improvement is not a direct goal of the skills building, according to a study to be published this month in American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). The benefit holds true for students across a range of socio-economic backgrounds.
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Retention Leads to Discipline Problems in Other Kids


Kids who are 'held back' may contribute to disruptive middle school environment

DURHAM, NC; February 28, 2014—When students repeat a grade, it can spell trouble for their classmates, according to a new Duke University-led study of nearly 80,000 middle-schoolers.
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Can Babies Learn to Read? Probably Not, NYU Study Finds

February 25, 2014—Can babies learn to read? While parents use DVDs and other media in an attempt to teach their infants to read, these tools don't instill reading skills in babies, a study by researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development has found.
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Intuitive Number Games Boost Children's Math Performance

CHAMPAIGN, IL; January 29, 2014—A quick glance at two, unequal groups of paper clips (or other objects) leads most people to immediately intuit which group has more. In a new study, researchers report that practicing this kind of simple, instinctive numerical exercise can improve children's ability to solve math problems.
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Practice Makes Perfect If You Have a Partner's Touch

January 23, 2014—People improve their performance more when they practice with a partner rather than on their own, according to a new study.
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Study: Kids Teased in P.E. Class Exercise Less a Year Later


Anti-bullying efforts may boost physical fitness

January 16, 2014—A new study found that children who were bullied during P.E. class or other physical activities were less likely to participate in physical activity one year later. 
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Researchers Show the Power of Mirror Neuron System in Learning and Language Understanding

TEMPE, AZ; December 19, 2013—Anyone who has tried to learn a second language knows how difficult it is to absorb new words and use them to accurately express ideas in a completely new cultural format. Now, research into some of the fundamental ways the brain accepts information and tags it could lead to new, more effective ways for people to learn a second language.
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No Math Gene: Learning Mathematics Takes Practice


Practice, not innate skill, makes for good mathematicians

December 13, 2013—New research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim could have an effect on how math is taught.
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A Sudden Interest in Math: How Teachers Can Motivate Their Pupils


Researchers create professional development program to promote open dialogue in the classroom

December 5, 2013—The lack of interest in math or natural sciences is one of the most frequently voiced causes for concern in the debate surrounding education, at least in Germany. It has been seen time and again that pupils lose their enthusiasm for physics, chemistry and math once they reach eighth or ninth grade. But is this inevitable? And if not, how can teachers steer a different course?
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Different Types of Teacher-Child Interactions Support Children's Development in Different Areas


Study finds responsive teaching and language-rich instruction are both important for student success

November 21, 2013—Teachers' daily interactions with children are crucial to making sure they're ready for school. Many state early childhood systems and the federal Office of Head Start consider teacher-child interactions when they measure programs' quality. But research hasn't always been clear about which aspects of interactions are most important to how children do academically and socially. A new study that used a novel approach to analyzing data in this area has identified which types of teacher-child interactions support children's learning and development in which areas.
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A Decline in Creativity? It Depends on How You Look at It

November 14, 2013—Research in recent years has suggested that young Americans might be less creative now than in decades past, even while their intelligence—as measured by IQ tests—continues to rise.
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Childhood Play Linked to Adult Creativity

November 4, 2013—Remember as a child turning sticks into make-believe airplanes that soared and buzzed like bumblebees through the backyard? Or, did you play for hours with an imaginary friend in your own special world? Researchers have found that those early pretend play memories can resurface to inspire creativity in adulthood, according Case Western Reserve University psychologist Sandra Russ.
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One, Two, Buckle My Shoe


International study documents importance of language to learning math

October 28, 2013—Talk to your toddler. And use numbers when you talk. Doing so may give a child a better head start in math than teaching her to memorize 1-2-3 counting routines.
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Participation in Mindfulness-Based Program Improves Teacher Well-Being

October 24, 2013—Teacher well-being, efficacy, burnout-related stress, time-related stress and mindfulness significantly improve when teachers participate in the CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) for Teachers program, according to Penn State researchers.
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Spatial, Written Language Skills Predict Math Competence

October 22, 2013—Early math skills are emerging as important to later academic achievement. As many countries seek to strengthen their workforces in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, understanding the early contributions to math skills becomes increasingly vital. New longitudinal research from Finland has found that children's early spatial skills and knowledge of written letters, rather than oral language skills, predict competence in this area.
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Baby's Innate Number Sense Predicts Future Math Skill


Sense of quantity is there before the words or numbers

DURHAM, NC; October 22, 2013—Babies who are good at telling the difference between large and small groups of items even before learning how to count are more likely to do better with numbers in the future, according to new research from the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.
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Non-Traditional Mathematics Curriculum Results in Higher Standardized Test Scores

COLUMBIA, MO; September 16, 2013—For many years, studies have shown that American students score significantly lower than students worldwide in mathematics achievement, ranking 25th among 34 countries. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found high school students in the United States achieve higher scores on a standardized mathematics test if they study from a curriculum known as integrated mathematics.
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Study Shows Mindfulness Training Can Help Reduce Teacher Stress and Burnout

MADISON, WI; August 28, 2013—Teachers who practice "mindfulness" are better able to reduce their own levels of stress and prevent burnout, according to a new study conducted by the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center.
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Do Girls Really Experience More Math Anxiety?


Or do they just admit to more?

August 26, 2013—Girls report more math anxiety on general survey measures but are not actually more anxious during math classes and exams, according to new research forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Existing research suggests that females are more anxious when it comes to mathematics than their male peers, despite similar levels of achievement. But education researchers Thomas Götz and Madeleine Bieg of the University of Konstanz and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education and colleagues identified a critical limitation of previous studies examining math anxiety: They asked students to describe more generalized perceptions of mathematics anxiety, rather than assessing anxiety during actual math classes and exams.
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Going through the Motions Improves Dance Performance

July 23, 2013—Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking—loosely practicing a routine by "going through the motions"—may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements.

The new findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice, allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly.
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Digital Tablets May Improve Classroom Learning

June 26, 2013—During 2012-2013, over 2,000 pupils and 150 teachers in early childhood, primary, secondary and special education, took part in a study to identify the best learning activities with tablets, and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
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Quality Matters More Than Quantity for Word Learning

June 24, 2013—A new study by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania now shows that early vocabulary improvement is likely to have more to do with the “quality” of the interactions in which the words are used rather than the sheer quantity of speech directed at young children. Moreover, the study shows that, unlike quantity, the quality of these interactions is not related to the parents’ socioeconomic status.  
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Mindfulness Can Increase Wellbeing and Reduce Stress in School Children

June 19, 2013—Mental training could reduce symptoms of stress and depression and promote wellbeing among school children, say U.K. researchers.
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TLC for Education: Tribal Learning in the Classroom

June 12, 2013—In a recent interview with psychologist and neuropsychotherapist Louis Cozolino, Gina Stepp explores the concepts behind his 2013 book, The Social Neuroscience of Education. The human brain is a social organ, Cozolino points out. Its natural habitat for growing is in the context of secure attachment bonds and nurturing relationships.

How can we apply this understanding to reimagining the educational system? The approach Cozolino offers isn't a quick or easy fix, but it is fairly simple in principle: create classroom situations that come as close as possible to the early tribal social environments in which the human brain first learned to learn.
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Teacher Collaboration, Professional Communities Improve Student Math Scores

CHARLOTTE; June 7, 2013—Many elementary students' math performance improves when their teachers collaborate, work in professional learning communities or do both, yet most students don't spend all of their elementary school years in these settings, a new study by UNC Charlotte researchers shows. The U.S. Department of Education funded the study, which the journal Sociology of Education recently published.
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Look! Something Shiny! How Some Textbook Visuals can Hurt Learning

COLUMBUS, Ohio; May 8, 2013—Adding captivating visuals to a textbook lesson to attract children’s interest may sometimes make it harder for them to learn, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 6- to 8-year-old children best learned how to read simple bar graphs when the graphs were plain and a single color.
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Early Math and Reading Ability Linked to Job and Income in Adulthood

APS; May 8, 2013—Math and reading ability at age 7 may be linked with socioeconomic status several decades later, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The childhood abilities predict socioeconomic status in adulthood over and above associations with intelligence, education, and socioeconomic status in childhood.
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Teachers' Gestures Boost Math Learning

MSU, March 29, 2013—Students perform better when their instructors use hand gestures—a simple teaching tool that could yield benefits in higher-level math such as algebra.

This is "some of the strongest evidence yet that gesturing may have a unique effect on learning" say the researchers who performed this classroom comparison study. As a side note, they point out that U.S. students lag behind some countries in math performance, and interestingly, teachers in the United States tend to use gestures less than teachers in other countries.
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Outdoor Education Helps Minority Students Close Gap in Environmental Literacy

March 22, 2013—Environmental education programs that took middle school students outdoors to learn helped minority students close a gap in environmental literacy (EL), according to research from North Carolina State University.
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Mindfulness at School Reduces Likelihood of Depression-Related Symptoms in Adolescents

LEUVEN, BELGIUM; March 15, 2013—While mindfulness has already been widely tested and applied in patients with depression, this is the first time the method has been studied in a large group of adolescents in a school-based setting, using a randomised controlled design.
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Closer Personal Relationships Could Help Teens Overcome Learning Disabilities

AFTAU, February 28, 2013 In addition to struggling in school, many learning disabled children are known to face social and emotional challenges including depression, anxiety, and isolation. Often beginning early in childhood, they become more pronounced during adolescence, an emotionally turbulent time. For these youngsters, more positive relationships with the significant adults in their lives—including parents and teachers—can improve learning and "socioemotional" experiences, says Dr. Michal Al-Yagon of Tel Aviv University's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education.
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Engaging Educators

Daniel H. Pink's bestseller Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us addresses how to break out of what Pink calls "Motivation 2.0" thinking—a mentality that depends on carrots and sticks to the point that, in many cases, they have been inappropriately applied. "Motivation 2.0 still serves some purposes well," Pink writes. "Sometimes it works; many times it doesn't. And understanding its defects will help determine which parts to keep and which to discard as we fashion an upgrade."
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Researchers Examine How Teachers Can Increase Students' Interest and Engagement in the Classroom

October 8, 2012—Although many factors can contribute to students' academic risk, negative emotions associated with learning can cause students' disengagement, withdrawal, and failure in school. A new article, published today in Communication Education, explored how specific teacher communication behaviors can influence students' emotional interest, cognitive interest, and engagement.
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Teachers, School Climate Key to Latino Immigrants' Academic Success

September 11, 2012—Teachers and schools that value diversity have a big impact on the academic experiences of Latino immigrant children living in predominantly White communities. That's the finding of a new study by researchers at the University of Kentucky. The study appears in a special section of the September/October 2012 issue of Child Development on children from immigrant families.
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Relationships Improve Student Success

COLUMBIA, MO; June 30, 2009—When students are underachieving, school policymakers often examine class size, curriculum and funding, but University of Missouri researchers suggest establishing relationships may be a powerful and less expensive way to improve students' success. In a review of the research they show that students with positive attachments to their teachers and schools have higher grades and higher standardized test scores.
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Got Behavior Problems in the Classroom? Call Grandma

April 3, 2008—Of all the issues teachers face in the classroom, behavioral problems seem to top the list of pet peeves. In fact, student misbehavior has raised such a roadblock to academic achievement in some nations that if there were an intervention program to solve the problem, its developers would surely have school administrators beating down their door. And if the program could address a couple of other pressing issues at the same time, most everyone would have to agree that it would be a keeper.

Interestingly, a program studied by researchers from the University of Tennessee could be said to have reached this level of success. The 2003 study looked at how older adults might affect the school behavior patterns of young children, as well as students’ attitudes toward the elderly. The children in this case were 4th-graders.
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The Homework Debate Continues

March 25, 2008—Is homework necessary for young children, or is it burdensome? This debate is not new, it returns like a comet, at least once every generation. News sources from PBS to The Washington Post have discussed the issue, searching for the balance: how to educate children at all socio-economic levels without overloading some or boring others. Some innovative schools have even begun to work at eliminating the kind of monotonous busy-work that kills a child's incentive to learn and keeps them from their families for extended periods in the evenings.

But is all homework bad for children? How can parents best help their children learn? This interesting question was addressed presciently by educator John Holt in his 1967 book, How Children Learn. How well have his observations stood the test of time?
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How Important Is Homework?

March 4, 2008—In May of 2005, two education researchers from Pennsylvania State University—David P. Baker and Gerald K. LeTendre—coauthored an investigative report titled National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling. Analyzing data collected from schools across more than 41 nations, the researchers came to a conclusion that might surprise many parents and educators: More homework does not necessarily translate to higher academic achievement.

But wait. Isn’t Japan’s technological success due to the slavish study habits of its school children? Isn’t there a strong proven connection between increased homework and good grades? And aren’t we obligated to ensure children’s school success for the greater national good?  After all, how can academically lagging nations expect to maintain economic strength in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology?
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