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Math Anxiety and the Brain: When School Hurts

Struggling Learner Series
Learning, Anxiety and the Brain:  New Findings Shed Light on Dealing with Math & Performance Anxiety

Math has been identified as being increasingly important for academic and career success in today’s high tech world. Math anxiety has been shown to have serious and life-long consequences: lowering performance, reducing the likelihood of studying math in high school and college and avoiding careers that involve math. A number of recent studies have shed new light on where and how math anxiety forms in the brain and how it interferes with performance. (more…)

The Many Sides and High Cost of Bullying

Consequences of bullying are much more far-reaching and complex than immediate injury or trauma

Bullying has been recognized as a significant problem which has only been complicated by the advent of social media. Recent studies have shown the dramatic and long-term impact of bullying for all involved. It turns out that not only is the student being bullied negatively affected but studies have shown the negative impact of bullying behavior on those who witness the bullying and, have even shown that the bully was much more likely to be abusing alcohol after a bullying event. Responding to this issue is complicated by perceptions about who is a bully and what bullying really is. (more…)

Memory – 10 Things People Get Wrong

Remember: Learning and Memory are Largely Under Our Control

Here are 10 quick reminders about how memory works.  These characteristics about memory show how much of memory is in our control whether we are working to recall something ourselves, designing learning opportunities for students or helping students improve their own learning skills.   (more…)

Collaborative Implementation – The Evolution of Coaching

Professional Development that Makes a Difference
Part 3 –  The Critical Component

If increased student learning is the goal of professional development then consistent and generalized transfer of the new learning to the student learning environment is necessary. In the 25 years of research conducted by Bruce Joyce and Beverly Showers the component that had the greatest impact on successful transfer was a system of collaborative implementation teams. Regardless of how good the initial training was, transfer rarely happened without some kind of long-term coaching and staff collaboration. The resulting change wasn’t sustained without the ongoing support of leadership and the alignment of systems within the organization. (more…)

How to Change Teacher Expectations and Improve Student Outcomes

If you want to change beliefs, the best thing to do is change behaviors

We have known since Rosenthal’s study in 1964 that teacher expectations have a significant effect on student performance.  Figuring out how to change teachers’ beliefs about students, however,  has proven to be a challenge.  Attitudes and beliefs can be hard to change and are manifested in amazingly subtle ways. In this study Robert Pinata tries a new approach.  Pianta thinks that to change beliefs, the best thing to do is change behaviors. “It’s far more powerful to work from the outside in than the inside out if you want to change expectations,” he says. In other words, if you want to change a mind, talking about it is usually not enough.


Bill Daggett’s 13 Recommendations for VT’s Transition to the Common Core

Schools have to get more efficient to free up time for work on literacy, application, personalization and guiding principles (more…)

3 Views on Solving The Mystery of the Adolescent Brain

“Remember being a teenager? Rocked internally with hormones, outwardly with social pressures, you sometimes wondered what was going on in your head. So does Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. And what she and others in her field are finding is: The adolescent brain really is different.” (more…)

Taking a Break After Reading Helps Long-Term Recall

Research on the brain and learning has shown that a change of activity can help the retention of new learning.

This effect was demonstrated again in a recent study from the University of Edinburgh.  Not only can this be used in formal learning settings but students, teachers and the rest of us can all utilize this effect to help us become better learners.

Professional Development That Makes a Difference

Part II  – The 12 Building Blocks of Successful Transfer

It is remarkably easy to waste time and money on professional development that produces no real change. The opportunities to attend interesting and exciting events are everywhere.  The edu-tainment industry is big business and can send everyone home well-fed, significantly dazzled and at least temporarily motivated.  Yet the data on transfer of new knowledge from training to the learning environment remains poor and, as resources diminish, cost-effectiveness becomes increasingly more critical.