April 8 - April 15, 2018

The feature articles this week touch down on two narratives that have grown louder over the past few months: the debunking of learning styles as pedagogical dictates and the importance of knowledge (versus skills) in enabling student learning and success.  Both articles are rife with references to additional research and reporting.

Also this week, an interesting cluster of articles about how cognition alone accomplishes little: the mind must be connected to body and to emotion for true intelligence.  These articles seem to be surfacing as a counterpoint to the also-growing narrative around Artificial Intelligence.

Enjoy these and many others!



Another Good Summary Of The Evidence Against Learning Styles Lifehacker
"Instead of teaching to learning styles, create lessons by asking, 'How can I best help students grasp the meaning of the material?' That means if you want kids to understand what a French accent sounds like, you'd have them listen to a recording. If you're trying to have them understand maps, you'd give them an actual map and have them practice getting from Point A to B."

Even More Focus On Knowledge Instead Of Skills Atlantic
"The bottom line is that policy makers and advocates who have pushed for more testing in part as a way to narrow the gap between rich and poor have undermined their own efforts. They have created a system that incentivizes teachers to withhold the very thing that could accomplish both objectives: knowledge. All students suffer under this sytem, but the neediest suffer the most."


"How To Level The College Playing Field" New York Times

Admissions Offices Under Legal Scrutiny: Antitrust, Discrimination NPR

"The Justice Department is reportedly investigating possible antitrust violations by a number of elite colleges related to the sharing of information between them to enforce the terms of their early-admissions programs."


"Why Teenagers Become 'Allergic' To Their Parents" New York Times

"As teenagers begin to disentangle from their folks, they inevitably sort a parent's every behavior and predilection into one of two categories: those they reject, and those they intend to adopt. Unfortunately for the peace of the household, each of these categories creates its own problem for teenagers intent on establishing their individuality."


The Expanded Mind: From Mind-Body Interaction To Mind-World New Yorker
"There were many kinds of thinking that weren't possible without a pen and paper, or the digital equivalent -- complex mathematical calculations, for instance. Writing prose was usually a matter of looping back and forth between screen or paper and mind: writing something down, reading it over, thinking again, writing again."

Intelligence (Beyond Just Thinking) Isn't Possible Without Feeling Aeon

"Most proposals for emotion in robots involve the addition of a separate 'emotion module' -- some sort of bolted-on affective architecture that can influence other abilities such as perception and cognition... But research from the behavioral and brain sciences suggests that emotion is not just an 'added feature' layered on top of 'standard' cognition. Instead, it's an integral part of our cognitive machinery."


"Does Math Make You Smarter?" New York Times


On Whether Toddlers Think Abstractly Harvard

Universal Pre-K More Effective Than Economically Targeted Pre-K Hechinger Report


Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Remains Found In A Wine Cellar Guardian


How To Support And Grow Entrepreneurial Students And Teachers Steve Blank


"Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes... Can Lower Blood Pressure" WBUR


Teacher Coaching Improves Instruction, But Is Hard To Scale The 74 Million

"How Do Top Teachers Define 'Success'?" Larry Cuban


"It Matters A Lot Who Teaches Introductory Courses. Here's Why." Chron. Higher Ed.


The Birthday Problem: Probability Of Two Birthdays In A Class Medium

A List Of Coding Challenges For Budding Computer Scientists Wolfram


Renewable Energy Programs Are Enabling Social Mobility Hechinger Report


What Is The Role Of Chatbots In Education? EdSurge

"Deepfakes" And The Collapse Of Digital Reality Atlantic

"The Disturbing High Modernism Of Silicon Valley" Cal Newport


4 Students Steal Rare Books From College Library, Now It's A Movie Melville House

Another Posthumous J. R. R. Tolkein Book Guardian

Beverly Cleary Turned 100 Two Years Ago This Week National Post

Strategies For Quality Summer And Out-Of-School Learning Harvard GSE