The Feeling of Learning

Human tutors—teachers who work closely with students, one on one—are unrivaled in their ability to promote deep and lasting learning. Education researchers have known this for more than 30 years, but until recently they haven’t paid much attention to one important reason why tutoring is so effective: the management of emotion. Studies show that tutors spend about half their time
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Do Girls Learn Differently Online?

To hear some ed tech enthusiasts tell it, online learning is sweeping aside the barriers that have in the past prevented access to education. But such pronouncements are premature. As it turns out, students often carry these barriers right along with them, from the real world into the virtual one. Female students, for example, are poorly represented in science, technology,
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Parents And Kids, Learning Together—And Having Fun

Mindy Brooks was eager to gauge the reactions of parents and children to “Electric Racer,” a new interactive educational game. Brooks is the director of education and research at Sesame Workshop, the children’s media company that brought us Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Elmo, and that now develops content for computers as well as for TV. “Electric Racer,” intended
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Computational Thinking: How To Get It, and Why It’s Important

A group of children on a playground, each kid clutching a slip of paper with a number on it, moves along a line drawn in chalk, comparing numbers as they go and sorting themselves into ascending order from one to ten. Another group of children, sitting in a circle, passes pieces of fruit—an apple, an orange—from hand to hand until
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Kids Get Enough Tech Outside of School—Shouldn’t the Classroom Offer Them Something Different?

One thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of instructional hours required of U.S. middle school and high school students each year. Four thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of hours of digital media content U.S. youths aged 8 to 18 absorb each year. (If you doubt that’s possible, be sure you’re taking into account the near-universal practice of “media multitasking,”
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The Dumb Jock Stereotype Can Be a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Social scientists know that in research studies, minority and female students appear to be vulnerable to the phenomenon called “stereotype threat.” Aware that the group to which they belong is often stereotyped as intellectually inferior, their anxiety that a poor showing on a test will confirm the stereotype actually depresses their performance on the test, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now,
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Reading Experience May Change the Brains of Dyslexic Students

Among the many challenges faced by children with dyslexia (and by their parents and teachers) is the nagging fear that their difficulties with reading are entirely hard-wired: predetermined by their genes and impossible to change. Recent research offers a balm for that fear. It suggests that experience plays a big role in dyslexia, both in exacerbating reading problems and, potentially,
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When the Teacher Is Depressed

The toll that a mother’s or father’s depression takes on children has been well documented: Children of depressed parents may become anxious or withdrawn, may have trouble regulating their emotions or dealing with challenges, and may develop behavior problems or even become depressed themselves. But mothers and fathers are not the only adults who spend significant time with kids. What
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Thirteen in Years, but 10 or 15 in Thoughts and Action

Gather together a random assortment of 13-year-olds, and you’ll likely find yourself looking at a group of people who have only their age in common. Some will be way into teenage culture, into hanging out and hooking up, even into alcohol and drugs; others will be little changed from the children they were at 12, 11, even 10 years of
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Harry Potter Casts a Spell for Tolerance

Parents often seek diversity in their children’s classmates and playmates, and with good reason: The most direct way to discover that members of other groups are people just like us is to spend time learning, playing and talking with them. But there’s an additional, more subtle way of getting the same message across, by cultivating what might be called a
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