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Research Studies Of The Week

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I often write about research studies from various field and how they can be applied to the classroom. I write individual posts about ones that I think are especially significant, and will continue to do so. However, so many studies are published that it’s hard to keep up. So I’ve started writing a “round-up” of some of them each week or every other week as a regular feature:

The Future of Self-Improvement, Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent is not a new research study, but it does give a good short review of the research by Angela Duckworth about the importance of grit,or perseverance. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit.”

How Struggle Leads to Learning is a report on a study involving three-year-olds, but I suspect it might be applicable to others, too. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

How can you learn to resist temptation? reports on a new study that reinforces the importance, emphasized in follow-up reports to the marshmallow experiment, for people to prepare plans on how they are going to resist specific temptations. As I’ve previously written, I have students make these kinds of plans and draw, write, and share them with classmates. I think one new aspect of this study highlights that it’s important to verbally repeat your strategy several times. I’m adding it to My Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson has written a short article for Carol Dweck’s website. It provides a simple review of the basics on the kind of feedback we should be giving our students, and generally there’s nothing new in it. However, it did make one important point I have not see made anyplace else:

Avoid praising effort when it didn’t pay off. Many parents try to console their child by saying things like “Well honey, you didn’t do very well, but you worked hard and really tried your best.” Why does anyone think that this is comforting? For the record – it’s not. (Unless, of course, it was a no-win situation from the start).

Studies show that, after a failure, being complimented for “effort” not only makes kids feel stupid, it also leaves them feeling like they can’t improve. In these instances, it’s really best to stick to purely informational feedback – if effort isn’t the problem, help them figure out what is.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t provide references to those studies. I’m still adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

Still the Write Stuff: Why We Must Continue Teaching Handwriting provides an overview of research on the topic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Handwriting & Learning.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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