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 many health perks of good handwriting is an article that discusses several studies. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Handwriting & Learning.

How People Learn:Bridging Research and Practice is a new book from The National Academy Of Sciences and can be read for free online. It focuses on three teaching strategies — activating prior knowledge, focusing on big concept ideas and encouraging pattern recognition, and developing awareness of metacognition.

In the article “Why Can’t More Poor People Escape Poverty?” The New Republic reports on a study attributing poverty to the lack of self-control by the poor because, since self-control has been found to be a “depletable resource.” I’ve written several times in the past about studies that have found that the willpower for self-control needs to be replenished, and how I’ve successfully applied the idea in the classroom (see My Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control). The New Republic article is intriguing, and there might be something to what it says. I’m concerned though, about applying what has been learned from previous studies to such a broad societal analysis since most of that research — at least, from what I can tell — have had young people as the test subjects. I’m also concerned that this kind of idea could be used by some to apply a “blame the victim” perspective to anti-poverty efforts instead of looking at justice issues like employment, adequate health care and affordable housing, along with race and wealth inequality. In schools, we already see enough of this perspective from people like Ruby Payne. I’d love to hear the perspective of others in the comments section.

Using Wordles To Teach Foreign Language Writing is a useful study. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds.”

Research shows that feelings of powerlessness makes you less likely to be able to plan and focus on achieving your goals. I’m adding this info to My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals and it’s certainly related to New Study Says Freedom & Autonomy More Important Than Money (& Classroom Incentives?).