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:
This isn’t a new report (thought it’s new to me) — Believing You Can Get Smarter Makes You Smarter is an older report from the American Psychological Association that for some reason they have publicized again. It’s still go info, and reinforces the lesson plan that I have in my book on helping students realize that the brain is like a muscle. I also discuss it in this post, “Now I Know My Brain Is Growing When I Read Every Night.”
The Compelling (not just interesting) Input Hypothesis is a new paper by Stephen Krashen. Here’s an excerpt: “Compelling means that the input is so interesting you forget that it is in another language. It means you are in a state of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). In flow, the concerns of everyday life and even the sense of self disappear – our sense of time is altered and nothing but the activity itself seems to matter. Flow occurs during reading when readers are “lost in the book” (Nell, 1988) or in the “Reading Zone” (Atwell, 2007). Compelling input appears to eliminate the need for motivation, a conscious desire to improve. When you get compelling input, you acquire whether you are interested in improving or not.”
Is the human brain designed to be honest about itself? summarizes recent research that suggests we might not be good at providing accurate self-evaluations of ourselves. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Students See They Might Not Always Be The Best Judges Of Their Behavior.
Rejection massively reduces IQ is the title of an article in New Scientist about a new study. Here’s how it begins: “Rejection can dramatically reduce a person’s IQ and their ability to reason analytically, while increasing their aggression, according to new research.”
Think Healthy, Eat Healthy: Scientists Show Link Between Attention and Self-Control comes from Science Daily. I’m not going to explain the experiment the article describes (you can read about it there if you’d like), but it basically reinforces the strategy that the famous marshmallow experiment found — that distracting yourself with other thoughts (and in the lesson plan in my book I emphasize positive distracting thoughts, like “Instead of throwing that paper wad at John I’m going to think about how I enjoy playing basketball with him) is an effective self-control strategy. You can read more at My Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.
Personality Plays Role in Body Weight: Impulsivity Strongest Predictor of Obesity is another interesting study on self-control. It says that people with little self-control “are likely to go through cycles of gaining and losing weight throughout their lives.” I could see how this would be a nice addition to my self-control lessons, and just another reason why some students might want to work on self-control now.
‘Simon Says’: Preschool-Age Kids in Different Countries Improve Academically Using Self-Regulation Game is yet another report on a self-control related study. It says that “children who regularly participated in a Simon Says-type game designed to improve self-regulation — called the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task — may have better math and early literacy scores.” I didn’t feel like paying to view the entire study, but I assume the task is the one which I have seen videotaped (the videos on are on my My Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control list) where children are told to, say, touch their toes when the teacher actually puts her hand on her head. I’d suggest it’s not just for young children — my high school students loved doing it again, especially when they could lead it.