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:

More education, socioeconomic benefits equals longer life is an article on a frightening report on longevity and schooling. Here’s an excerpt:

“Over the last couple of decades, almost all longevity boats have risen,” said Olshansky, but there have been some subgroups that have had a drop in life expectancy.”

“It’s as if Americans with the least education are living in a time warp,” he said. The least educated black men are living in 1954, black women in 1962, white women in 1964, and white men in 1972.

One surprising finding, according to Olshansky, is that white women with less than 12 years of education can expect to live five years less than their counterparts did in 1990 (a decline from age 78 to 73).

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career.

I’ve written about how I how I try to build a culture of a “Community Of Learners” early each school year, and then how I have explicit conversations with the class about how best to handle things when, as we always do, get lots of transfers in during the second semester. It can be a difficult situation for everyone, and how its important for “veteran” students to be welcoming and supportive, and to model what being a “community of learners” is all about.

I’ve learned from experience the problems that can arise when we don’t do this kind of prep. Since I’ve been pro-active, though, the transitions have generally gone a whole lot smoother. Through a recent study, I learned that the results garnered by this kind of student modeling is called “goal contagion.”

A new study finds that being exposed to low light negatively affects our energy level and our memory. Being in a well-lit space has the opposite effect. Sometimes, I’ll lower the lights in my classroom so students can better see what’s being shown on the document camera (there’s still light from the windows). I’m sure having the lights off for that short period of time isn’t an issue. However, there are times when students will ask me to keep the lights off after we’re done, and sometimes I go along with it. Reading this study will make me think twice about doing so in the future.

Bilingualism ‘Can Increase Mental Agility’ is the headline of an article about a new study that reaffirms a lot of previous research. This is how it begins:

Bilingual children outperform children who speak only one language in problem-solving skills and creative thinking, according to research led at the University of Strathclyde.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual.