'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I often write about research studies from various fields 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.

By the way, you might also be interested in My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013.

Here are some new useful studies (and related resources):

Our quick guide to literacy research for teachers is a useful summary from The Guardian.

Socialization technique helps in academic achievement, trial study finds is from The Washington Post, and describes results from a study on using Social Emotional Learning in the classroom. I’m adding it to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources. Here’s more info on the same research.

Does Stymied Educational Attainment Lead to Depression? is an interesting article about new research, and appeared in the Pacific Standard. Here’s an excerpt:

Reynolds and Baird conclude that there are no long-term emotional costs to aiming high and falling short when it comes to educational aspirations. This contradicts decades of research that holds that unmet educational expectations lead to psychological distress. In fact, not trying is the only way to ensure lower levels of education and increased chances of poor mental health. So, go ahead and shoot for that moon.

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

The way a room is lit can affect the way you make decisions is from Science Daily. Here’s an excerpt:

The next time you want to turn down the emotional intensity before making an important decision, you may want to dim the lights first. A new study shows that human emotion, whether positive or negative, is felt more intensely under bright light. under bright lights emotions are felt more intensely.

This is probably a good classroom management tip to keep in mind. I haven’t been that intentional about it, but I think — in my experience, at least — overly-enthusiastic classes tend to be a bit calmer when the lights are off (I generally have them off when I have something on the document camera for students to see — it’s more clear with less light in the room). I’ll have to more conscious of it to see its effect on behavior. Of course, we also have to balance it out with the potential tendency among some who might become more drowsy with the lights out. What has been your experience?

Common Core is Focus of New AERA Site on Newsworthy Research Topics is from Education Week. It shares some useful information:

The Trending Topic Research File  provides free online access to Common Core-related articles appearing in the six peer-reviewed journals of the American Educational Research Association. (The “free” part is important because, typically, nonsubscribers pay $30 to download a single article.)

Retention leads to discipline problems in other kids is the title of a new report on research coming out of Duke University. Here’s an excerpt:

When students repeat a grade, it can spell trouble for their classmates, according to a new Duke University-led study of nearly 80,000 middle-schoolers.

In schools with high numbers of grade repeaters , suspensions were more likely to occur across the school community. Discipline problems were also more common among other students, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption.

Public debate typically focuses on how retention affects an individual student’s academic performance, said lead author Clara Muschkin. So she and her colleagues decided to take a wider view and consider how holding students back may affect the school as a whole.

“The decision to retain students has consequences for the whole school community,” said Muschkin, an associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. “That wider effect is an issue worth considering as we debate this policy.”

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both.

The Ed Tech Researcher over at Education Week provides an overview of research on what the best length of a video is to show to students. There’s some disagreement, but is sounds like six minutes is best. That sounds right to me….