The Science of Learning: Metacognition in Education

Not only is it difficult to measure and develop metacognitive skills, but the current state of education systematically stifles metacognitive development. One of the hallmarks of metacognitive development is divergent thinking. Divergent thinking requires an individual to think of different ways that a solution can be reached. It requires cognitive flexibility, as well as critical… Read More

The Science of Learning: Metacognition in Life

As with most of the higher order thinking skills, metacognition plays a wider role in life than just academic work. However, metacognition has, by far, the widest reaching effects in people’s lives as the following list demonstrates. This is likely the reason why educators have focussed and tried to develop metacognition in children. Unfortunately, because… Read More

The Science of Learning: Metacognition

Metacognition is a set of skills that allow us to control and direct our cognitive abilities. Metacognition? Cognition first. I was in my first cognition class as a 30-year-old adult before I had any idea what cognition is. I took the class because cognitive psychology was one of the areas I was required to study… Read More

The Science of Education: Creativity

The other side of the coin of conformity is creativity. Is there really a problem with creativity? What are the implications of total convergent thinking (conformity) and the loss of creativity in our society? Can we change this? Since we don’t have a creativity baseline, it is difficult to answer the first question. However, rational… Read More

The Science of Learning: Learning Styles

A learning style is the type of learning that a learner enjoys. There are four recognized learning styles in education: Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinaesthetic. According to the theory, if a person receives instruction in their preferred learning style, they will learn faster and in greater depth. Teachers should try to provide instruction that will… Read More

The Science of Learning: Organization Effect

The organization effect is the desirable difficulty that asks about who does the organization of the material. Teaching today usually has the teacher doing the reading for the students, organizing the material into nice little bullet-points, reading the bullet-points to the students, and finally, handing the bullet-points out to the students in class or having… Read More

The Science of Learning: Disfluency Effect

Among the desirable difficulties that can be introduced into a classroom to enhance memorization, disfluency stands out as being particularly unintuitive. Disfluency is the process of making items to be learned more difficult to process which means that the student, in using more processing, processes the material to a deeper level. This is usually done… Read More

The Science of Learning: The Spacing Effect

The spacing Effect is a desirable difficulty for learning (along with the testing effect) that helps produce long lasting, durable memory traces, but has also been ignored in education. The spacing effect is when the learning of material takes place over long periods of time. Usually, when we teach something, we concentrate the presentation of… Read More

The Science of Learning: Testing Effect

The testing effect is all about memory. If you need to have information memorized, the testing effect is said to be your most powerful tool. The testing effect is a simple to administer intervention that strengthens memory traces – in fact, some researchers specify this as being the most important, ignored finding in memory and… Read More

The Science of Learning: Mindset

Carol Dweck is the principle figure behind mindset theory and in my opinion is one of the giants in the science of learning. To understand where Dweck is coming from, we need to go back decades. In the early 1980’s Dweck started looking into the perplexing question of why females consistently score lower than males… Read More