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On Human Cognition

After more than 30 years in education, I have become convinced that the systems we have created are grounded in an incorrect assumption of what constitutes human thinking. As educators, our goal is to increase and enhances students’ cognitive abilities. When they leave our classrooms, they should be able to observe more and more sophisticated […]

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The Paradox of Banning Cell Phones

Cognitive load is a well-known and established theory. Basically, it posits humans have a limited amount of cognitive processing power available at any moment; game theorists would declare our cognitive capacity is a zero-sum quantity. What is used for one purpose is unavailable for other purposes. In classroom, we want to limit extraneous cognitive load […]

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Latent Learning

I’ve read an interesting article recently that challenges what appears to be to orthodox view that performance on tests and other assessments is predictive of long-term learning and the ability to apply what one has learned on other situations. Among the several points that support the authors’ claims are seemingly contrary observations. Latent learning is […]

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Performance and Learning

Recent decades have found educators sharply focusing on performance. This arises from the dominance of standards to guide curriculum. At all levels of education, we define what it is that students are supposed to know and do, translate that into learning objectives, then check students’ performance on assessments that (ostensibly) measure the degree to which […]

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A Gap in Education

The foundational idea of education is that students are able to “do something” after the process is complete that they could not do before. What students can do depends on the experiences that comprise their education. There seems to be two competing versions of what we hope our students will be able to do after […]