Category: Cognitive Science

Teaching is a Complex Process

What About You? Teaching is a Complex Process

The teaching brain has a lot in common with the learning brain. They both need space in working memory and to support that space they need background knowledge so they can take advantage of long-term memory and automaticity. Teaching is a cognitive skill. One of the main differences between a teacher’s brain and a student’s…
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Helping Your Slow Learner
Cognitive Research Does Not Support Learning Styles

What About Learning Styles?

We all know kids are different. Yet we all have brains made out of the same stuff. So do the differences in our kids mean we should teach them differently? This is how learning style is usually presented. If your kids remembers pictures better than things he hears, then you should teach just with pictures.…
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Experts Think Differently than Students

Why Johnny Can’t Think Like a Scientist Until he is One

There has been a push in modern education to shift away from teaching kids about stuff (like facts & concepts & patterns) to attempting to teach them how to think like experts. Is such a thing possible? Can you think like an expert before you are one? Do experts become experts because they think differently…
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Does Practice Make Your Kid Perfect?

Does Practice Make Your Kid Perfect?

We are all familiar with the term “drill and kill”, yet we also know that practice makes perfect. “It is virtually impossible to become proficient at a mental task without extended practice” Willingham If we must practice to become proficient, how do we keep that practice from killing our children’s love of learning? Often, when…
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How to Foster Abstract Thought in Your Kids

How to Foster Abstract Thought in Your Kids

One of the ultimate goals of schooling, or academic work, is the ability for abstract thought. We hope children will not only remember the things we teach them, but that they will be able to take concepts they have learned within the academic world and apply them, making connections both between subjects and also applying…
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Organizing Ideas so Kids Remember What You Teach

Organizing Ideas So Kids Remember What You Teach

We cannot store every piece of information our brain encounters in our memory. How does it decide what needs to be remembered? Well, since our brain likes to avoid thought, if we spend a lot of time thinking about something, it decides to store it. It must be important and our brain doesn’t want us…
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Facts are the path to thinking

Facts Are The Path To Thinking

Without knowledge of facts, it is hard to think. Thought is not a vacuum and our brains need facts as a framework for thought. (You are reading the second post in a series about cognitive science in your homeschool, click here for the introductory post and links to the other posts in this series.) Critical…
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Thinking is Hard-How to Help Your Child Think

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few people engage in it.” – Henry Ford The first cognitive principal Daniel T. Willingham dives into in his book Why Students Don’t Like School is that while curiosity is natural, thinking is hard. Let’s unpack this principal, which is supported…
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