Increasing Student Success Through Instruction in Self-Determination

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An enormous amount of research shows the importance of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) for students in elementary school through college for enhancing learning and improving important post-school outcomes. Findings Research by psychologists Richard Ryan, PhD, and Edward Deci, PhD, on Self-Determination Theory indicates that intrinsic motivation (doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable), and [...]

How to Build a Better Educational System: Jigsaw Classrooms

The jigsaw classroom technique can transform competitive classrooms in which many students are struggling into cooperative classrooms in which once-struggling students show dramatic academic and social improvements. Findings In the early 1970s, in the wake of the civil rights movement, educators were faced with a social dilemma that had no obvious solution. All over the [...]

Have Your Children Had Their Anti-Smoking Shots?

Findings In the early 1960s, social psychologist William McGuire published some classic papers showing that it is surprisingly easy to change people’s attitudes about things that we all wholeheartedly accept as true. For example, for speakers armed with a little knowledge of persuasion, it is remarkably easy to convince almost anyone that brushing one’s teeth [...]

Early Intervention Can Improve Low-Income Children’s Cognitive Skills and Academic Achievement

National Head Start program conceptualized while psychologists were beginning to study preventive intervention for young children living in poverty. Findings As a group, children who live in poverty tend to perform worse in school than do children from more privileged backgrounds. For the first half of the 20th century, researchers attributed this difference to inherent [...]

Family-Like Environment Better for Troubled Children and Teens

The Teaching-Family Model changes bad behavior through straight talk and loving relationships. Findings In the late 1960′s, psychologists Elaine Phillips, Elery Phillips, Dean Fixsen, and Montrose Wolf developed an empirically tested treatment program to help troubled children and juvenile offenders who had been assigned to residential group homes. These researchers combined the successful components of [...]

Believing You Can Get Smarter Makes You Smarter

Thinking about intelligence as changeable and malleable, rather than stable and fixed, results in greater academic achievement, especially for people whose groups bear the burden of negative stereotypes about their intelligence. Findings Can people get smarter? Are some racial or social groups smarter than others? Despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, many people [...]