Annie Murphy Paul

How Students Make Progress in Learning

When we think and talk about learning, the metaphors we use matter. The language we employ when we describe how learning works can illuminate the process, allowing us to make accurate judgments and predictions—or it can lead us astray, setting up false expectations and giving us a misleading impression of what’s going on.

Why Kids Should Be Allowed to Act Out (Scenes) In Class

For children, acting out words on the page can yield benefits. Especially for beginning readers, physically moving objects or one’s own body can provide a crucial bridge between real-life people, things, and actions, and the printed words meant to represent them. Fluent readers take this correspondence for granted, but many children find it difficult to grasp.

College Students of Color Reject Rosy Pictures of Diversity

Glossy images of diverse student bodies at universities are meant to convey these institutions’ warm embrace of prospective students, employees and supporters. But research suggests that when the images don’t line up with reality, the use of minority member photographs can backfire, generating an effect exactly opposite of the one intended.

Can You Learn While You Sleep?

What’s more, researchers are coming to recognize that dreaming is an essential part of understanding, organizing and retaining what we learn—and that dreams may even hold out the possibility of directing our learning as we doze.

How Do We Inspire Young Inventors?

Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth. If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM, we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early.

Ready to Learn? The Key Is Listening With Intention

Listening and observing can be passive activities—in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here's how to make sure your intentions are good.