Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Learning Styles: Myth?

I'm interested in hearing how teachers and administrators in your district talk and think about "learning styles." I remember learning learning style "theory" during staff development workshops as a young teacher, and the main impact was that I felt guilty for not diligently including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic experiences in my lessons.

So I was glad to read Daniel Willingham's work on "debunking" what he calls the "learning styles myth." It turns out there really isn't much empirical evidence that learning styles exist or impact learning (they might be learning "preferences"). Willingham has been dedicated to adding some science to the discussion of "learning styles" for quite a while and created many resources that are usable by many audience. The FAQ document linked to below is a good overall summary of his thinking:

Learning Style FAQ

More recently, Howard Gardner chimed in to try to clarify how his multiple intelligences theory is different form  "learning styles," and how people misinterpret his theory too.

Howard Gardner: 'Multiple Intelligences' are not 'learning styles'

Please post your experiences with this debate in the comments section. And one last thought: this might be a great "project based learning" experience for psych students? 

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Color and Gender

I discovered this little gem of a cartoon while researching infographics.  It's mostly whimsical with a lot of truth-guys do see colors differently.  The cartoon is free to share under the creative commons licensing (see below).  I suspect you could use it in a gender/perception portion of a unit.  If you go through their collection, many of the cartoons are gender and relationship based. Enjoy.

The original site is: http://thedoghousediaries.com/ 

From their site: 
Basically, you may share, copy, reprint, or publish these comics as long as you provide the source. Email us if you're still unsure.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The 2013 Whitman Journal of Psychology

We've posted about the Whitman Journal of Psychology before, but their new issue is out, and the articles look great (and potential useful reads for your students!):

  • a thorough review of how some concepts from positive psychology, learning, and cognitive psych apply to natural disaster recovery: "Understanding the Psychological Impact of Natural Disasters: Grief"
  • a very timely study done with high school participants about how group identity influences test performance (well done!) "Effects of Group Factors" BONUS: all the instruments, consent forms, etc. are included - your students could replicate this!
  • an interesting study done with toads that shows the impact of "instinct" on conditioning (Dr. Skinner would not be happy :) : "Autoshaping in the American Toad"
  • several well-done reviews of psychology topics done by Walt Whitman students
If you haven't dived into the Whitman Journal before, this is a good introduction! Congrats to the Whitman staff and students for producing such a fine, peer-reviewed psych. journal! 

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Monday, October 21, 2013


I'm on facebook way too much and one of my favorite pages to follow is All-About-Psychology.  The authors share many ideas and trivia related to psychology's content and history.  Their main website is: http://www.all-about-psychology.com/.   You can find them on facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/psychologyonline.  The author of the page also offers free kindle versions of his work from time to time.  It's worth a look.

You will find ads on their site, but they have some pretty good content, just check out the links along the left hand side.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Headache Infographic

It seems that every semester, students assume that since I know about the mind and brain, I also know about headaches.  I do--I have a great poster I pull out and share.  But today I ran across this infographic that was pretty cool.  The Mount Sinai Hospital put this together back in 2011, but it contains some great info.  Enjoy.

Link for the graphic iteself:  http://dailyinfographic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/HEADACHE.Infographic704.jpg

Link for the post on DailyInfographic

 Posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, October 14, 2013

AP Psych Course Online at Educator.com

During the summer of 2013, I had the chance to put much of my efforts into creating an online
version of my AP Psychology course for Educator.com.  They had found my youtube ap psych review videos and I interviewed for the chance to teach the course for them.  The link for the course is here: http://www.educator.com/learn/psychology/ap-psychology/schallhorn/

I prepped in May, June, and July and went to Los Angeles for two weeks to film the course.  The perfectionist in me wanted to be able to do so much more (but I lacked the graphics budget of National Geographic, the History Channel and PBS), but I was able to go over every part of the AP Psych course outline and explain everything.  There are nearly 40 hours of content.  I also went through the 1999 exam, both multiple choice and FRQ and gave test taking tips.

I included lots of examples and spent more time on the more difficult subjects that our students find challenging.  Additionally, for those who subscribe, there are sections for each lesson where questions can be asked and I will be responding to student questions there.  The course is divided into 68 different lectures--I tried to demarcate specific aspects of the content and make the lectures shorter (I have issues with adding lots of examples and connections).

As you can imagine, I was not able to use many of the tools we normally would have, the PowerPoints and the videos,  but I was able to add some links.  I had to get creative and create some of my own graphics.  All in all, it was a great experience getting to create this course and put it together.  I am looking forward to interacting with the teachers and students who choose to use the course.

What I really like about the site is that once you have a subscription, you can access any of the courses they have--it's an amazing set of resources--I plan to take some time to watch some of the other AP courses myself.  Very cool.  Thank you to Eric Hung, founder of Educator.com and to the wonderful producer/editor I worked with, Tiffany Lin.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Celebrities and Personality Types

More Infographics--what can I say?  I get these emails and many connect to psych.  Here is one that uses the Myers-Briggs Jungian personality types (16 of them), and matches them up with various famous people.  As I've mentioned before, I am very wary of the MBTI and its validity, but this could be used for a fun activity.

The original post is here:

Apologies if this does not fit in your browser properly.

posted by Chuck

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Child Brain: An Infographic

They say that the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.  I seem to have a thing for infographics.  Not sure why, but I do.  I found this one this morning, tweeted it and it got several retweets and favorites.  Figured I'd better share with everyone.  It's got some amazing facts and really cool graphics.

The original graphic can be found here: http://www.graphs.net/201310/child-brain-development.html

Thursday, October 3, 2013

ASAP Science Videos

One of my students, Frankie, has been on me for weeks to check out as series of videos on YouTube.  I finally did and wanted to share them with you.  They call themselves "ASAP Science."  This is the link to their channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/AsapSCIENCE.  They are similar to the RSA Animates videos, only dealing with various science topics, including many in psychology.  There are so many ways to use them, whether it be as attention grabbers, resources for topics we have no time for, or as research ideas.  Great stuff either way.

They have many videos covering many topics we teach--here are a few:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Brain Internet Search and Discover

Below is an assignment I do when I can get a computer lab for my regular psychology class.  Our school of 3000 has only two labs.  I love each of these sites--I use this assignment as a springboard into the brain and neuroscience after my students have become familiar with the brain (after about a week or two).  It is NOT a webquest, but rather a search and discover (my term, nothing official).  I checked all the links this morning and they all work. Many of my students are also poor and do not have computers and/or internet access at home to complete the assignment.

We have an alternating block schedule.  Given that, I added the last two sites on optical illusions for the students who work more quickly and give them something that could be endlessly entertaining.  My biggest goal is exposure to the possibilities of the brain and topics that interest them--that's why I began with sleep ;)

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Mr. Schallhorn's Psychology/Brain             Name                                                                                                     Per         
Internet Search and Discover (rev. 10/13)

Follow ALL Directions:
·         Today's exercise is designed to take your through some excellent sites about the brain and help you review and understand the ideas for the unit.
·         Complete each section before moving on to the next one.
·         Go to my web site to access all these specific sites without having to type in each link.

Site 1: The Teenage Brain: Why We Sleep

This link examines why teens sleep so differently than other people.  Read the first several sections and explain what the research says about teens and sleep.






Site 2: The Brain in 3-D Form-- http://www.g2conline.org/ --once here, look to the right and view the 3-D brain section

This link shows the brain in 3-Dimensional form. 

Play with the simulation to get a feel for the brain and how parts relate to one another.  Do this and read the descriptions at the right of the page.  Spend about five minutes doing this.  Name three things you learned about the brain by using this tool.




This link explains in detail and great color just how science can scan the brain. What does each do and HOW does it achieve its measurement of the brain.




Site 4: Brains in the News--http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/inthenews.html

Neuroscience for Kids--in the News
Choose one of the articles and give a four-six sentence summary of its contents.

Site 5: Brain Games

Neuroscience for Kids--Neuroscience Games
Choose a game that is for kids in high school. Play it and report back as to what you learned from it.

Site 6: Topic of Your Choice

Scan the article titles on this page. Make a list of topics  (at least 8x) the magazine is currently offering.

Site 7: Medical News Today ArticleSearch this site for articles dealing with the brain (easy search box at the top).  Choose and article.  Choose one and create a mini-report (summarize in 4-6 sentences on the article topics about which you read).  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

Site 8: Sheep Brain Dissection
This link takes you through the dissection of a sheep brain and the connection to that of a human brain.  Please take key notes (at least 8) that are important to understand the brain.

Site 9: Society for Neuroscience: http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=brainfacts
Take a look at the page.  Choose one of the topics under “main page.”  Read that section and summarize it here.

Optical Illusions Sites
Go to the following links and experience the world of optical illusions. What do you see—what illusions grab your attention and why




What is happening to you when you view these illusions?  What is your reaction to it?