Title: Practical Applications of Neural Plasticity From the Intersection of Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and Prevention Science
Author: Richard L. Bryck and Philip A. Fisher
Prior researchers have shown that the brain has a remarkable ability for adapting to environmental changes. The positive effects of such neural plasticity include enhanced functioning in specific cognitive domains and shifts in cortical representation following naturally occurring cases of sensory deprivation; however, maladaptive changes in brain function and development owing to early developmental adversity and stress have also been well documented. Researchers examining enriched rearing environments in animals have revealed the potential for inducing positive brain plasticity effects and have helped to popularize methods for training the brain to reverse early brain deficits or to boost normal cognitive functioning. Read More
TITLE: High-Stakes Testing: Does It Increase Achievement?
AUTHOR: Sharon L. Nichols
I review the literature on the impact on student achievement of high-stakes testing. Its popularity as a mechanism for holding educators accountable has triggered studies to examine whether its promise to increase student learning has been fulfilled. The review concludes there is no consistent evidence to suggest high-stakes testing leads to increases in student learning*. Read More
Truth is: I’ve become increasingly agitated by most science reporting of psychological studies. Somewhere along the way, something usually gets misrepresented. Maybe it’s the sensational title. Maybe it’s the misquoting. Maybe it’s a misunderstanding of what a correlation means or what constitutes a large or meaningful effect size or the equating of a gene with […]