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Observer Article

The Curse of Knowledge: Pinker Describes a Key Cause of Bad Writing

APS Fellow Steven A. Pinker says writers often assume readers understand the obscure words they use and know the esoteric facts they reference — and these assumptions fuel poor prose. ... More>


Observer Article

Teaching Lessons that Last

Two years after taking an introductory psychology course, psychology majors remember, on average, only 60% of the material covered. APS Fellow Regan A.R. Gurung explains that teachers should not reward their students for simply memorizing facts. Instead, he wants instructors to instill lifelong critical-thinking skills. ... More>


Observer Article

Overcoming the Classroom Environment

For most of our evolutionary history, humans have learned by trial, error, and observation — not by sitting in a classroom. To make the modern classroom more hospitable to learning, Caroline F. Keating suggests that teachers use specific techniques, such as standing instead of sitting and engaging with students outside the classroom. ... More>


The Sense of Style

Let’s face it: Most academics are terrible communicators. Why do the world’s most cerebral people find it so hard to convey their ideas? And how can we learn to do […]... More>


Why I give my students a ‘tragedy of the commons’ extra credit challenge