Suni

Brain Drain

Should students get paid for good grades? Brain Drain cuts Gordion knot, says both sides right

What do you think? Should you pay students for excelling at school? Economists are likely to claim that that is the wrong question.  They will say that what we should ask is whether the pay-for-grades scheme results in higher grades. According to Steven Levitt’s research, offering incentives to grade school and high school students – at least to boys – does pay off. When offered payment (Levitt and his gang tested both trophies and money),…


Turning a monster of a goal into small, doable steps

The key to reaching a really huge goal is to wave your magic wand and make it tiny. Or, if you don’t have a magic wand, you can simply turn your big goal into a series of little ones. Poof! It’s like magic, only without the corny costumes. Oh, and it also involves going back in time! Let me explain. Let’s say your big goal is to go to medical school. You are a freshman…


Motivational Moment from Mount Kilimanjaro

I’ve just come back from trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, and, boy, do I have some lessons for you. Number 1: Wear pants. It gets cold up there. Number 2: Don’t climb tall mountains if you don’t like heights. Number 3: Don’t climb tall mountains if what you really like to do is watch TV all day and be lazy. It’s no fun. Aside from that, I also have a motivational tool that will keep you climbing toward…


Finding your way in the big, dark, scary forest of homework

Feeling lost in the middle of a project or assignment and you just don’t know where to go next? Don’t stand and stare. Instead, take stock of your situation. These few steps will help you resituate yourself and get moving. Step 1: Take a deep breath and get some perspective. You’re not trying to build a bridge to the moon, for Pete’s sake. You’re just getting some homework done. Lots of people have done it…


Want to get more A’s? Take some breaks.

When I have polled students on how long they should work at one sitting, I generally hear back responses that exhaust me. Three hours, they say, or four hours or five hours!!! Dang it, I need a break. We all do. Breaks allow us to recharge, but they also give our brains the chance to mull over information subconsciously so that it can have its lightbulb moments. (Daniel Coyle says in his book The Talent…


To learn, teach.

I’ve pointed it out before. In order to learn, you need to do something with the information. (Click here to get the scoop) By being active when studying, you make mistakes, and mistakes help you learn. Let’s talk about how teaching is one way to accomplish this. As much as I have hated every teaching job I’ve ever had, I do have one good thing to say about the gig. Teaching is great for learning….


Ditch the keyboard and write by hand

If you take your class notes on computer, you’re doing it all wrong! Why? Because you shouldn’t type your notes in class. You should take notes the old-fashioned way, with a pencil or pen. They’re taking over the world!!! The most obvious reason you shouldn’t take notes on your computer is because, where there are computers, there is often Internet. And where there is Internet, there is the evil, worldwide conspiracy by Facebook, YouTube, Netflix,…


Mistakes – The first step to true smarts

The Teacher of the Year Award goes to (drumroll) MISTAKES! Clap, clap, clap! Can we get to the hors d’œvres table now? Not quite yet. Let’s talk about why mistakes are the best teachers around. Grab mistakes by the neck and turn them into smarts Or as Daniel Coyle puts it in his fantastic book The Talent Code, “capture failure and turn it into a skill.” When you make a mistake (say, you write the…


Big, fat F? Enough with the excuses!

I’m just not that smart Pfft. With that winning attitude, you won’t ever get smart either. You know how Einstein got smart? He worked it, baby. Or, as he put it in more elegant terms, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.” The brain is like a muscle. To get smart, you have to use it. Work at getting smarter every day. Look dumb sometimes (mistakes are great…


How frogs can help you get an A

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day,” said Mark Twain back in the day. The first obvious point is that Mr. Twain is unlikely to ever get his own cooking show. The other obvious point is this: There really is a good reason for organizational gurus to have glommed on to this tip like famished dieters to a table piled high…