Episode 101: The Psychology of Music: The Role of Expectations and Minor Chords

MichaelBiopsychology, Emotion, Learning/Memory10 Comments

How does music affect us emotionally? Why do minor chords so sad? In this episode of The Psych Files I explore ideas from Daniel Leviton‘s fascinating book, Your Brain on Music, especially those ideas concerned with what composers do to draw you into their music by first conforming to your musical expectations and then carefully confounding them in order to surprise and delight.

Episode 90: The Learning Styles Myth: An Interview with Daniel Willingham

MichaelLearning/Memory, Teaching Tools34 Comments

Guess what? There’s no such thing as learning style (the theory that each of us has a preferred way to learn new ideas. There are many supposed kinds of learning styles, such as a visual learning style, an auditory style, kinesthetic, etc.). Don’t believe it? Neither did I at first. I was sure for a long time that I personally had a visual learning style. Now I’m not so sure anymore. Listen to this interview with professor and author Daniel Willingham as he and I discuss the topic of learning styles.

Episode 86 (video): Educational Games

MichaelLearning/Memory, Teaching Tools6 Comments

Can games really be educational? They are certainly addictive and engaging. Can we harness this aspect of games and use it to learn? In this video I show you why I believe the answer is yes. Let’s talk about what really good teaching is and what really good games are like. Then I take you on a brief tour of what I believe are some of the best examples of great educational games.

Episode 85: How to Make Learning Fun Again – Constructivism and Democratic Schools – Part 2

MichaelDevelopment, Learning/Memory, Teaching Tools1 Comment

What the heck is constructivism anyway? In this episode I explore that topic with Dr. Eugene Geist. We also explore what some would consider a radical concept in education: democratic schools. What would happen if we let children decide how they wanted to learn? Complete Chaos? Or an exciting new way to get students involved in and taking responsibility for learning?