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The Madison Record

James Clemens’ Harvard to speak at NYC researchED

MADISON – Blake Harvard at James Clemens High School will serve as one of four presenters at a national researchEd conference in New York on Oct. 7.

Harvard will discuss “Learning Strategies in the Classroom.” At James Clemens, he teaches advanced-placement psychology and works as head coach of boys’ soccer and freshman football teams.

Operated by volunteers, researchED is a non-profit organization populated by speakers who volunteer their time. “Education is one of the most collaborative, altruistic sectors I can imagine, and we’re proud to be part of such a rewarding and supportive community,” researchED Founder Tom Bennett said.

Organization officials asked Harvard to propose a talk for researchED Brooklyn on his procedures to use researched-based learning strategies in his classroom. Harvard bases this material on his blog posts and social media presence on Twitter at @effortfuleduktr.

“The proposal was accepted, and the rest is history,” Harvard said. “I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity. I have, in the past, spoken to other teachers in Madison City Schools and other systems, but nothing like this. It’s a huge honor and I cannot wait to represent James Clemens High School and Madison City Schools on Oct. 7.”

About a year ago, Harvard became interested in reading about education research and applying it to the classroom. “I wrote a guest blog post for learningscientists.org and ‘got the bug’ for reading and writing,” he said. “I then started my blog effortfuleducator.com and have been working to relate cognitive psychology to the classroom ever since.”

He focuses on retrieval practice, spaced practice, dual coding and interleaving that research has proven as effective in increasing students’ retention of material. “I teach AP psychology and these strategies assist my students in being ready to study/practice in college,” Harvard said.

“This is quite an honor for Coach Harvard. We are very proud of him,” James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said.

Organized in 2013, researchED strives to raise research literacy in the teaching profession and supply best evidence into classrooms most in need.

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