We’ve come to realize that there is no “one size fits all” in education and that there is value in appreciating different methodologies and strategies in learning.
Cognitive scientists have a deeper understanding of which learning experiences are more impactful on the brain, but, historically, their research hasn’t been fully considered in education. Fortunately, more of us are starting to pay attention!
The science of learning is the body of research about how we learn, as studied by scientists in fields ranging from neuroscience to psychology to computer science. The aim of this research is to optimize learning for all students, and educators are increasingly interested in learning more about it.
If you’re looking for a good book on the cognitive science of how we learn, check out these titles:
- How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now – An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain’s remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them. (2020) by Stanislas Dehaene
- Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide – The purpose of this book is to catalyze a conversation between Cognitive Scientists and Educators. Toward that end, we need a shared vocabulary. This book will introduce you to 48 commonly used terms from Cognitive Science. (2018) by Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki, and Oliver Caviglioli
- Cognitive Science for Educators: Practical Suggestions for an Evidence-Based Classroom (2020) by Bob Hausmann
- Brain-Based Learning: Teaching the Way Students Really Learn – The more you know about your students’ brains, the better you can be at your profession. Brain-based teaching boosts cognitive functioning and graduation rates, decreases discipline issues, and fosters the joy of learning. (3rd edition, 2020) by Eric Jensen and Liesl McConchie
Any given classroom includes a variety of brains in different places developmentally, but these brains are still on similar paths that lead to the same acquisition of skills.
As teachers, we have to understand how the brain is learning if we are to help every student reach their full potential. Universally applying the science of learning would be a game-changer for students and teachers alike.