Introduction to the Learning Sciences - Research Map

Introduction to the Learning Sciences

Introduction to the Learning Sciences

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Are you looking to learn what scientists have discovered about how people learn, and how to apply this information to your work in a school or classroom?

Neuroscience research has shown that learning in the brain happens in three phases: encoding (transforming experience into long-term memory), consolidation (storing and maintaining information over time) and retrieval (accessing information when needed). Additionally, researchers have discovered that the environment in which students learn, including the physical space as well as social and emotional factors, can impact learning.

Digital Promise and the Institute for Applied Neuroscience have teamed up to synthesize findings from the growing field of learning sciences research into 10 key insights about how people learn, along with suggestions for how to apply this information to classroom practice. Download these resources in the form of a poster to hang on your classroom wall, or a set of cards to take on-the-go. Below, click to expand each learning sciences insight to access more detail on the research and tips to apply it in practice.


10 Learning Sciences Insights

Click each insight for more information about what the research shows and for tips on how to apply the insight in practice.

1. Learning is a process that involves effort, mistakes, reflection, and refinement of strategies.

2. Thinking deeply about the to-be-learned material helps students pay attention, build memories, and make meaning out of what they are learning.

3. Communicating high expectations and keeping learners at the edge of their mastery helps each student reach their potential.

4. Retrieval practice strengthens memory and helps students flexibly apply what they learn.

5. Spacing out learning, and interweaving different content, strengthens learning.

6. Students are more motivated to learn when they are interested, have a sense of autonomy, and understand the purpose behind what they are learning.

7. Students learn well when they feel safe and connected.

8. Collaboration and social interaction can be powerful learning experiences because they encourage deeper processing and engage the ‘social brain.’

9. Students’ physical well-being, including nutrition, sleep, and exercise, impacts learning.

10. The entire environment, from space to temperature to lighting, can affect learning.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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