Developing Minds in the Digital Age

Towards a Science of Learning for 21st Century Education

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This book highlights new scientific research about how people learn, including interdisciplinary perspectives from neuroscience, the social, cognitive and behavioural sciences, education, computer and information sciences, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and engineering. These new developments offer fascinating new perspectives, based on technological advances, which enable a re-examination of longstanding problems in learning, raise new questions, and offer new approaches to the study of learning. This report seeks to catalyse discussions on the implications of these research findings for education practice and policy, and in turn, on how knowledge and experience from real-world education practice and policy could challenge and inform research agendas and theory building.



How stereotypes shape children’s STEM identity and learning

The scarcity of women who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is of global concern. What are the origins of this gender gap and what can we do about it? To make progress, we need to recognise that the problem starts early in development. In early elementary school, children are already sensitive to cultural stereotypes about “who does mathematics”. This begins to influence their own emerging self-concepts about mathematics. We show that children’s stereotypes and self-concepts have a far-reaching impact on children’s achievement in school. Science-based interventions can be designed to strengthen children’s resistance to STEM stereotypes and to enhance their self-concepts. We discuss the promise of these interventions for sparking children’s engagement, enjoyment and success in STEM.


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