Developing Minds in the Digital Age

Towards a Science of Learning for 21st Century Education

image of Developing Minds in the Digital Age

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.


Shapes, blocks, puzzles and origami: From spatial play to STEM learning

We often take for granted our reliance on spatial skills in everyday life, as well as in a variety of professional pursuits. Spatial skills help adults interpret charts, read maps and visualise things they cannot see. They are malleable and foundational skills that start developing early in life and contribute to children’s learning and success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Play with spatial toys in early education and home settings offers a promising and underutilised avenue for supporting 21st century skills. In this chapter, we summarise evidence of relations between spatial skills and STEM success. We then present ways in which spatial play activities might support spatial and STEM skills with relatively minor additional investments of parents’ or educators’ time or money. Suggestions include practical tips for caretakers to use during play. Before concluding, we highlight areas for future research and consideration.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error