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.


The Australian Science of Learning Research Centre

The Australian Science of Research Learning Centre (SLRC), established as a special initiative of the Australian Research Council in 2008, brings together neuroscientists, psychologists and educators to work collaboratively towards improving classroom outcomes. Research at the SLRC is organised into three broad themes: “understanding learning”, which focusses on the basic neurophysiological and psychological processes involved in learning; “measuring learning”, which aims to develop novel techniques to quantify learning as it occurs dynamically in the classroom; and “promoting learning”, which takes the insights of the other themes to formulate novel strategies to improve learning outcomes. SLRC projects have examined such phenomena as mathematics anxiety, the role of feedback and Bayesian approaches to learning and the brain. The chapter also addresses recent scepticism about the utility of using neuroscientific insights to improve classroom learning.


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