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The Nature of Learning

Using Research to Inspire Practice

image of The Nature of Learning

What do we know about how people learn? How do young people’s motivations and emotions influence their learning? What does research show to be the benefits of group work, formative assessments, technology applications, or project-based learning and when are they most effective?  How is learning affected by family background? These are among the questions addressed for the OECD by leading researchers from North America and Europe. This book brings together the lessons of research on both the nature of learning and different educational applications, and it summarises these as seven key concluding principles.  

Among the contributors are Brigid Barron, Monique Boekaerts, Erik de Corte, Linda Darling-Hammond, Kurt Fischer, Andrew Furco, Richard Mayer, Lauren Resnick, Barbara Schneider, Robert Slavin, James Spillane, Elsbeth Stern and Dylan Wiliam.

The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice is essential reading for all those interested in knowing what research has to say about how to optimise learning in classrooms, schools and other settings. It aims, first and foremost, to inform practice and educational reform. It will be of particular interest to teachers, education leaders, teacher educators, advisors and decision makers, as well as the research community

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Learning from the developmental and biological perspective

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Christina Hinton and Kurt Fischer consider first how genetics and experience interact to guide development, and how learning experiences literally shape the physical structure of the brain. They stress how cognition and emotion work in tandem. The chapter reviews research on how the brain acquires core academic abilities, including language, literacy and mathematics, and discuss atypical development of these abilities. The brain is biologically primed to acquire language, while the capacity for literacy, on the other hand, is built over time with cumulative neural modifications and varies depending on the language in question. Similarly, different instruction shapes the neural circuitry underlying mathematical abilities. Neuro-scientific research has underpinned key findings regarding learning, such as the extent of individual differences and the essential social nature of human learning, which means that learning environments should incorporate multiple means of representation, assessment and engagement.

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