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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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The cognitive perspective on learning

ten cornerstone findings

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Michael Schneider and Elsbeth Stern place knowledge acquisition at the very heart of the learning process, albeit that the quality of the knowledge is as necessary as the quantity and that “knowledge” should be understood much more broadly than (but including) knowing facts. They summarise the cognitive perspective through ten “cornerstones”. Learning: i) is essentially carried out by the learner; ii) should take prior knowledge importantly into account; iii) requires the integration of knowledge structures; iv) balances the acquisition of concepts, skills and meta-cognitive competence; v) builds complex knowledge structures by hierarchically organising more basic pieces of knowledge; vi) can valuably use structures in the external world for organising knowledge structures in the mind; vii) is constrained by the capacity limitations of human information-processing; viii) results from a dynamic interplay of emotion, motivation and cognition; ix) should develop transferable knowledge structures; x) requires time and effort.

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