How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning

On June 10, the National Research Council (NRC) Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BCSS) held its inaugural meeting to update and extend the 2000 NRC report, How People Learn.

The ad hoc committee is chaired by Cora Marrett, former Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation. Marrett observed that many things have changed since the original report was released and acknowledged the “phenomenal group of volunteers” tasked with updating the report.

The committee is charged with reviewing and synthesizing research conducted across the various disciplines focused on the study of learning from birth through adulthood in both formal and informal settings. The charge also includes consideration of advances in rapidly growing fields, such as cognitive neuroscience and learning technologies, as well as discoveries, innovations, and invention in education and education research; cognitive science; developmental cognitive neuroscience; cognition, learning and memory; cognitive aging; language and linguistics; social, emotional, and motivational aspects of learning; learning in academic domains; learning disabilities; assessment; and research methodology ranging from basic research to implementation and dissemination science. The updated report is also expected to specify directions for strategic investments in research and development to promote knowledge, training, and technologies that are needed to support learning in today’s environment. The final report for the two-year study is expected in 2018.

Felice Levine, American Education Research Association (AERA), stressed that the next generation of science learning is very important, and emphasized the importance of examining the nature and context of learning, the forms of learning. Levine further underscored that it is important that the report speak to both policy and practice.

In addition to AERA, the study is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation.

Additional information about the study including an archived webcast of the meeting is available on the DBASSE website.

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