Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

Mind, Brain, & Education – The Discipline of Educational Neuroscience

 

Mind, Brain, & Education: Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom (Sousa, 2010) provides an excellent overview of how brain science is changing and will change education. David Sousa, the editor of the book, has had a distinguished career in education and in cognitive neuroscience. He is a prolific author in the combination of these two disciplines. I strongly recommend the book for all who are interested in improving our educational system. It reflects many years of solid progress in cognitive neuroscience and its applications to education.

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: The Rapidly Approaching Category 5 Storm

In September, 2010, the National Academies made available a report titled: Rising above the gathering storm, revisited: Rapidly approaching Category 5. This is a follow-up to a much longer report published five years ago: Rising above the gathering storm. The new report can be downloaded free in PDF format from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12999.html. The 2005 report has a publication date of 2007 and is available for free download at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463.

In terms of hurricanes, a Category 5 storm is the worst it gets. The new report’s title is designed to tell its readers that we are in deep trouble. Here is a quote from the 2010 report, with bold added for emphasis:

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Knowing a Little about a Lot and a Lot about a Little

One of my favorite quotes is:

"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." (Thomas H. Huxley; English writer; 1825–1895.)

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What do Precollege Students Think About Computers in Education?

Those of us who routinely talk with precollege students have some insight into what these students think about schools. Project Tomorrow carries out a yearly survey to help capture some of these insights. Quoting from the Project Tomorrow website:  http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/pdfs/SU09NationalFindingsStudents&Parents.pdf.

For the past 7 years, the Speak Up National Research Project has provided the nation with a unique window into classrooms and homes all across America and given us a realistic view on how technology is currently being used (or not) to drive student achievement, teacher effectiveness and overall educational productivity. Most notably, the Speak Up data first documented and continues to reveal each year the increasingly significant digital disconnect between the values and aspirations of our nation’s students about how the use of technology can improve the learning process and student outcomes, and the values and aspirations of their less technology comfortable teachers and administrators. [Bold added for emphasis.]

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Learning Is Tied to the Situation in Which it Occurs and to Intrinsic Motivation

Situated learning is one of many different learning theories. In brief summary, it says that much learning is quite specific to the situation (activity, context, culture, environment) in which it occurs. See http://www.learning-theories.com/situated-learning-theory-lave.html. Quoting from  http://tip.psychology.org/lave.html:

Other researchers have further developed the theory of situated learning. Brown, Collins & Duguid (1989) emphasize the idea of cognitive apprenticeship: "Cognitive apprenticeship supports learning in a domain by enabling students to acquire, develop and use cognitive tools in authentic domain activity. Learning, both outside and inside school, advances through collaborative social interaction and the social construction of knowledge." Brown et al. also emphasize the need for a new epistemology for learning -- one that emphasizes active perception over concepts and representation. Suchman (1988) explores the situated learning framework in the context of artificial intelligence.

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