Advances in imaging techniques, behavioural and psychological research enable the integration of science of learning disciplines that investigate human learning. This opens up possibilities for the enhancement, update and eventual desired reform of educational theories and practices.
The field of science of learning and its potential contributions to educational research are now more pronounced than before. For example, insights from educational neuroscience are not only shedding light on brain mechanisms that underpin cognitive and social learning development, but they are also contributing towards neurobiological and technology-informed, evidence-based interventions that are addressing educational concerns. To name a few, these include issues such as i) early learning struggles and early intervention; ii) challenges that individual differences pose; iii) effectiveness of educational and remediation approaches to cognitive struggles; and iv) widening possibilities that brain plasticity brings (e.g., life-long learning).
Such a multi-disciplinary convergence not only carries multiple implications for educational policy but also foregrounds the mutual benefits of the interaction between fields such as neurobiology and education, particularly since education may also conceivably offer a naturalistic framework for research on the brain.
At the National Institute of Education (NIE), we are launching a new Science of Learning in Education (SoLE) centre that serves to bring together several research disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, technology and education. The centre will complement NIE’s existing education research with state-of-the-art neuroimaging, psychophysiological data capture techniques and modelling techniques to synthesize research investigations and findings across different disciplines. By driving and translating research that is informed by both educational practices and scientific and systemic knowledge, the center aims to optimize the core of human potential: successful human learning.
In this issue of SingTeach, we delve into the science of how we learn and focus on pedagogical activities that facilitate optimal learning such as physical activity and play in the context of our pervasive post-pandemic technological use. A critical success for translating and implementing evidence-informed practices in classrooms are strong, dynamic partnerships between the science of what SoLE researchers offer with the art of pedagogical design inherent with teachers, school leaders, and education practitioners. In this issue, a school leader shares with us perspectives from Mind, Brain and Education and its importance towards our national goals of lifelong learning.
More importantly this issue also hopes to spark and catalyse the meaningful connections necessary between research and practice that are at the heart of Science of Learning in Education endeavours. We hope that you, as part of the teaching fraternity, will be inspired to artfully design and integrate robust and validated scientific evidence into your own teaching and learning, cohering new possibilities in augmenting the science of how we, successfully, learn.
Access The Big Idea article of this issue “Breaking Down the Science of How We Learn“.