Another week, another neuro-term, I've been reading a report about education by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) from their conference in 2013. How wonderful to be able to access the results of research in this field. Barbara Arrowsmith - who is famously The Woman who Changed her Brain was a speaker. She says that "Education becomes neuroeducation – the perfect marriage between neuroscience and education – and it will be about changing the capacity of the learner to learn as they learn". A friend's daughter was positively influenced by Arrowsmith's learning methods that propose we have the power to "shape our brains".
Professor John Hattie Director (of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne) spoke about the mission of the Science of Learning Research Centre "to identify, research and understand effective teaching and learning practices in the light of current knowledge about basic learning processes and factors that influence successful human learning. I think it's a fantastic way to challenge the current methods of teaching, because there will be evidence to support what is actually effective in the classroom.
On this theme the Science of Learning journal aims to bring together educators, neuroscientists and psychologists by sharing information and working towards a common language that will, in the long-term benefit learning. This is succinctly summarised in an article from the journal, titled Integrating neuroscience and learning: now’s the time...
"Using experimental models, in recent decades, the fields of neuroscience and experimental psychology have made great strides in understanding how learning occurs, both in terms of cognitive processes, and their underlying neural mechanisms. These studies are providing insight into questions about learning, and possible translational solutions from the cradle to the classroom." So - we don't know what we don't know, but we do know that we want to know!