Developing messages for education about Learning, the Brain and Emotion
Teachers base daily decisions about practice on their own models of how learning occurs, and their training can be considered a foundational period during which these models form. Consequently, there have been many calls for scientific concepts about learning to be introduced into teacher education to ensure teachers’ ideas about learning benefit from a stronger scientific basis. However, a key issue is whether our scientific understanding of learning has advanced far enough to provide a helpful and accessible understanding of a reasonable range of effective teaching practices. If not, there is a danger that introducing it to teachers’ professional development may skew practice towards what is scientifically known, but away from what is established as educationally effective. To address this concern, a mapping exercise of SoL concepts to established effective instruction was recently carried out at the International Bureau of Education (UNESCO, Geneva), which is one of many agencies currently considering the value of a “Science of Learning” in teacher development at global levels. Here, I report on the findings of this exercise and the categories of findings from the science of mind and brain that emerged as most useful for understanding learning and emotion in the classroom.