How People Learn

Thanks to Jay Cross’s Internet Time Wiki, a link to a 1999 National Research Council report: How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School.

From the executive summary:

As a result of the accumulation of new kinds of information about human learning, views of how effective learning proceeds have shifted from the benefits of diligent drill and practice to focus on students’ understanding and application of knowledge…

Major sections of the report include:

  • Learners and learning
    • How experts differ from novices
    • Learning and transfer
    • How children learn
    • Mind and brain
  • Teachers and teaching
    • The design of learning environments
    • Effective teaching (examples from history, math, and science)
    • Teacher learning
    • Technology to support learning
  • Future directions for the science of learning

The report is 8 years old. Sadly, I doubt much has happened to change one gloomy conclusion: “Much of what constitutes the typical approach to formal teacher professional development is antithetical to what promotes teacher learning.”