For a teacher to bring research on learning to bear on his/her work in the classroom can be a daunting task. Do you start with your teaching methods and look for research on how well they work? Do you look at your goals for your students’ learning and try to find methods in the research results that address the same goals? Or do you start from what’s in the research and just go from there?
Various research streams lend themselves to each of those approaches. Traditional classroom research such as that done in schools of education can line up with the method-based starting point, and discipline-specific educational research (DSER) often looks at pedagogical goals. Research in psychology and cognitive science, however, often takes the form of even more well-controlled experiments and empirical situations — and thus can be more broadly, if sometimes also more indirectly, applicable.
The new book Applying Science of Learning: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum aims to bring out “the interplay between the science of learning, the science of instruction, and the science of assessment” with a target audience of teachers who are unlikely to be knowledgeable about science of learning principles or their application.
The book begins with a number of chapters each addressing a principle of cognition starting with research results and ending with implementation in teaching. Bok Center Associate Director John Girash contributed the chapter on Metacognition and Instruction. The second part of the book is devoted to helping other faculty and students apply research-based principles, while part 3 gives six examples of in-classroom research on principles of learning and cognition.
Teachers will find method, goal, and concept-based approaches in all three parts of the book, and often in each chapter.
“Applying Science of Learning: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum” is available as a free download from: http://teachpsych.org/Resources/Documents/ebooks/asle2014.pdf
An additional review of the book, by esteemed educator James Lang, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester MA, is featured in the March 2014 Chronicle of Higher Education: https://chronicle.com/article/Getting-Beyond-Brain-Games/145237/