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• A new ﬁeld of research: the science of learning • Un4l quite recently, cogni4ve science steered clear of educa4on, while the sciences of educa4on tended to ignore cogni4ve science. • Things have changed over the last few years, and there is now quite a lot of interac4on between the two ﬁelds.
How does neuroscience, and more broadly cogni4ve science, interact with educa4on? What are the themes and the models at work? What are the major models of learning? Behaviorism, gene4c epistemology, cogni4vism, construc4vism, situated approaches in cogni4ve science, conceptual change theory, will be presented and compared. What can philosophy of science teach us about the nature of the applied science at work? What counts as scien4ﬁc evidence in this context? How do we measure the eﬀects of a given factor? How can one account for extra‐cogni4ve (social, poli4cal, historical, ideological) factors aﬀec4ng learning and educa4on? What are some concrete examples of prac4cal applica4ons of experimental and neuro‐imaging methods in such areas as numerical cogni4on and reading skills?
Learning sciences (large view) • “Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary ﬁeld that studies teaching and learning. • … in a variety of se=ngs, including not only the more formal learning of school classrooms but also the informal learning that takes place at home, on the job, and among peers. • The goal of the learning sciences is to beUer understand the cogni?ve and social processes that result in the most eﬀec?ve learning, • and to use this knowledge to redesign classrooms and other learning environments so that people learn more deeply and more eﬀec?vely. • The sciences of learning include cogni&ve science, educa&onal psychology, computer science, anthropology, sociology, informa&on sciences, neurosciences, educa&on, design studies, instruc&onal design, and other ﬁelds.” (Sawyer, 2009, p. xi)
Learning sciences (large view) • “Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary ﬁeld that studies teaching and learning.
Learning sciences (large view) • … in a variety of se=ngs, including not only the more formal learning of school classrooms but also the informal learning that takes place at home, on the job, and among peers.
Learning sciences (large view) • The goal of the learning sciences is to beUer understand the cogni?ve and social processes that result in the most eﬀec?ve learning, • and to use this knowledge to redesign classrooms and other learning environments so that people learn more deeply and more eﬀec?vely.
Learning sciences (large view) • The sciences of learning include cogni&ve science, educa&onal psychology, computer science, anthropology, sociology, informa&on sciences, neurosciences, educa&on, design studies, instruc&onal design, and other ﬁelds.” (Sawyer, 2009, p. xi)
Learning sciences Research ﬁelds Applica4on Objec4ves ﬁelds BeUer understanding of Cogni4ve and social Formal, informal, non learning processes processes formal learning Cogni4ve sciences, psychology, Design environments for anthropology, sociology, beUer learning ar4ﬁcial intelligence, neurosciences, educa4onal sciences (economy, philosophy, Promote beUer learning history, design)
Objec4ves • Objec?ves: Neutral vision: design – Understanding learning environments for learning beUer – Building the condi4ons for beUer learning – Promo4ng beUer forms of learning (adapted to XXI Engaged vision: foster beUer century needs) learning
Methods In general: Objec4vity vs • Experimental: intui4on & randomized, controlled tradi4on trials • Quasi‐experimental: – correla4onal studies – Longitudinal studies More speciﬁcally: • Qualita4ve observa4ons experimental methods
Reason 1. Learning is a pervasive human ac4vity • Learning is a human basic, adap4ve, pervasive func4on. • People learn all their life long, everywhere, in informal secngs. • But formal secngs have been created too.
Reason 2. Societal transforma4ons • From industrial society to knowledge society: • the goal of educa4on has changed • from instruc4onism (rote learning, passive transmission to deep, ac4ve learning) • from good taylorist learners to crea4ve, collabora4ve, innovators
Reason 3. Accumula4on of knowledge New sciences, new knowledge, which is meaningful for learning and educa4on 3.a Disciplinary knowledge 3.b Interdisciplinary knowledge 3.c Transdisciplinary knowledge (new applica4ve discipline of educa4on with strong scien4ﬁc background on learning)
A BIT OF HISTORY 1. DISSATISFACTION WITH BEHAVIORISM 2A. COGNITIVE THEORIES OF LEARNING 2B. COGNITIVE REVOLUTION 3. BIOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
1. Dissa4sfac4on with behaviorism • Behaviorist psychology emerges as a reac4on to introspec4on: • “Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objec5ve experimental branch of natural science.” • Learning a new behavior is the consequence of adjus4ng to s4muli in the environment • Psychology can become useful to educa4on, law, … (Watson, 1913)
Radical Behaviorism (B. F. Skinner) • Opera4onal condi4oning = reinforcing the individual’s responses (Skinner, 1938)
Behaviorism and educa4on: note the analogies with the new science of learning (and the disanalogies) • It becomes the orthodoxy in educa4on • What’s wrong with that? .
What’s missing in the descrip4on of the learning process made by behaviorists? • Hardwired & sohwired constraints – Previous knowledge – Func4onal architecture
2a. Cogni4ve theory of learning • Construc4vism: – Jean Piaget • Knowledge structures of children are qualita4vely diﬀerent from adults’ • Developmental stages towards logic thought • Adapta4on to the world: disequilibra4on and re‐equilibra4on via assimila4on/accomoda4on processes – Vygotsky: social construc4on of knowledge – Jérôme Bruner • Adapta4on of Piaget’s epistemology and of Vygotsky social construc4vism to educa4on, but without stages – Seymour Papert • Construc4onism: learning by construc4on
2b. Cogni4ve revolu4on 1956: MIT symposium – Birth of cogni4ve science and of its objects: • Problem solving • Exper4se • Memory • Language • Reasoning
3. The biological revolu4on 1990: Decade of the brain • neuroscience • cogni4ve neuroscience • neurobiology • neurogene4cs – BeUer comprehension of learning mechanisms, – Neural representa4ons of learning (localiza4on, 4ming) – BeUer comprehension of individual diﬀerences
Neuroeduca4on, Educa4onal neuroscience, Mind, brain, and educa4on • “… a mature science of learning will involve understanding not only that learning occurs but also understanding how and why it occurs” (Bransford, et al., in Sawyer, 2009, p. 20)
Founda4ons for the new science of learning • “The new science of learning has arisen from several disciplines. Researchers in developmental psychology have iden?ﬁed social factors that are essen?al for learning. Powerful learning algorithms from machine learning have demonstrated that con?ngencies in the environment are a rich source of informa?on about social cues. Neuroscien?sts have found brain systems involved in social interac?ons and mechanisms for synap?c plas?city that contribute to learning. Classrooms are laboratories for teaching prac?ces.” (Meltzoﬀ, et al., 2009, p. 284)
• “Research from cogni?ve psychology has increased understanding of the nature of competent performance and the principles of knowledge organiza4on that underlie peoples abili4es to solve problems in a wide variety of areas, including mathema4cs, science, literature, social studies, and history. • Developmental researchers have shown that young children understand a great deal about basic principles of biology and physical causality, about number, narra4ve, and personal intent, and that these capabili4es make it possible to create innova4ve curricula that introduce important concepts for advanced reasoning at early ages.
• Research on learning and transfer has uncovered important principles for structuring learning experiences that enable people to use what they have learned in new secngs. • Work in social psychology, cogni?ve psychology, and anthropology is making clear that all learning takes place in secngs that have par4cular sets of cultural and social norms and expecta4ons and that these secngs inﬂuence learning and transfer in powerful ways.
• Neuroscience is beginning to provide evidence for many principles of learning that have emerged from laboratory research, and it is showing how learning changes the physical structure of the brain and, with it, the func4onal organiza4on of the brain. • Collabora?ve studies of the design and evalua?on of learning environments, among cogni4ve and developmental psychologists and educators, are yielding new knowledge about the nature of learning and teaching as it takes place in a variety of secngs. In addi4on, researchers are discovering ways to learn from the wisdom of prac4ce" that comes from successful teachers who can share their exper4se.
• Emerging technologies are leading to the development of many new opportuni4es to guide and enhance learning that were unimagined even a few years ago. • All of these developments in the study of learning have led to an era of new relevance of science to prac4ce. In short, investment in basic research is paying oﬀ in prac4cal applica4ons. These developments in understanding of how humans learn have par4cular signiﬁcance in light of changes in what is expected of the na4ons educa4onal systems.” (Bransford, et al., 2000, p. 4)
Structuring the ﬁeld 1991: 1st 1970‐1980: 1987: 2000: Bransford 2002: 2003‐2006: NSF: Interna4onal 2007 2010 AI and Ins4tute for et al (NRC): How Interna4on 6 Learning conference IMBES EARLI educa4on the Learning people learn al Society Centers on Learning SIG 22 conferences Sciences for the sciences/ (ILS, R. learning Journal of 1999 2003 Shank); sciences the learning OECD‐CERI Mind, Ins4tute for sciences Brain Brain Research on Learning (J. program 1 Educa4 S. Brown, J. 1991 2002 on Greeno, D. Decade of OECD‐ (Rome) Kearns) the brain CERI Brain 2005 program (Erice) 2
Learning beUer • Focusing on learning in addi?on to teaching : « When children ac4vely par4cipate in construc4ng their own knowledge, they gain a deeper understanding, more generalizable »
Learning beUer • Crea?ng learning environments: « Scaﬀolding is the help given to the learner that is tailored to that learner’s needs in achieving his or her goals at the moment … eﬀec4ve scaﬀolding provides prompts and hints that help learners to ﬁgure it out on their own. »
Learning beUer • The importance of building on a learner’s previous knowledge : « learning always takes places against a backdrop of exis4ng knowledge. Students don’t enter the classroom as empty vessels, wai4ng to be ﬁlled; they enter the classroom with half‐ formed ideas and misconcep4ons about how the world works … » (Sawyer, 2009, p. 2‐3)
Learning beUer • The importance of reﬂec?on. “Students learn beUer when they express their developing knowledge – either through conversa4on or by crea4ng papers, reports, and other ar4facts – and then are provided with opportuni4es to reﬂec4vely analyze their state of knowledge.” • “One of the reasons that ar4cula4on is so helpful to learning is that it makes possible reﬂec4on or metacogni4on – thinking about the process of learning and thinking about knowledge.” (Sawyer, 2009, p. 12)
Learning beUer • « Computers can represent abstract knowledge in concrete forms • … Allow learners to ar4culate their developing knowledge in a visual and verbal way • … allow learners to manipulate and revise their developing knowledge • … Internet‐based networks of learners can share and combine their developing understandings …» (Sawyer, 2009, p. 9)
• WHY should we have a science of learning? • WHAT’s the role of research for educa4on? • WHAT have cogni4ve sciences and neuroscience to do with educa4on (and the other way around)? • HOW can research have an impact upon educa4on (or else)?