More slippery slopes.
Ethical issues in education & cognitive
research.
And the search for strategies

REASONS & CONTRIBUT...
Vows for a good
marriage
between cognitive
science and education

• Assess the common
interests (reasons)
• Assess the dow...
Reasons
Learning
- A natural adaptive function
- The brain is not rubber-like
- The ways it endures
modifications is presc...
Reasons
Learning
- A natural adaptive function
- The brain is not rubber-like
- The ways it endures
modifications is presc...
Contributions: Knowledge basis

Learning Constraints
Learning Processes

Timing
Associated functions
Contributions: More to know

Learning from others

Teaching
Contributions: Methods & tools

Cognitive
neuroscience

AI

Cognitive
psychology

Developmental
& Evolutionary
psychology
Contributions: A view

Intutitions about teaching

ToM

Scientific view of teaching

Scientific view of the mind
More slippery slopes.
Ethical issues in education & cognitive
research.
And the search for strategies

REASONS & CONTRIBUT...
1. Getting the science
wrong, or: the trap of
neuromyths

2. And the seductive
allure of neuroscience
3. Normative Fallacy

4. And the Illusion of direct
transfer
5. cargo-cult evidence

6. And empirical pointillisme
7. Triviality
8. And lack of interest
9. Disciplinary restriction
10. And one-way road
More slippery slopes.
Ethical issues in education & cognitive
research.
And the search for strategies

REASONS & CONTRIBUT...
Questions for bridging
the gap
• How to produce new
knowledge that is useful
and usable?
• How to make existing
knowledge ...
Evidence-based medicine

Translational medicine
• (Evans Thornton Chalmers Glasziou 2011, p. 1)
Without fair – unbiased – evaluations, useless or even
harmful treatments ...
EBM

• Tracing best evidence
• Classification
- Meta-analyses
• Disseminating best evidence
• International collaborations...
2 questions left aside:
•

How to produce new
evidence that is useful?
•
How to favor adoption?
TM

•

From bench to bedside
• selection of knowledge for
pre-clinical and clinical trials
• research aimed at
application...
•

(Marincola 2003)
The purpose of translational research is to test, in humans, novel therapeutic
strategies developed th...
(Brabeck 2008)
Those of us who conduct educational research have a new paradigm to
guide our work, if we choose to use it....
Education/Medicine

Similarities
– …

Differences
– evidence is much more spurious
– organisms and journals for the
classi...
Gdp2 2013 14-14
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Gdp2 2013 14-14

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  • The translational model has been recently evoked in the domain of education.  The Mind, Brain, and Education initiative seems to be particularly sensitive to the issue of creating action research frameworks where  research arises from educational concerns and the potential applications of the research are field-tested in educational settings.(Fischer et al. 2010 p. 73)  In other words, creating specific infrastructures that go beyond communication (between neuroscience research and educational structures) and structure collaboration and cross-fertilization of research and practice. These infrastructures have two main aims: raising research that is required in order to answer educational problems (rather than adapting neuroscientific research to educational questions), and testing the results of research in the real settings where learning happens. The most developed model for this kind of infrastructure is represented by Research Schools, which take inspiration from teaching hospitals. Research schools collaborations have been realized by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and there are at present some experiences going on outside the USA too (Fischer, et al., 2010). Research schools take inspiration from teaching hospitals: structures that permit the working together of practitioners and researchers, thus constituting the infrastructure for the cross-fertilization of research and practice together and for the acquisition of a common vocabulary, and literacy (Hinton & Fischer, 2008). Research schools should be constituted by the universities (through faculties of education) and real schools affiliated together; their tasks would include: research on educational issues (especially research inspired by real educational problems); evaluation of educational methods in in-vivo situations; knowledge sharing among practitioners and researchers; instruction and training of future practitioners and researchers, as well as of a new professional figure: educational engineers (or neuroeducators) that can design educational interventions to be tested in classroom and – that to their “bilingual” background - create connections between researchers and practitioners (Hinton & Fischer 2008). Research schools are supposed to promote and teach how to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods in education, and more generally to promote empirical paradigms and a vision of education as grounded on evidence and knowledge. In other words, they constitute the infrastructure susceptible of making of education a scientific enterprise, in analogy with her “sister” applied science: medicine.  At the same time, Research schools would provide an answer to some difficulties (that will be discussed in the nex lesson) that arise as side-effects of the spreading of “brain ideas” in the world of education, namely the spreading of misconceptions about brain functioning:  In this way, teachers can understand how to evaluate the claims made by the “brain-based learning” industry, which is crucial given the privileged role of the teacher as an agent of educational change.(Fischer et al. 2010 p. 74)
  • Gdp2 2013 14-14

    1. 1. More slippery slopes. Ethical issues in education & cognitive research. And the search for strategies REASONS & CONTRIBUTIONS SLIPPERY SLOPES STRATEGIES
    2. 2. Vows for a good marriage between cognitive science and education • Assess the common interests (reasons) • Assess the dowry (contributions) • Assess the slippery slopes (risks, misuses, potential and actual misunderstandings)
    3. 3. Reasons Learning - A natural adaptive function - The brain is not rubber-like - The ways it endures modifications is prescribed by its properties and constrained by its own history - Learning is not the only process for altering the brain’s functional architecture (knowledge acquisition) Teaching - A teaching species with social learning mechanisms for cultural transmission and for filling-in the cospecifics’ knowledge gap
    4. 4. Reasons Learning - A natural adaptive function - The brain is not rubber-like - The ways it endures modifications is prescribed by its properties and constrained by its own history - Learning is not the only process for altering the brain’s functional architecture (knowledge acquisition) Teaching - A teaching species with social learning mechanisms for cultural transmission and for filling-in the cospecifics’ knowledge gap
    5. 5. Contributions: Knowledge basis Learning Constraints Learning Processes Timing Associated functions
    6. 6. Contributions: More to know Learning from others Teaching
    7. 7. Contributions: Methods & tools Cognitive neuroscience AI Cognitive psychology Developmental & Evolutionary psychology
    8. 8. Contributions: A view Intutitions about teaching ToM Scientific view of teaching Scientific view of the mind
    9. 9. More slippery slopes. Ethical issues in education & cognitive research. And the search for strategies REASONS & CONTRIBUTIONS SLIPPERY SLOPES STRATEGIES
    10. 10. 1. Getting the science wrong, or: the trap of neuromyths 2. And the seductive allure of neuroscience
    11. 11. 3. Normative Fallacy 4. And the Illusion of direct transfer
    12. 12. 5. cargo-cult evidence 6. And empirical pointillisme
    13. 13. 7. Triviality 8. And lack of interest
    14. 14. 9. Disciplinary restriction 10. And one-way road
    15. 15. More slippery slopes. Ethical issues in education & cognitive research. And the search for strategies REASONS & CONTRIBUTIONS SLIPPERY SLOPES STRATEGIES
    16. 16. Questions for bridging the gap • How to produce new knowledge that is useful and usable? • How to make existing knowledge available and usable? • How to build a new translational research field?
    17. 17. Evidence-based medicine Translational medicine
    18. 18. • (Evans Thornton Chalmers Glasziou 2011, p. 1) Without fair – unbiased – evaluations, useless or even harmful treatments may be prescribed because they are thought to be helpful or, conversely, helpful treatments may be dismissed as useless. And fair tests should be applied to all treatments, no matter what their origin or whether they are viewed as conventional or complementary/alternative. Untested theories about treatment effects, however convincing they may sound, are just not enough. Some theories have predicted that treatments would work, but fair tests have revealed otherwise; other theories have confidently predicted that treatments would not work when, in fact, tests showed that they did.
    19. 19. EBM • Tracing best evidence • Classification - Meta-analyses • Disseminating best evidence • International collaborations for the production and publication of meta-analyses and • Journals dedicated to evidence • Centers EBM training
    20. 20. 2 questions left aside: • How to produce new evidence that is useful? • How to favor adoption?
    21. 21. TM • From bench to bedside • selection of knowledge for pre-clinical and clinical trials • research aimed at applications • From bedside to bench identification of real needs of real patients in ecological conditions, including reasons of nonadoption knowledge issued from human clinical trials is re-injected backwards
    22. 22. • (Marincola 2003) The purpose of translational research is to test, in humans, novel therapeutic strategies developed through experimentation. This concept is so popular that Bench to Bedside Awards were developed within the NIH to encourage collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists across institutes. But a more realistic approach would be to encourage opportunities to pursue Bedside to Bench research since our understanding of human disease is still limited and pre-clinical models have shown a discouraging propensity to fail when applied to humans. Translational research should be regarded as a twoway road: Bench to Bedside and Bedside to Bench. … Indeed, the scientist attempting to dissect scientifically human diseases as they evolve has to confront unique challenges related with the genetic polymorphism of our species, the extreme and evolving heterogeneity of some diseases (such as cancer or viral disease) and often external constraints posed by ethical and practical considerations. Thus, some prefer to pre-fabricate animal models resembling human diseases to enable the mathematical prediction of a given treatment outcome by simplifying its biology through standardization of the genetic makeup of animals and diseases. These models, however, do not represent the basic essence of human diseases…
    23. 23. (Brabeck 2008) Those of us who conduct educational research have a new paradigm to guide our work, if we choose to use it. Like other research initiatives, such as evidence-based practice, this model finds its genesis in the medical sciences, and is coined "translational research.” … In education, not unlike medicine, vital knowledge too often remains with the researchers and is unavailable to the professionals who are in positions to help children and youths-that is, the teachers. We have a similar "clinical lab to classroom" gap.
    24. 24. Education/Medicine Similarities – … Differences – evidence is much more spurious – organisms and journals for the classification and dissemination of evidence are rare – policies are national – training is not a priority – the profession is less valued – the profession is not scientifically-literate
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