Center for American Progress Announces New Initiative on the Science of Learning

I helped launch a science of learning effort at the Center for American Progress. Here’s the press release:

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress announced a new initiative to promote the science of learning, aimed at examining ways to apply the new research on learning to education policy. CAP Senior Fellow Ulrich Boser is the founding director of the effort.

“This project aims to put the learning sciences at the forefront of school reform, showing how the nation can dramatically improve how teachers teach and students learn,” said Boser. “This effort will bring much-needed attention to the ways that the new science of learning can help schools, teachers, and students, going a long way to ensuring that all children—regardless of their family backgrounds—have an opportunity to succeed at high levels.”

The project will aim to answer a number of pressing questions, among them: What policies at the national, state, and local levels would support the new science of learning? What programs can spark more effective forms of learning? How can researchers, policymakers, and others better translate the science of learning into actionable policy and programs?

“We are asking more and more of students, and that means we are asking more and more of teachers. Despite the advances made in the field of learning science, we often do not link this information to how schools are run,” said Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at CAP. “This requires innovation around teaching and learning, and ensuring that education policy reflects the newest research on learning will become a key priority for CAP.”

The effort will have three strategic areas:

  • Raise the profile of the science of learning and ensure that the latest research is at the center of conversations around teaching and learning.
  • Translate the research into actionable policy and programs and help inject cognitive science principles into the education reform debate.
  • Identify barriers to adoption and present compelling new ideas that will help schools and districts succeed. In this regard, CAP will aim to identify policy barriers that limit innovation, as well as detail structural issues that inhibit the development of better schools, such as more flexible forms of scheduling.

The project will begin putting out columns, issue briefs, and other products within the next month. In spring 2017, Boser will release a book, Learn Better: Six Strategies for Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, focused on mapping out the science of learning and capitalizing on the mind’s ability to develop new skills.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at [email protected] or 202.478.6331.

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