In an update to its landmark reports on education research, the National Academies' new How People Learn II digs into what science can tell schools about how to build on students' culture and experience to improve learning. The report digs into the ways research suggests students' experiences affect how they engage with education and vice versa.
While the report covers research on learning from birth through old age, its commission had some key conclusions for schools:
· To be effective, teachers must understand how students' prior knowledge, experiences, motivations, interests, and language and cognitive skills interact with those of the teacher's own experiences and culture and the characteristics and culture of the classroom.
· Students should be supported in directing their own learning, via targeted feedback, opportunities to reflect on what they've learned, challenges matched to their abilities, and help in developing meaningful goals.
· Both curricula and instructional strategies should help students connect their academic learning goals to what they learn and do outside of school.
· Teaching not just science or history content, but the specific language and practices of different disciplines, is critical to helping students develop deep understanding of those subjects.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). How people learn II: Learners, contexts, and cultures. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. https://dx.doi.org/10.17226/24783.