The Science of Learning and Development

The Science of Learning and Development

November 30, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


>>Dr Cantor: The Science of Learning and Development Initiative came
together to answer a question. What science should we
pay attention to in order to understand how learning happens?>>Teacher: Have a good day.>>Dr Darling-Hammond:
The Science of Learning and Development is really an
attempt to synthesize a huge body of knowledge that’s accumulated
over many, many years from the learning sciences,
from psychology and anthropology and brain science and put all that
together and understand how people, in fact, develop and how they learn.>>Dr Cantor: There are
a few core principles that define all of human development. The first is malleability, the unique
property of the brain to change in response to relationships
and experiences. Neural tissue is the most susceptible to
change of any tissue in the human body. When children are born, their
brains are not fully developed. The development of the brain actually
continues into young adulthood. It is relationships and experiences
that drive the development of the brain. If children have the experience of adversity they will have uneven
development of foundational skills, like self-regulation, relationship
skills that are prerequisites for more complex skills like
perseverance and self-direction. These are the children who are at risk
to fall further and further behind. But what’s most interesting is that
a child can become a productive and engaged learner from any
developmental starting point as long as we intentionally build those skills.>>Teacher: Turn to your
table group and discuss this. Come up with a statement.>>Dr Cantor: When we’re able to
combine social, emotional, affective and cognitive development
together, we are creating many, many more interconnections in the
developing brain that enable children to accelerate learning and development.>>Teacher: We got this,
guys. We got this!>>Dr Cantor: As educators, we
have an extraordinary opportunity to shape the developing brains of
children and to create that kind of stimulus that drives the
integration of the brain.>>Teacher: Life isn’t all
about going at it alone. We’re up there to support you when you don’t necessarily have
the skills or tools that you need.>>Dr Darling-Hammond: The Science
of Learning and Development tells us that school needs to organize
for strong relationships.>>Student: You look pretty, Miss Turner.>>Ms. Turner: Thank you, baby.>>Dr Darling-Hammond: When a strong
relationship exists with a teacher, with a mentor, with an advisor,
with a school administrator, it actually can reverse the
effects of adverse experiences. Children are amazingly resilient,
if they get that opportunity for attachment, for comfort and for
problem solving with a caring adult.>>If we walk into a classroom that’s
really informed by these principles, we’ll see kids actively
engaged in their learning.>>Teacher: What is this
graph telling us?>>They will be using critical
thinking and problem solving. They will be putting ideas into action.>>Teacher: This one is much longer
than the other one you were using.>>They will have lots of tools and
manipulatives that they can work with to help them understand the ideas. As they undertake these tasks,
they’re building both the social and emotional foundation and they’re
also building cognitive abilities.>>Teacher: Any volunteers who
are open to a priority list?>>Student: Okay, we have
Alex due tomorrow.>>These are all skills
that can be taught. These are as important as learning
your ABCs and your arithmetic facts.>>Student: It’s 80 so
it has to be under.>>Teacher: Nice.>>Teacher: So it’s important
to understand that even though somebody says
something you might disagree with, everybody’s contributing to this
shared dialogue in this safe space.>>Dr Cantor: Today, we have a
very big task in front of us, but it is a very positive
and optimistic task.>>Teacher: Good morning, friends!>>Students: Good morning.>>Dr Cantor: Because
we now have a knowledge of how children become
learners and the opportunity to create an education
system that’s informed by a knowledge of the developing brain.>>Teacher: So that’s
collaboration and compassion.>>Students: Yay!