The science of learning and development presents many powerful lessons that can transform education systems, advance equity, and can help every young person thrive.
Building on the work of many experts, the Science of Learning and Development Alliance has synthesized some initial key findings from the science of learning and development. These findings are overlapping, connected, and have profound implications for education practice and policy. As the science of learning and development advances, and our work expands, we will learn and say more about these and other findings, and their implications.
Each young person has significant potential to learn and thrive.
Experiences, environments, and cultures are the defining influences on development.
Human development is a progression, but not a linear one.
Brains are remarkably malleable and resilient throughout life.
Strong, trusting relationships are essential to learning and development.
People make meaning by reflecting on the connections between new information and existing knowledge.
Cognitive, academic, social, and emotional development are inextricably linked.
Every young person learns and develops differently.
MORE TO COME
Equity and Excellence Demand that We Transform our Education Systems
Together, these initial findings from the science of learning and development call for a transformation in our current education systems. This is particularly essential to addressing longstanding, structural inequities.
Current educational systems:
Standardize around a mythical “average” student, and are not designed to serve the interests, abilities, and needs of each and every child.
Perpetuate deep structural racism and implicit bias, which continue to marginalize students of color, students with learning differences, English learners, and other groups of students.
Fail to operate based on knowledge from the science of learning and development or a shared commitment to equity, resulting in less optimal decision-making on behalf of students and society.
If education is to be equitable for all, then it is necessary to transform our nation’s education systems – to ensure that they are deeply informed by the science of learning and development and designed for equity.
Realizing this vision will require great change in the nature of our education systems themselves – to break industrial-age compliance culture and function as deeply integrated learning systems that are themselves designed to be malleable, to integrate the growing knowledge from the science of learning and development, and to learn and improve over time.
The Science of Learning and Development
The George Lucas Educational Foundation's Edutopia videos are a great illustration of how some of the lessons from the science can come to life. Check it out below!
Together, we can help to realize the great potential of each and every young person by elevating the science of learning and development as an actionable driver of change.