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Learning Science was heralded by the book “How People Learn” edited by Bransford, Brown and Cocking 2000, published by the United States National Research Council. It outlined the following basic facts about learning:

  • The importance of deeper conceptual understanding: focus the student on understanding rather than memorisation and routine procedures to follow.
  • Focusing on learning in addition to teaching: engage students in active participation in their own learning.
  • Creating learning environments: learning scientists have identified the key features of learning environments which help students learn deeper conceptual understanding.
  • The importance of building on a learner’s prior knowledge: provide an environment that engages the students prior knowledge then builds upon this.
  • The importance of reflection: engage students in activities that help them to reflect on their own learning and understanding.

The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, edited by R.K. Sawyer was published in 2006. This book describes just how these principles can be applied to the design of learning environments particularly taking advantage of new computer technology.

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