Theme 10: Neuroscience and Education

The thematic group Neuroscience and Education studies how theories and methods from the educational sciences can be used in conjunction with theories and methods from the neurosciences to improve knowledge of learning and instruction and effectively inform educational practice with the goal of advancing both the theory and the methodology. The processes of learning and instruction are studied in children, adolescents and adults, with or without specific pathologies, and at all educational streams and levels. Specific domains are studied, notably literacy and numeracy, in addition to domain-general abilities, such as motivation, metacognition, and social cognition. 

Theoretical advancement focuses on i) conceptual integration of the dominant theoretical explanatory frameworks in the neurosciences and educational sciences; and ii) development of neurocognitive models of domain-specific and domain-general abilities. Methodological advancement focuses on integration of methods, ranging from the highly controlled laboratory experiments typical to the neuroscience and cognitive psychological approaches, via quasi-experimental methodologies used in curriculum development to the qualitative approaches often used in the learning sciences. 

In addition, this thematic group explores the key questions and challenges associated with building the bridge between neuroscience and educational practice. Perhaps the most obvious starting question to ask is: Why have attempts to connect cognitive neuroscience findings to classroom applications so often fallen short of their intended goals? Building on the answers to this question, the thematic group will study new conceptual and methodological frameworks which may guide the construction of more effective neuroscience-education bridges.