How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition / Edition 2 available in Paperback
First released in the Spring of 1999, How People Learn has been expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning.
Like the original edition, this book offers exciting new research about the mind and the brain that provides answers to a number of compelling questions. When do infants begin to learn? How do experts learn and how is this different from non-experts? What can teachers and schools do-with curricula, classroom settings, and teaching methodsto help children learn most effectively? New evidence from many branches of science has significantly added to our understanding of what it means to know, from the neural processes that occur during learning to the influence of culture on what people see and absorb.
How People Learn examines these findings and their implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children learn. The book uses exemplary teaching to illustrate how approaches based on what we now know result in in-depth learning. This new knowledge calls into question concepts and practices firmly entrenched in our current education system.
- How learning actually changes the physical structure of the brain.
- How existing knowledge affects what people notice and how they learn.
- What the thought processes of experts tell us about how to teach.
- The amazing learning potential of infants.
- The relationship of classroom learning and everyday settings of community and workplace.
- Learning needs and opportunities for teachers.
- A realistic look at the role of technology in education.
Table of ContentsPart I:
1 Learning: From Speculation to Science
Learners and Learning
2 How Experts Differ from Novices
3 Learning and Transfer
4 How Children Learn
5 Mind and Brain
Teachers and Teaching
6 The Design of Learning Environments
7 Effective Teaching: Examples in History, Mathematics, and Science
8 Teacher Learning
9 Technology to Support Learning
Future Directions for the Science of Learning
11 Next Steps for Research
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Students of all ages are unique and divergent beings, and understanding how they learn helps us to provide them with an enriching educational experience. Previously it was believed that students responded to stimuli provided by external sources; one part of this behaviorist way of thinking included how Thorndike (1913) allowed a subject to find a successful method based on repeated trials (Bransford, 2000, 7). For young students in the elementary general music classroom, a trial-and-error approach could be used when students are being introduced to playing classroom percussion instruments, such as for Orff accompaniments and arrangements. When students experiment with how to achieve the best sound (and for young students, a beginning sound) from a tone bar or a wood block, it may take several experiences before they can develop quality hand position, wrist motion and body posture or before they can talk about how to improve their playing. Since the 1950s, investigations into learning have shed light on how prior knowledge is an important consideration in education. A cognitivist understanding includes how students approach comprehension based on former learning; Vosniadou and Brewer (1989) observed students modifying their understanding of the earth through the terms of "round" and "sphere" (Bransford, 2000, 10). When students are learning musical concepts of the whole (form, genre, style), there must be a context for establishing the qualities associated with each larger idea. Comparatively, deGroot (1965) asked game players to voice their thoughts during the process of making choices for chess moves (Bransford, 2000, 32). Being able to talk through decisions is also a useful skill in the music classroom, especially when students are learning how to prepare for and evaluate their own musical performances. Although there is still significant work to be done in learning about how students learn, I am hopeful that continued research will uncover other possible methods so that we can always provide the highest-quality instruction that is useful for students after graduating from public schools.