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How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom
beyond the science of learning and relies on creativity in strategy development. And yet what we know from research thus far is critical in defining the constraints on strategy development. Second, what we expect to learn from a well-played game (in this case, what we expect to learn from well-conceptualized instruction) is not how to reproduce it. Rather, we look for insights about playing/teaching well that can be brought to one’s own game. Even if we could replicate every move, this would be of little help. In an actual game, the best move must be identified in response to another party’s move. In just such a fashion, a teacher’s “game” must respond to the rather unpredictable “moves” of the students in the classroom whose learning is the target.
This, then, is not a “how to” book, but a discussion of strategies that incorporate the rules of the game as we currently understand them. The science of learning is a young, emerging one. We expect our understanding to evolve as we design new learning opportunities and observe the outcomes, as we study learning among children in different contexts and from different backgrounds, and as emerging research techniques and opportunities provide new insights. These chapters, then, might best be viewed as part of a conversation begun some years ago with the first How People Learn volume. By clarifying ideas through a set of rich examples, we hope to encourage the continuation of a productive dialogue well into the future.
National Research Council, 2000.
National Research Council, 2000, p. 84.
Needham and Baillargeon, 1993.
Vosniadou and Brewer, 1989.
Carey and Gelman, 1991; Driver et al., 1994.
Judd, 1908; see a conceptual replication by Hendrickson and Schroeder, 1941.