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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
and on classroom practice. The proposed agenda includes additional research that would strengthen the understanding of learning in areas that go beyond this volume.
Finally, since communication and access to knowledge are key to alignment, a new effort is proposed that would use interactive technologies to facilitate communication of the variety of findings that would emerge from these research and development projects.
In many of the proposed areas for research and development, work is already under way. Inclusion in the agenda is not meant to overlook the contributions of research already done or in progress. Rather, the agenda is inclusive in order to suggest that research findings need to be synthesized and integrated into the knowledge base and their implications tested through ongoing, iterative research.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
The goal of the recommended research and development in this area is to build on and elaborate findings in this volume so that they are “applications ready” and more usable to those responsible for developing curriculum, instructional, and assessment materials. The intent is to achieve three interrelated goals: (a) to identify existing educational materials that are aligned with the principles of learning suggested in earlier chapters and to develop and test new materials in areas of need; (b) to advance the knowledge base by significantly extending the work described herein to additional areas of curriculum, instructional techniques, and assessments that are in need of detailed analysis; and (c) to communicate the messages of this volume in a manner appropriate to developers of educational materials and teachers by using a variety of technologies (e.g., texts, electronic databases, interactive web sites). The recommended research is described in this section in seven project areas.
Examine Existing Practice
1. Review a sample of current curricula, instructional techniques, and assessments for alignment with principles discussed in this volume. It is recommended that teams of discipline-specific experts, researchers in pedagogy and cognitive science, and teachers review a sample of widely used curricula, as well as curricula that have a reputation for teaching for understanding. The envisioned research would involve two stages; these might be conducted together in a project, or as sequential projects.
Stage 1: These curricula and their companion instructional techniques and assessments should be evaluated with careful attention paid to align-