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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School Acknowledgments A good deal of the excitement surrounding the project that resulted in the original version of this volume was due to people’s seeing the relevance of basic science to education. In light of that connection, the committee held a workshop in fall 1996—“The Science of Science Learning” —to broaden its understanding of the influences that cognitive science has had on science and mathematics learning and teaching. We benefited greatly from the stimulating papers and discussions that grew out of that meeting, as have others who since have used the model of the workshop. We extend our thanks especially to the following people who presented papers and led discussions during the workshop: Susan Carey, Department of Psychology, New York University; Orville L.Chapman, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles; Kevin Dunbar, Psychology Department, McGill University; Jill H.Larkin, Department of Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University; Kevin Miller, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois; Edward F.Redish, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maryland; Leona Schauble, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Lee S.Shulman, Stanford University School of Education; Herbert A.Simon, Department of Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University; and Philip Uri Treisman, Dana Center for Mathematics and Science Education, University of Texas, Austin. Individually and collectively, members of the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning had discussions with experts on many issues and topics. We wish to acknowledge especially the people who offered suggestions for ways to expand or otherwise improve our collective thinking. In particular, we appreciate the assistance that Ann Rosebery and Beth Warren, both at TERC, Cambridge, MA, provided on issues of science learning and teaching. Catherine A.Brown, Associate Dean for Research and Development at Indiana University’s School of Education, was helpful in sharpening the discussion on mathematics learning and teaching. We also had helpful assistance from Robbie Case, Institute of Child Study, Uni-
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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School versity of Toronto, on issues of children’s thinking and from Robert Siegler, Department of Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University, on children’s strategies for learning. Our work on teacher learning and professional development benefited from suggestions provided by Allan Feldman, School of Education, University of Massachusetts. Although the project was an intellectually exciting undertaking for the committee, we were also mindful of the important role of our sponsor. The Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education established the committee’s charge to review the nation’s investment in research and the challenge of determining how that investment can pay high returns. We thank Joseph Conaty, Judith Segal, and C. Kent McGuire for the support they provided to this committee in their individual and official capacities. Finally, there are several NRC staff and others who made significant contributions to the work of the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning. Alexandra Wigdor, director of the Division of Education, Labor, and Human Performance of the NRC’s Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE), provided the initial impetus for the project and nurtured it in many different ways that were indispensable to its completion. Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports of CBASSE, patiently worked with us through several drafts of the volume and significantly improved the text. Key support in facilitating our work came from Jane Phillips, senior project assistant in CBASSE, with assistance from Neale Baxter; Susan M.Coke, division administrative associate; Faapio Poe, administrative assistant, Vanderbilt University; and Carol Cannon, administrative assistant, University of California, Berkeley. All of these “behind the scenes” people played critical roles, and to each of them we are very grateful. Alexandra Wigdor also was the inspiration for the project that resulted in How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice. Her leadership in guiding the formation and work of the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice was central to its success. The vision of focusing the efforts of the research community on classroom practice is that of C.Kent McGuire, assistant secretary for educational research and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. Rodney Cocking, study director of the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, provided support for the efforts of the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice. Wendell Grant, project assistant, worked long hours managing the logistics of the latter committee’s meetings and events and providing the administrative support for production of the committee’s report and its drafts. Christine McShane improved that report with her skilled editing. We also thank Carolyn Stalcup for design support and Sandra Yurchak for secretarial support.
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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School The Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice held a conference in December 1998 to present the original version of How People Learn to an audience of educators, policy makers, and researchers and to elicit their feedback on the promise of, and obstacles to, bridging educational research and practice. The NRC and the OERI cosponsored the conference, and the participation of Bruce Alberts, NRC chair, and C.Kent McGuire, assistant secretary for OERI, contributed to its success. Joseph Conaty and Luna Levinson of OERI assisted with conference planning. Karen Fuson, committee member Annemarie Palincsar, and Robert Bain demonstrated approaches to teaching that use the principles highlighted in this volume. Members of the two panels provided insightful perspectives on the challenge of bridging research and classroom practice. On the panel providing teacher perspectives were David Berliner, Deanna Burney, Janice Jackson, Jean Krusi, Lucy (Mahon) West, and Robert Morse. On the panel providing policy perspectives were Ron Cowell, Louis Gomez, Paul Goren, Jack Jennings, Kerri Mazzoni, and Carol Stewart. The committee also held a workshop to focus more sharply on the research that would help construct the bridge between research and practice. The workshop was an intensive 2-day effort to work in both large and small groups to cover the areas of research discussed in this volume. We thank each of the participants who joined the committee in this effort: Amy Alvarado, Karen Bachofer, Robert Bain, Cathy Cerveny, Cathy Colglazier, Rodney Cocking, Ron Cowell, Jean Krusi, Luna Levinson, Robert Morse, Barbara Scott Nelson, Iris Rotberg, Leona Schauble, Carol Stewart, and Lucy West. Both the original version of How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experiences, and School and How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice were reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals, who are neither officials nor employees of the NRC, for their participation in the review of the original How People Learn: Kenji Hakuta, School of Education, Stanford University; Donald Kennedy, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; R. Duncan Luce, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science, University of California, Irvine; Michael Martinez, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine; Kevin Miller, Department of Psychology, University of Illi-
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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School nois; Michael I.Posner, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon; Leona Schauble, School of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Herbert A.Simon, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University; Patrick Suppes, Professor of Philosophy (emeritus), Stanford University; and Richard F.Thompson, Neurosciences Program, University of Southern California. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice: Dorothy Fowler, Lacey Instructional Center, Annandale, VA; Ramesh Gangolli, Department of Mathematics, University of Washington; Richard Lehrer, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michael Martinez, Education Department, University of California, Irvine; K.Ann Renninger, Program in Education, Swarthmore College; Thomas A.Romberg, National Center for Research in Mathematical Sciences Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Patrick Suppes, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University. Although the individuals listed above provided constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this volume rests entirely with the authoring committees and the institution. John D.Bransford, James Pellegrino, Rod Cocking, and Suzanne Donovan
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