Reading Brains Lab
Dartmouth College Department of Education

The Science of Learning

We believe that the process of education should be informed by findings from scientific research and that scientific research about development and learning should be informed by educators. If we want to understand how children learn and how best to teach children, then researchers and educators need to collaborate and share knowledge.

In particular, we believe that teacher training should include learning about the brain and that training of developmental researchers should include learning about the classroom and the process of education. Teacher and researcher training are twin bridges between the fields of education and developmental cognitive neuroscience. It is clear that learning and teaching change the brain – that the brain is affected by education – and it should be the case that the brain (or what we know about the brain) can change learning and teaching. Those responsible for facilitating learning should know at least a little bit about the organ that they are transforming and those who investigate how the brain develops and works should know at least a little bit about how that knowledge could be useful in an educational context.

This is the kind of approach to education and brain science taken in the Department of Education at Dartmouth. Many of the classes offered through the Department reflect this approach, including EDUC 50: The Reading Brain: Education and Development; EDUC 64: Development in the Exceptional Child; and EDUC 88: Seminar in Human Development and Education: The Changeable Brain (ORC descriptions).