New centre to research the science of learning

December 13 / 125

Professor John Hattie, Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute
Professor John Hattie, Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute

The new Science of Learning Research Centre will use scientific practices including neuroscience and psychology to improve the understanding of learning.

The project is being led by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and the University of Queensland.
 
Professor John Hattie, Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the MGSE, said educators had become very good at transmitting knowledge to students, but young people needed more than just knowledge.
 
“Students need to be able to assess and manipulate knowledge, and to think critically and analytically,” Professor Hattie said.
 
“This exciting partnership will help us understand more about how we learn, so we can ultimately teach students these incredibly important skills.

“We are very focused on coming up with better resources and better understandings for teachers to truly make a difference in the classroom. 

“A major aim is to create a better narrative about learning and the brain.”

The Centre will be financed by Commonwealth funding of $16 million, with Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development also contributing funding and in-kind support.
 
Mike Timms, Director of the Assessment and Psychometric Research program at ACER said the Centre will investigate effective learning practices in the light of current knowledge about basic learning processes, and factors that influence successful learning.

“Educational neuroscience offers great promise for understanding how learning takes place in the brain so we can help all students learn,” Dr Timms said.
 
Ottmar Lipp, from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology, who will lead the Centre, said the Centre’s cross-disciplinary and inter-professional approach will help researchers develop a scientific evidence base to enhance learning.
 
“State-of-the-art experimental classrooms will be established in Brisbane and Melbourne so the neurological, psychological and social aspects of learning can be studied and measured while students are learning,” Professor Lipp said.
 
Researchers from the University of New England, and Flinders, Deakin, Charles Darwin and Macquarie universities are also part of the consortium.
 
The Centre is a key recommendation of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council Expert Working Groupreport, Transforming Learning and the Transmission of Knowledge.

For more information about the Centre visit: http://www.slrc.org.au/

Article originally published by the MGSE: http://education.unimelb.edu.au/news_and_activities/news/news_articles/archive/2013/new_centre_to_research_science_of_learning_news

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