It All Comes Together in Learning Science


[Scott Soeder — Designer at the University of Louisville, Delphi Center ]

Learning science, or cognitive science as it is often called, is “an interdisciplinary field of researchers from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology [as well as other fields,] who seek to understand the mind.” (Willingham, 2003).

Although there is some disagreement about the feasibility of directly connecting findings in brain science to educational settings, to ignore the implications of this research may be, as Eric Jenson has said, “irresponsible.”

If we agree with Jensen, what are some key learning science findings that we should know about?  Presenters and attendees at this Friday’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning  at Shelby Campus will consider this very question.

The Celebration theme, “Teaching in Harmony with the Brain: Applying Learning Science in Today’s Classroom and Beyond,” will provide UofL faculty, staff, and GTAs with a venue in which they can consider what learning science has to offer, and  an opportunity to reflect  upon how they might apply this research in their teaching. Learn more and register for the Friday event.

If you are unable to attend the full-day program on Friday at Shelby Campus, join Celebration keynote speaker Dr. Terry Doyle on Thursday for one of two pre-Celebration Workshops (one on the Health Science Campus from noon-1 p.m. and one on Belknap Campus from 3-5 p.m.).  Learn more and register.

Is there a pressing question about learning science that you are bringing to the Celebration?

Tell us about it.


Jensen, E.P. (October 1, 2008). A fresh look at brain-based education. Retrieved from

Willingham, D. T. (2003/2004). Why students think they understand when they don’t. American Educator, Winter, 38-48.

4 thoughts on “It All Comes Together in Learning Science

  1. I am especially interested learning about how to help my students retain what they have learned. I see students in 400-level classes that seem to have forgotten much of what they were supposed to have learned in prior courses. I enjoyed Diane Halpern’s earlier presentation and look forward to learning more at the Celebration. Several of us will be tweeting throughout the event. Join the Twitter conversation and search for hashtag #ClbrT13 !

    • I’m in agreement with Andrew about the quandry of how to ensure retention. I teach part-time in a Master’s level program for another university and I am surprised at the number of learners that do not know how to make proper citations in an assignment and how to create a Works Cited reference page.

      Let me be clear that in my high school years I struggled with citations but when I went to college it was something that English 102 focused on pretty much the entire semester. I have used it since then and still need to look up how to properly cite things, but I know it is an important part of any educational or professional work.

      I often wonder if this is taught in undergrad because when I note no or an improper citation or Works Cited offering I hear comments like: “Oh, I have not used that in so long, I’ve become rusty.” I know there are subjects that are no longer taught in schools but I struggle with believing there are certain things are no longer taught, are there things that are focused on less, or, is it like Andrew says dealing with topics that should have been learned in prior courses. Sorry, for the wordiness. I’m jumping down from my soap box know, thanks.

    • Andrew: Did you gather any new insights from the conference about tools for retention? I have heard a lot of folks talk excitedly about Keith Lyle’s session and his description of the web app Anki as a tool for promoting retention…

  2. This sounds interesting. I try to put more focus on learning styles in my online class than my in person one. I figure reaching them will be more of a challenge, and I have to carefully prepare everything ahead of time. That results in the presentation being exactly how I planned it (rather than having an element of surprise like the projector not working). In a way I designed it for students who may have attention span and cognitive issues (it is a freshmen course).

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