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How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice

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The main focus of this book is to cover 28 of the key works from educational and cognitive psychology to help inform you in your teaching. But, unless we stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before us, each generation is doomed to rediscover what their ancestors painstakingly uncovered. When the pain of the status quo hurts more than the pain of discipline, people are capable of extraordinary feats of learning.

However – and this is important – said sceptics should not ignore the scope of the chosen papers, the referencing, and the reasoning behind their choice. Now updated to include a new section on Memory and Cognition with five new chapters, this revised second edition explores a selection of the key works on learning and teaching, chosen from the fields of educational psychology and cognitive psychology.

Of the studies that trace the nature of learning, some seminal works offer prominent observations about learning and the elusive way in which true learning happens. For example, this book uncovers the fact that the cognitive architecture of the brain has been ignored in education despite the transformative change it would bring. The text Kirschner and Hendrick offer alongside each seminal article does a wonderful job of situating the content in the broader scientific context, and in the classroom. Brilliant for the tech savvy who want to get their fingers on the additional resources as fast as possible.

From music, we learn what humanity has always known but many schools have forgotten: learning begins with inspiration. Citation: Chi X (2021) Book Review: How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice. Instead of going from chapter to chapter and introducing the topics as you would in a textbook, this book uses published papers as anchors for each chapter. The book brings everything into one place with many signposts to further reading, referencing and QR codes to video links.Enjoyable learning begins with inspiration—both to get you started and to help you push through the struggles of knowledge acquisition. Kirschner and Hendrick set out their rationale to take “the often implicit knowledge that [teachers] have about our profession and make it explicit”, with the understanding that “good teaching is an art informed by science”. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

Thus, if you want to learn more about – let’s say – feedback you can move to chapter 20 ( “Feed up, feedback, feed forward”) and understand it – without having read the preceding chapters. So often I’ve been asked to recommend a starting text for educators interested in the workings of the mind―now I have one.It's hard to overstate just how fabulous this book is; a book I've wanted to exist for years and now here it is. But by insisting on such a structured approach, schools squash the ambitions of the very students they intend to serve. It will be adored by many and I hope it introduces some to the complexity of psychology and the study of cognition. Part 1 contains five chapters spelling out how our brain works and what that means for teaching and learning. I still remember learning about the Doppler effect because my junior year astrophysics teacher taught it so well.

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