Developing countries have made tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom. But schooling does not necessarily mean learning. Given the importance of building of human capital, countries want to be sure they are making real progress on learning outcomes.
To help better understand the learning process and share insights from multiple disciplines on how we learn, the World Bank’s Education Global Practice introduced the Science of Learning Expert Series. The series features some of the world’s most renowned experts in the education field to discuss their work and the implications for education and skills policies.
Learning in the Early Years: Setting Up Foundations for Life-long Learning
Professor Elizabeth Spelke
Dr. Elizabeth Spelke’s laboratory focuses on the sources of uniquely human cognitive capacities, including the capacity for formal mathematics, the capacity for constructing and using symbolic representations such as maps, the capacity for developing comprehensive taxonomies of objects, and the capacity for reasoning about other humans and their social groups. Spelke studies these capacities by investigating their origins and growth in human infants and children, by considering human cognition in relation to the capacities of nonhuman primates, and by comparing the capacities of humans from diverse cultures. Current projects investigate: (1) how infants and children recognize objects, extrapolate object motions, and group objects into functional categories such as foods and tools; (2) how infants and children recognize human agents, reason about their goal-directed actions and mental states, and use other people as sources of information about objects; (3) how infants and children develop knowledge of natural number and arithmetic, and how they come to master number words and symbols; and (4) how infants and children represent space and reason about geometry. The core of Spelke’s research uses behavioral methods and laboratory-based tasks to investigate the concepts and cognitive capacities of infants, children and adults. Through collaborations with anthropologists, behavioral biologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and educational psychologists, Spelke has extended her studies of human cognitive capacities to a broader range of populations, settings, and methods.
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020|11:00 am – 12:30 pm |MC 4-800 | 1818 H Street, Washington DC, 20433
How to Halve Illiteracy: a View from the Science of Reading
Professor Daniel T. Willingham
Daniel T. Willingham is professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. His bestselling first book, Why Don't Students Like School?, was hailed as "a triumph" by The Washington Post and "brilliant analysis" by The Wall Street Journal, recommended by scores of magazines and blogs, and translated into many languages. His most recent book, When Can You Trust the Experts? was named recommended reading by Nature and Scientific American and made CHOICE's list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013. Willingham writes a regular column called Ask the Cognitive Scientist for the American Federation of Teachers' magazine, American Educator. In 2017, Willingham was named by President Obama to the National Board of Education Sciences. He received a BA from Duke University and a PhD from Harvard University.
Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 | 12:30 – 2:00 pm | I 2-220 | 1850 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
The Neuroscience of Adult Learning and Implications for Adult Literacy Programs
Prof. Michael S. C. Thomas
Two Paths to Expertise
Prof. Daniel Schwartz
Professor Daniel Schwartz is an expert in the science of learning. He is the I. James Quillen Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and the Nomellini and Olivier Professor of Educational Technology.
Well-being is a Skill
Prof. Richard Davidson
Professor Richard Davidson, a world leading neuroscientist in the field of emotions and well-being, is William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison.