30-minute Webcast

How People Learn: What Educators Should Know

The science of how people learn is complex, but there is a core body of well-established cognitive science with fairly straightforward implications for teaching. Unfortunately, these scientific principles are often neglected or misunderstood, leaving education susceptible to the "pendulum swings" of fads and misguided reform. And most importantly, when we lose sight of the nature of learning we risk failing to provide students with the best possible educational experiences.

In this session we will discuss what the best evidence says about teaching and learning, addressing such issues as the relationship between knowledge and skills, effective methods of instruction, how to provide feedback and encouragement to students, and how to avoid common education-related misconceptions. We will pay special attention to the practical relevance of the science of learning and to how misconceptions about learning can take root and be avoided.


Paul Bruno is a Ph.D. student studying education policy at the USC Rossier School of Education. He received his MA and teaching credential at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in science and math education. He subsequently taught middle school science for five years in Oakland and Los Angeles, California, before leaving the classroom to do educational consulting, including at Deans for Impact, a non-profit teacher preparation reform organization. He has also written extensively on teaching, learning, and education policy for such venues as the Brookings Institution, the Fordham Institute, EdSource, and Edutopia.

Jason Chu is Education Director for Turnitin. His focus is on working to build resources for educators, and his personal passion is to find better ways to enhance student achievement.  He will be moderating this webcast.

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