Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens? – Education Rickshaw

Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens? – Education Rickshaw

I was recently invited to speak on the From Page to Practice podcast about the book How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice by Paul A. Kirschner and Carl Hendrick. The first author does a great job of introducing the book at the beginning, and my lovely voice appears soon after, at about 11:25. Have a listen!

Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens?

It’s become a bit of a theme of this blog that increasing teachers’ knowledge of the learning sciences and educational psychology will improve students’ chances, strengthen our field, and empower teachers. Having never seen it personally, I can only imagine what a school would look like if everyone read and analyzed a book like “How Learning Happens” from cover to cover and used it to make substantive changes to their learning design. Unfortunately, it seems like many school leaders will find just about any excuse they can to not engage with the science of learning; There are too many competing items on the training agenda, there’s a standardized test coming up, teachers are the experts and know their kids best, every class and every school year is different, teachers are tired and should focus on self-care, the science is never settled or is too complex, etc, etc. Schools seem trapped in an endless cycle of reaction rather than proaction, and trial by fire learning rather than professional learning.

If school leaders won’t act to professionalize this field, then it’s up to us. Holding professional reading sessions where teachers inquire into an important article, evidence review, or book, is one way we can disseminate research and increase our collective knowledge at the grassroots. Below are a few resources to get your school started (off the top of my head, but all goodies) starting with a link to the book that was featured in the podcast:


Evidence Reviews

Scientific Method and Debunking Materials

What is your school doing to increase teachers’ knowledge of education research and cognitive science? Have you read anything else that should be included on this list? Feel free to share in the comments below.

-Zach Groshell @mrzachg

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