- Students have broadened and deepened bachelor-level knowledge concerning neuroscientific and psychological aspects of learning processes and memory.
- Students have broadened and deepened bachelor-level knowledge about the research methods used to study learning processes.
- Students can explain the relationship between, on the one hand, fundamental research on learning and memory, and, on the other, the learning processes that take place in the educational system.
- Students can explore, analyse and nuance the problems associated with attempts to bridge between different domains and disciplines (e.g. with respect to different definitions of "learning processes” in those domains and disciplines)
- To develop a critical attitude with respect to (a) fundamental research on learning processes, (b) the extent to which current educational practice is built on reliable scientific findings, and (c) the challenges of bridging between fundamental research and educational practice
- To enhance presentational, debating and writing skills
|This course is about learning processes – those that take place in the brain and those that take place in the classroom. While these are of course ultimately the same thing, it is not necessarily the case that the learning processes that are studied in the laboratory by neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists can readily be equated with those that take place in the classroom and are studied by educational scientists. This course examines these two perspectives on learning processes, attempts to bridge between them, and explores the challenges that come with this bridging activity. These issues will be addressed by focussing on a number of research themes. The themes will concern different aspects of learning (e.g. about language and mathematics) and memory (e.g. procedural vs. declarative memory) at different stages of development (infancy, young childhood, adolescence, adulthood). Within each theme, attempts will be made to combine insights from neuroscience (e.g. brain plasticity, brain maturation, sleep-enhanced memory consolidation) with insights from cognitive psychology (e.g. implicit vs. explicit memory; cognitive vs. meta-cognitive skills). Individual differences and non-cognitive factors (e.g. stress and motivation) will also be discussed. Themes will also have explicit links to specific aspects of educational practice (e.g. teaching a second language, mathematics education, learning to read).