Summary of How People Learn: Key Findings

How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice,

Ch. 2, Key Findings, (pp. 10-24), National Research Council

Summarized by Cindy Atman

Learning Principles:

  1. Students have preconceptions.
  2. To develop competance, students must:
    1. have a deep foundation of factual knowledge
    2. understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework
    3. organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and appreciation
  3. Meta-cognitive instruction helps students control their learning by defining learning goals and monitoring progress.

Implications for Teaching:

  1. Teachers must draw out and work with preexisting understandings
  2. Teach concepts in depth--with examples and foundation of facts
  3. Teach metacognitive skills

Order to Chaos:

Designing Classroom Environments:

  1. Schools and classrooms must be learner centered
  2. For a Knowledge-centered classroom, attention must be paid to:
  3. Formative assessments are essential
  4. Learning influenced by context: community centered with context in learning
This applies to adult learning too, e.g., teachers and professors!