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Neuroscience in EducationThe good, the bad, and the ugly$
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Sergio Della Sala and Mike Anderson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600496

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600496.001.0001

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Bridging between brain science and educational practice with design patterns

Bridging between brain science and educational practice with design patterns

Chapter:
(p.267) Chapter 16 Bridging between brain science and educational practice with design patterns
Source:
Neuroscience in Education
Author(s):

Michael W. Connell

Zachary Stein

Howard Gardner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600496.003.0081

The current ‘neuroscience and education’ dialogue seems to centre largely on the question of how (or whether) neuroscience research can inform mainstream educational practice. Building on Dewey's (1929) analysis of educational science in The Sources of a Science of Education, this chapter reframes the question to ask: How can research in the special sciences and insights from educational practice both inform a science of education? It points to explanatory mental models as the point of overlap between teacher perception, informal expertise, scientific theory, and teacher action. It argues that these mental models in the heads of educators are both the site of educational science proper and a leverage point for driving more desirable educational outcomes in a scalable manner. It identifies six ‘gaps’ that must be bridged to catalyse a sustainable science of education. Three of these gaps represent obstacles to collaboration between scientists and educators, and the other three gaps inhibit educators' widespread adoption, application, and validation of scientific theories. Design patterns, thoughtfully crafted, can help bridge all six gaps. A design pattern is a description of a recurring problem plus a description of a general solution that can be applied flexibly to many instances of the problem across diverse contexts.

Keywords:   neuroscience research, education, educational practice, Dewey, mental models, design patterns

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