Enhancing Children’s Learning: Insights from Cognitive, Education, and Neuroscience Research

Pew Conference Center

032411_cafe-banner3.jpgIn an era of education reform, what do we know about how to improve children’s learning? Research shows that certain forms of instruction in core academic disciplines produce changes in attention and reasoning skills that can be long-lasting and transfer to other content areas years later. Speakers at this educational event described several lines of research that demonstrate how such learning occurs.

Dr. Lauren Resnick focused on structured classroom discussion practices that foster higher-order reasoning skills without sacrificing mastery of important content knowledge. Dr. Bruce McCandliss described research demonstrating how the brain changes as young children gain new cognitive abilities in reading and math. Both speakers highlighted the nature of educational processes that are critical in driving the changes in learning and implications for research and practice. A conversation, led by Dr. Carl Wieman, followed the brief presentations by the speakers.



Lauren Resnick

Bruce McCandliss



Carl Wieman, PhD (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy)

Associate Director for Science


Lauren Resnick, EdD (University of Pittsburgh)

Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science

Structured Talk That Builds the Mind

Bruce McCandliss, PhD (Vanderbilt University)

Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Psychology & Human Development

Identifying the Neural Substrates of Cognition and Learning