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Understanding How Learning Takes Place with Neuroscience and Applying the Results to Education

Andreas A. Ioannides

Human learning has been dramatically altered by the new situation that saw us climb down trees and out of the savanna to larger communities with great reliance on agriculture and more recently industry. Psychology appeared as a scientific discipline at a time that formal education for all was becoming accepted. From the very beginning psychology and education had a major influence on each other. Education is notoriously slow to change. As the ideas of developmental psychologists started influencing education policy, new paradigms for education emerge from a variety of disciplines including computer science, medicine and particularly neurosciences. Each of these disciplines has its own vocabulary and progress is often limited because there is no common framework to bring together specialists from different disciplines or to formulate common research. We provide such a framework through a generalization of key concepts of developmental psychology. In the new framework, these concepts are cloaked with what we might call the standard model of modern neuroscience. Here, we customize this framework for learning and education. Formal education is seen a continuation of a process that begins with the mother and develops in pre-school play. The main goal of this process is to maintain and continually update an internal representation of the external world in the key brain networks while keeping intact the core representation of self. The first steps in a research program using this new framework are described with some results and conclusions about future actions.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67615-9_2.