The questions have consumed educational researchers for years: how do children learn, and what are the best ways to teach them? Should the emphasis be on practicing basic skills, or on encouraging deep understanding and conceptual thinking, or both?
“Considering there are many different kinds of knowledge we want our children to acquire, what are the best ways to get them there?” says Kenneth R. Koedinger, professor of human-computer interaction and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. “We are looking to develop concepts about what is the right way to teach and to learn.”
Scientists at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, and its research facility, LearnLab, are seeking these answers through a series of studies using classrooms in more than 50 schools and colleges in the Pittsburgh area and around the country.
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