Lisa FazioVanderbilt University
Psychology and Human Development
Children learn about the world both at home and in schools, but also in informal educational contexts such as museums. The current symposium examines how children’s experiences and interactions in these contexts affect their learning and memory. The symposium has two goals: first, to examine how our knowledge of children’s memory can be used to improve learning outcomes and second, to expand our understanding of the memory processes underlying learning. The speakers will bring together perspectives from educational, developmental and cognitive psychology to discuss how new insights from memory research can inform educational practices in all contexts.
First, Dr. Catherine Haden will discuss the conversations children and their parents have after an experience in a museum exhibit, and the ways these interactions advance learning opportunities for children. Engineering talk was greatest when families engaged in an engineering design challenge in the exhibit, told their narrative collaboratively, and gestured towards the exhibit while talking about the experience. Dr. Haden is a Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago and is an expert on how parent-child interactions affect what children learn and remember.
Next, Dr. Jennifer Coffman will discuss how teacher talk affects children’s memory development and content knowledge. Recent longitudinal and experimental research has shown that exposure to teacher language in the early elementary school years that is rich in references to metacognition, cognitive processes, and requests for remembering is important for long-lasting student gains in strategic memory and study skills. Dr. Coffman is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former elementary school teacher, Dr. Coffman’s research focuses on the socialization of cognitive and affective functioning in young children.
Continuing with the theme of how metacognition can play an important role in children’s learning, Dr. Haley Vlach will present on children’s beliefs about massed versus spaced practice. In general, adults believe that massed practice is more effective than spaced, but similar biases were not found in young children. Thus, teaching children about the benefits of spaced learning early on, before they acquire incorrect biases, may be optimal. Dr. Haley Vlach is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and studies how young children learn from the world around them.
Finally, Dr. Lisa Fazio will discuss the positive and negative effects of multiple-choice testing on learning in elementary school. Both younger and older students benefited from a prior multiple-choice test, but older children were more likely to learn incorrect answers from the test. Interestingly, this age difference was due to increases in knowledge rather than increasing memory abilities. Dr. Fazio is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University and studies how children and adults learn new information.
The symposium will feature a brief 5-minute introduction of the topic and presenters, 20 minute talks by each of the presenters, along with 5 minutes for questions (100 min total), and a 15 minute discussion with the attendees about the implications of the research.
Catherine HadenLoyola University Chicago
Jennifer CoffmanUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro
Human Development and Family Studies
Haley VlachUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Paul MatuszUniversity of Lausanne - Information Systems Institute,
University of Applied Science Western Switzerland (HES SO) Valais
Department of Radiology
Great strides have been made in understanding how learning to read or do basic math is supported by such domain-general processes as attention and cognitive control (executive) processes, e.g., how efficiently children allocate attention to target shapes surrounded by distractors or recall a sequence of sounds. However, certain disparity exists between these unisensory (visual, auditory) processes and how reading and maths are taught and learnt – with information stimulating one, two or multiple senses at once. Basic research has established that brains naturally represent objects (e.g. human faces, animals, also alphanumeric symbols) in a multisensory way, with visual, auditory, etc. information activating same areas (e.g. Mahon ea. 2009). Importantly, as brains integrate multisensory information, recognising, attending to or learning about objects is more accurate/stronger in multisensory than unisensory settings (e.g. Matusz ea. 2017). Yet, there is scarce research on how early in development, which and in what contexts multisensory-integrative processes improve domain-general functions (e.g. attention, memory) that shape developmental/educational outcomes. This symposium gathers educationally-minded cognitive and developmental psychologists and neuroscientists working to address these vital lacks in knowledge. Scientific results will be discussed in contexts of insights into pragmatics of conducting education-relevant research in Switzerland (French and German-speaking), UK and USA.
Anna FisherCarnegie Mellon University
Department of Psychology
Natasha KirkhamBirkbeck University of London
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Silvia BremUniversity Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich - University of Zurich
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dima AmsoBrown University
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences
Lauren Vega ONeilUniversity of Oregon
The development, implementation, and assessment of interventions that are informed by evidence from developmental cognitive neuroscience show promise to improve outcomes for children from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. One promising line of research involves two-generation approaches, which target both children and their parents/caregivers. The development of two-generation programs that are supported by rigorous scientific evidence requires a close, productive partnership between researchers and educators. In particular, as such programs move toward scalable delivery models that can be implemented widely in different educational settings, a partnership that emphasizes the unique perspectives of educators at all levels is crucial.
The focus of this symposium will be one such partnership between researchers from the University of Oregon Brain Development Lab and Head Start of Lane County, Oregon, that has produced a successful two-generation intervention (Neville et al., 2013).
Stevens (developmental cognitive neuroscientist, Willamette University) will trace the early history of this partnership, which began with basic research on the neuroplasticity of selective attention that identified a neurobiological target for intervention (e.g., Stevens et al., 2009) and continued with a collaboration on many levels that supported the development, implementation, and assessment of a two-generation intervention. In a randomized controlled trial study we have shown this program to improve brain function for attention as well as behavior and cognition in preschool children from lower SES backgrounds and to reduce parenting stress in their caregivers (Neville et al., 2013).
Pakulak (developmental cognitive neuroscientist, University of Oregon) will then discuss the next step in this collaboration, an ongoing project that is funded by a grant to both entities and that thus represented a substantial increase in the degree of collaboration on many levels. He will provide an overview of multiple phases of the project, from the development of a scalable delivery model of the intervention to subsequent phases of the project focusing on implementation and assessment, with an emphasis on how this increased collaboration was crucial to the achievement of project goals (Pakulak et al., 2015; 2017).
O’Neil (former elementary educator / Ph.D. candidate, University of Oregon) and Reynolds (Head Start Special Projects Coordinator, Head Start of Lane County) will then present results from a recent qualitative study that focused on the current project from the perspective of researchers and educators (O’Neil, Pakulak, et al., under review). In this study we examined challenges and successes, both from the perspective of researchers and also from educators at HSOLC, ranging from administration and management to classroom-level teachers, whose input has been crucial to the success of the project. The presentation will focus on three specific aspects of the project: the development of a scalable delivery model of the program, implementation of the program in the classroom, and implementation of the group-based parent component.
We will conclude with a reflective discussion of broader benefits and challenges from both researcher and educator perspectives, taking a “lessons learned” approach with advice for others embarking on similar collaborative efforts. While this collaboration has not proceeded without challenges, it has nonetheless been successful on many levels.
Eric PakulakUniversity of Oregon
Developmental cognitive neuroscientist
Courtney StevensWillamette University
Developmental cognitive neuroscientist
Mary Margaret ReynoldsHead Start of Lane County
Head Start Special Projects Coordinator
Robert OchsendorfNational Science Foundation
This symposium will highlight opportunities to promote resilience and skill improvement for students with learning disabilities. The session will be chaired by Dr. Rob Ochsendorf (National Science Foundation), who is the Program Director in the Education and Human Resources Directorate, Division of Research on Learning, and Program Lead for the Discovery Research Pre-K-12 Program. Dr. Fumiko Hoeft (University of California, San Francisco) will present a comprehensive model of protective factors that promote success in struggling learners. This model defines protective factors, both cognitive and socio-emotional, that promote resilience, as well as cognitive and linguistic factors that promote compensation. Dr. Ben Clarke (University of Oregon) will share cutting-edge research on effective math intervention practices for struggling math learners in elementary school. In particular, the work will focus on students who demonstrate non-responsiveness to generally efficacious intervention approaches. Dr. Joanna Christodoulou (MGH Institute of Health Professions) will discuss insights from cognitive neuroscience on reading intervention, highlighting the plasticity of the brain and the importance of individual variability in response to intervention. The speakers will discuss implications for practice and provide recommendations for educators and parents whenever possible. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion on next steps for research and practice, led by Claudia Koochek (Head of School at Westmark School, Encino, CA) who has served as a dedicated educator and administrator with a focus on students with disabilities for over 20 years.
Ben ClarkeUniversity of Oregon
Joanna ChristodoulouMGH Institute of Health Professions
Claudia KoocheckWestmark School, Encino, CA
Head of School
Michelle DownesUniversity College Dublin
Assistant Professor in Developmental Neuropsychology
Executive functions are cognitive skills that are important for regulating behaviour and for achieving everyday goals, particularly in the classroom. This symposium will explore research from four European centres that have used neuroimaging, physiological, and behavioural methods to better develop our understanding of executive functioning in the context of learning and brain development from preschool through to university. The translation of neuropsychological findings into the classroom environment will be considered in the context of teacher-led research that focuses on their current understanding and experiences.
Executive deficits are common in children who struggle in school and are associated with multiple neurodevelopmental disorders. However, there is also considerable heterogeneity across children, even within diagnostic categories. In the first talk, Dr Joe Bathelt, Investigator Scientist, University of Cambridge, will describe recent results from data-driven methods to characterise the heterogeneity of executive function difficulties in struggling learners and link them with white matter differences in the brain.
Professor Olivier Houdé, Professor of Psychology, and Professor Gregoire Borst, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience of Education, Paris-Descartes University, will report on functional, anatomical and connectivity changes following inhibitory control training in children and adolescents in the second talk. Inhibitory control, or the ability to withhold a prepotent response, plays a critical role in academic success. While the effect of cognitive training on inhibitory control efficiency has been studied in young children and adults, the neurocognitive effects of training from childhood to adolescence is understudied. This is surprising given that adolescence is a developmental period defined by a high brain plasticity and environmental sensitivity during which the inhibitory control neural network becomes more specialized and integrated.
Making mistakes is inherent to learning, and one could say, essential to learning. Students, however, may hold different views on what these mistakes mean to them. Some will interpret mistakes in a constructive manner, signalling the need for more learning and challenge, while others tend to interpret mistakes as personal failure and avoid them where possible. Dr Tieme Janssen, Postdoctoral Researcher, VU University Amsterdam, will discuss an electrophysiological study of executive function which focuses on students’ reactions to making mistakes. Heart rate, electrodermal activity, and neurophysiological activity were measured during the Math Effort Task and Stop-Signal Task. This study can inform us on the mediating effects of stress on the relation between ability beliefs and approach/avoidance behavior, and consequences for educational practice.
Finally, Dr Michelle Downes, Assistant Professor in Developmental Neuropsychology, University College Dublin, will discuss recent findings on primary school teachers’ understanding of executive function and the reported barriers to supporting children with neuropsychological difficulties in the classroom, including current challenges of neuropsychological assessment of executive dysfunction and the translation of lab and/or clinical findings into accessible resources for teachers. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion facilitated by Dr Downes on the implications of current research findings across neuroscience, cognitive, and educational domains for promoting executive functions in classroom contexts.
Joe BatheltUniversity of Cambridge
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Olivier HoudéParis-Descartes University
Laboratory for the Psychology of Child Development and Education
Gregoire BorstParis-Descartes University
Laboratory for the Psychology of Child Development and Education
Tieme JanssenVU University Amsterdam
Clinical Developmental Psychology Department
Reuven BabaiTel Aviv University
Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education; School of Education
Proportional reasoning is important in school and in everyday life. It involves the comparison of ratios, such as fractions, and is known to be difficult for schoolchildren and adults. Our symposium will combine insights regarding proportional reasoning, and their implications for the learning of fractions, that stem from different perspectives. The presenters are experts in allied neuroscience fields of Developmental Cognitive, Educational Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and Science and Mathematics Education. The presentations examine the role that non-symbolic ratio processing plays in understanding fractions, and attempts to leverage these insights in training and intervention studies, using behavioral and neuroimaging measures with school-aged children and adults.
Presentation1 will focus on developmental neuroimaging investigations testing the prediction that symbolic fractions sensitivity builds on non-symbolic ratio sensitivity. 2nd-graders, 5th-graders and adults compared the magnitudes of two fractions presented as symbolic fractions, line ratios, or mixed pairs during fMRI scanning. Behavioral distance effects were observed in all conditions and groups. In adults, all three notations activated a common frontoparietal network. In 2nd-graders a right parietal specialization was observed only for non-symbolic ratios while 5th-graders showed evidence for emerging specializations for symbolic fractions in bilateral frontoparietal regions partially overlapping with non-symbolic ratio processing.
Presentation2 will focus on the sources of difficulties with symbolic fractions. People tend to use the magnitudes of the components as proxies for the magnitude of the fraction itself, leading to difficulties when larger fractions have smaller components. Mathematically proficient undergraduates were presented with a fraction comparison task using carefully selected fractions pairs. Participants were slower to compare numerically closer fractions, suggesting they compared fractions based on their magnitudes. However, results also revealed a strategy of choosing as larger those fractions with a smaller “gap” between their components. These findings point to the complexity of competence with symbolic fractions.
Presentation3 will focus on a neurofunctional examination of fraction learning. Behavioral performance and fMRI responses were measured before and after a five-day number line estimation training aimed at improving participants’ understanding of fraction magnitude. Measures included symbolic and non-symbolic fraction magnitude comparison tasks and a task in which symbolic fraction magnitudes were matched with non-symbolic line ratios. Pre-post improvements were found for all three tasks. Changes in activation patterns were observed in frontoparietal regions commonly associated with number magnitude processing. Importantly, distance related neural activation for symbolic fraction processing became significantly stronger after training, indicating neurofunctional plasticity in fraction learning.
Presentation4 will focus on a neuroscience-inspired educational intervention. In the Drops test, 10th graders compared ratios in the context of mixtures. The Juice test directed students to calculate “rate per unit,” thereby reducing the interference from automatic comparison of the salient natural numbers. Success in the Juice test was higher than in the Drops test and success in the Drops test was higher when it was performed after the Juice test. These findings suggest that using pedagogical approaches that direct students to use appropriate solution strategies aids them in overcoming difficulties and could serve as a tool to promote proportional reasoning.
Edward M. HubbardUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Educational Psychology
David M. GómezUniversidad de O'Higgins
Institute for Educational Sciences
Korbinian MoellerLeibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien / University of Tuebingen
Department of Psychology
Ruth StavyTel Aviv University
Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
School of Education
Claude Steele, PhDStanford Graduate School of Education
I. James Quillen Endowed Dean, Emeritus
Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Emeritus, & Professor of Psychology
Adolescence is a time of transition characterized by rapid physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and psychological development. As students move toward adulthood, their bodies and minds change and those changes affect how they learn, and likewise, should affect how educators work.
Fortunately, knowledge about how students learn, particularly during the adolescent years, has grown during the last thirty years. Furthermore, there is increasing interest in aligning education policies and practices with scientific research on adolescent learning and development. By aligning instructional practices with this scientific research, educators can create learning experiences that capitalize on unique opportunities that adolescence offers.
Research must be made useable and accessible if it’s to influence education decisions. Consequently, the Alliance for Excellent Education’s (All4Ed’s) science of adolescent learning initiative focuses on translating, communicating, and disseminating adolescent learning and development research for policymakers and practitioners. All4Ed serves as a broker for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to have deep discussion on how to best apply this research to school improvement policy and practice, especially for secondary schools serving historically underserved students such as students of color and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Building from the FrameWorks Institute’s session on communicating scholarly research to non-scientific audiences, All4Ed will discuss translating adolescent learning and development research to support efforts in improving U.S. middle and high schools. The symposium will build on All4Ed’s series of reports for practitioners and policymakers on key SAL consensus statements developed from research from multiple disciplines of science of learning and development, to which panel members have contributed and reviewed. Researchers, education practitioners, and policy experts will provide insight into how practice and policy can be used to effectively incorporate well-supported research into actionable recommendations for education leaders seeking to improve low-performing schools and underperforming subgroups of students. A panel of researchers will discuss key findings from their research that have strong implications for schools, featured in All4ed’s translated series of reports. Confirmed for the first panel are the following researchers:
The panel will be followed by a townhall-style discussion led by Bob Wise, president of All4Ed and former governor of West Virginia and Mary Sieu, PhD, superintendent of ABC Unified School District, California, who will share their knowledge and insight into how research can be applied purposefully and systemically to bring about substantive change in teaching and learning for the adolescent learner through policy and practice.
Jay Giedd, PhDUniversity of California–San Diego
Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dorainne Green, PhDIndiana University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Former Governor of West Virginia
Mary Sieu, PhDABC Unified School District, California
Gabrielle StrouseUniversity of South Dakota
Division of Human Development & Educational Psychology, School of Education
This symposium will bring together four perspectives on using psychophysiological markers to understand children’s learning and engagement in educational media contexts. Psychophysiological markers have been used by media researchers to better understand adults’ attention to and memory for advertising and other television content (e.g., Bolls & Muehling, 2003; Lang et al., 1999; Lang et al., 2005). However, the presenters in this symposium are some of the first to use this biological approach to understand children’s engagement in educational media contexts.
Our first speaker, an education researcher, will present a project (Strouse, Newland, Mourlam, Nutting) in which 3- to 5-year-old children are read two engineering-themed books (one print, one digital) by a researcher. Children’s heart rate (marker of sustained cognitive attention) and skin conductance (marker of emotional arousal) will be used to predict their story comprehension. Prior research using observational techniques has indicated a paradox: that children may find digital books more engaging, but not comprehend them as well as print books. The use of psychophysiological markers in this study will provide a more nuanced understanding of children’s attention allocation and its link with comprehension in the two educational media contexts.
The second speaker, a cognitive development researcher, will present a project (Yoo & Kirkorian) that examines the relation between children’s (3-5 years) attention to TV programs and their subsequent memory for those programs. Attention measures include visual attention (eyes on screen) and physiological markers of arousal and engagement (heart rate, electrodermal activity, accelerometry). Children play with toys in a comfortably furnished laboratory room while three randomly ordered 8-min segments of a child-directed science-themed TV show (Tumble Leaf), an adult-directed TV show (Psych), and no TV (white noise) are playing. Attention measures will be used to predict children’s free recall, cued recall, and recognition memory for the programs. Data from a comparison group of adult participants will also be presented.
The third speaker, a media psychology researcher, will present a project (Keene) in which children and their parents co-view an educational program or watch it independently. Recent research has shown that the mere presence of a parent can affect a child’s cognitive and emotional processing of televised content being viewed (Rasmussen et al., 2016; Berke et al., 2016). One explanation involves social facilitation: co-viewing causes children to have greater arousal responses to exciting content, but far lower arousal responses to boring content when with a parent. In this study, the moderately arousing stimuli are predicted to result in cognitive resource allocation (heart rate deceleration) and arousal (skin conductance level) that increase over time for parents and children. Co-viewers are also expected to display greater memory for the program content versus children or parents who view the stimuli individually. The study will also investigate synchrony in parent and child physiological signals, as physiological synchrony is predicted to result in greater cognitive resource allocation, arousal, and memory for the educational stimuli.
Our final speaker (Nutting), in the role of discussant, will provide an adult media psychology research perspective. He will facilitate collaboration across media, cognitive/developmental science, and education researchers by providing a discussion of the ways these differing fields can use psychophysiological approaches to answer questions about how children learn.
Seung Heon YooUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Justin Robert KeeneTexas Tech University
Department of Journalism and Creative Media Industries,
Cognition & Emotion Lab
Brandon H. NuttingUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
College of Journalism and Mass Communications,
Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior
Priya KalraUniversity of Madison, Wisconsin
Relational reasoning has been identified as “the foundation of higher cognition” (Halford, Wilson, & Philips, 2010) and as fundamental to learning in STEM fields (Alexander, 2016; Goldwater & Schalk, 2016, Richland & McDonough 2010). Relational reasoning refers to reasoning about the relationships among entities (for example, bigger-than, member-of, parent-of) rather than about the properties of the entities themselves. Until now, most research on relational reasoning has focused on analogy: how we apply relations from one domain to another. However, the question of how relations are learned in the first place has not been explored as thoroughly. Despite human facility in learning and using relations, computational and neuroscientific models to explain how this happens have only recently emerged. Similarly, the fact that relational reasoning can be improved through experience has been established, but the mechanisms by which this improvement take place are still largely mysterious. This symposium presents research on the mechanisms by which relations can be learned and by which relational reasoning can be improved, incorporating computational and neuroscientific perspectives as well as examples of interventions in real-world educational settings. The presenters are experts in the areas of developmental cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology; two of the presenters in particular are also noted for their work bridging cognitive and educational psychology. The symposium overall will span the distance between real-world learning and the cognitive neuroscience of relational cognition.
The first presentation will provide a computational model of how abstract semantic relations (e.g., synonym, antonym, cause-effect) can be learned from non-relational feature vectors. The model combines deep learning of feature vectors from big data with fast learning of relations from small data. The second presentation will examine underlying mechanisms of relational reasoning improvement, using novel eye gaze metrics to pinpoint key drivers of improved performance associated with completion of a 6-week course on reasoning; the gaze data provide evidence that reasoning instruction and practice lead to increased efficiency of relational thinking. The third presentation will consider the results of a 1-year longitudinal neurocognitive study of spatial STEM instruction in real-world high school classroom settings. These results provide insights into effects of spatial learning on performance and neural bases of mental models-based relational reasoning. The final speaker will present work applying findings on relational learning to improve the understanding of common principles governing complex systems across disparate domains in high school science. In addition, this work has been brought back to the laboratory for neuroscientific measurement with an event-based paradigm examining complexity learning. Together, the presentations will take relational learning from the classroom to the lab and back again.
The overall structure of the symposium will be as follows: (1) each presentation will take 20 minutes, with 5 minutes for audience questions and responses (100 minutes in total); (2) a discussion among speakers, and between speakers and the audience facilitated by the discussant (approx. 20 minutes).
Keith HolyoakUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Adam GreenGeorgetown University
Department of Psychology & Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience
Silvia BungeUniversity of California, Berkeley
Psychology & Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Micah GoldwaterUniversity of Sydney
Daniel AnsariUniversity of Western Ontario
Department of Psychology
Reading and arithmetic constitute two of the most important building blocks of children’s education (Duncan et al., 2007) and are quintessential to children’s academic and life success (Ritchie & Bates, 2013). Traditionally, neurocognitive research has mostly focused on identifying domain-specific correlates to explain individual differences in separate domains of learning. More specifically, number processing has repeatedly been associated with arithmetic development (Schneider et al., 2017), and phonological processing has often been found to be related to reading development (Wagner & Torgesen, 1987).
Despite the fact that research on arithmetic and reading has mostly occurred in isolation from each other, these academic abilities are, in fact, highly correlated and even share genetic influences (so-called “generalist genes”; Plomin & Kovas, 2005). Additionally, learning disorders characterized by specific deficits in arithmetic (dyscalculia) or reading (dyslexia) frequently co-occur (Dirks et al., 2008). Against this background, researchers have started to look into the overlap between arithmetic and reading, and dyscalculia and dyslexia, and have reported that the correlates associated with different domains of learning may not be as specific as originally assumed (see e.g., Peters, Bulthé, Daniels, Op de Beeck, & De Smedt, 2018).
In this symposium, the overlap between reading and arithmetic abilities is further scrutinized through four research talks cutting through multiple levels of analysis: cognition, neuroscience and genetics.
Professor Linda Siegel (University of British Columbia) will discuss the influence of domain-general and domain-specific cognitive processes on dyslexia, dyscalculia and the co-occurrence between both learning disorders. Professor Marc Joanisse (University of Western Ontario) will discuss a DTI study examining how differences in white matter connectivity correlate with reading and math scores in children with and without reading disabilities. Dr. Joe Bathelt (University of Cambridge) will highlight recent studies that investigated the commonalities between learning problems in a large sample of struggling readers, their link with overall white matter brain organization, and the mediating effects of cognitive abilities. Dr. Kaili Rimfeld (King’s College London) will explore the variance in academic achievement explained by genome-wide polygenic scores and intelligence across development while controlling for family socioeconomic status.
Finally, there will be a discussion period between the audience and this expert panel introduced by Professor Daniel Ansari and Dr. Lien Peters (University of Western Ontario), who will discuss limitations associated with studying children with specific learning disorders to inform our understanding of learning and neurocognitive development. Theoretical, methodological and educational implications of research on the overlap between reading and arithmetic will be debated.
Linda SiegelUniversity of British Columbia
Faculty of Education
Marc JoanisseUniversity of Western Ontario
Department of Psychology
Joe BatheltUniversity of Cambridge
Kaili RimfeldKing's College London
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
Lien PetersUniversity of Western Ontario
Jamie JiroutUniversity of Virginia
Curry School of Education
Domain general skills include school enjoyment, self-regulation, curiosity, self-efficacy, and mindset, and are sometimes referred to as “non-cognitive”, “soft”, or “21st Century” skills (Duckworth & Yeager, 2015; Heckman & Koutz, 2012; Martin, Sargrad, & Batel, 2016). Substantial research supports the importance of these skills in promoting academic well-being across the school years (Farrington et al., 2012), and measuring their development is becoming a higher priority in schools as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) supports a broader conceptualization of school quality and student success beyond traditional academic content knowledge. This symposium will discuss how research from can be applied to understanding and enhancing student learning by targeting domain-general skills, including multidisciplinary research spanning from preschool through high school.
In the first talk, Schenke will describe the development and implementation of brief survey measures of preschool children’s academic orientations (growth mindset, academic self-concept, and school enjoyment), including the process of assessing the instrument using modern psychometric approaches (item factor analysis, invariance testing, and concurrent validity analyses) and results with over 1,100 students from a majority non-white public preschool sample. Jirout will then present an overview of research on students’ curiosity in schools, including a qualitative analysis of the literature on behavioral indicators of curiosity, and quantitative analyses of both classroom instruction and associated student outcomes and an experimental test of the indicators identified. In the third talk, Zumbrunn will present an accelerated growth model with mixed membership to highlight individual differences in the development of student self-regulation from a longitudinal study of self-regulation in students from 3rd- through 11th-grade. Finally, Evans will describe a quasi-experimental elementary curriculum intervention based on foundational knowledge, focusing on discussion of the putative brain mechanisms driving the effects that will be collaboratively tested with a follow up neuroimaging study.
Katerina SchenkeUniversity of California, Los Angeles
National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing
Sharon ZumbrunnVirginia Commonwealth University
School of Education
Tanya EvansUniversity of Virginia
Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning
Jeffrey GruenYale School of Medicine
Reading disability is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder among school aged children and is associated with a life long struggle with literacy, often leading to poor school performance and significant public health and economic consequences. A majority of research on reading disability has focused on participants of European descent. With the push towards precision education, which tailors an educational plan to the unique needs of the student, the lack of participant diversity in reading research could leave out minority groups from benefiting from these initiatives.
In this symposium, we highlight multi-disciplinary approaches spanning molecular genetics, cognitive neuroscience, and psychology to the study of reading-related abilities in Hispanic American and African American children in the Genes, Reading, and Dyslexia Study (GRaD) and the New Haven Lexinome Project (NHLP). We bring together experts in neuroimaging, molecular genetics, developmental psychology, and educational psychology to present on the following topics: 1) Dr. Truong, a molecular geneticist and neuroscientist, will discuss how genetic variants associated with reading-related traits, like rapid automatized naming/rapid alternating stimulus, can elucidate novel neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to reading ability; 2) Dr. Li, an educational psychologist, will discuss a novel classification of reading disability subtypes based on a core + comorbidity model of reading disability and how genetic variants of risk genes DCDC2 and KIAA0319 are associated with different reading disability comorbidity subtypes; 3) Dr. Malins, a cognitive neuroscientist, will discuss resting state functional connectivity between brain regions important for reading in Hispanic American and African American children with specific reading comprehension impairments associated with variants of the READ1 regulatory element in the DCDC2 gene; and 4) Ms. Tsujimoto, a developmental and educational psychologist, will discuss individual differences in reading-related attributions using latent profile analysis identifying a positive association between reading skills, attention, and how children perceive their experiences of success and failure in reading. The goal of this symposium is to showcase the relationships between genes, brain, and behavior in populations of children historically understudied in reading research. Discussion, led by Dr. Frijters, a developmental and educational psychologist, and Dr. Gruen, a molecular geneticist, will focus on how cross-disciplinary approaches can provide insights into genetic, neurobiologic, and behavioral factors that contribute to the etiology of reading disability, their effect on a child’s reading-related performance over time, and their predicted outcome as we move toward educational approaches that are tailored to the needs of diverse student populations.
Dongnhu TruongYale School of Medicine
Miao LiUniversity of Houston
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Jeffrey MalinsYale School of Medicine
Kimberley TsujimotoUniversity of Toronto
Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development
Rebecca GotliebUniversity of Southern California
Rossier School of Education; Brain and Creativity Institute
Education research, policy, and practice have seen dramatically increasing interest in social-emotional learning (SEL)—culturally sensitive skills and attitudes shaping how students understand and capitalize on their own and others’ thoughts and feelings to guide action. Mounting interest in SEL is warranted; today’s students will enter a workforce that values social-emotional skills that facilitate collaboration with diverse individuals. Further, social-emotional skills may promote students’ learning, as learning is a social process. Of concern, some evidence suggests that students’ social-emotional abilities may be lower than in preceding decades (e.g., Konrath, O’Brien, & Hsing, 2011). Thus, an urgent need exists to understand how to support students’ development of SEL required for success in both school and the workforce. This symposium will highlight interdisciplinary evidence of social-emotional skills’ role in learning and how to capitalize on these skills to promote learning.
Hunter Gehlbach, UCSB Associate Professor of Education and expert in adolescent social-emotional learning, will begin the session by proposing a new theory of social perspective-taking and its relation to learning. Social perspective-taking, Gehlbach argues, allows us to understand others’ intentions, imagine their feelings, and respect their values. It can be taught by motivating perspective-taking, selecting appropriate perspective-taking strategies, gathering information to inform perspective-taking, and evaluating the perspective-taking attempt. Given that social perspective-taking is teachable and improves other social-emotional skills, it can unlock the potential of SEL in schools. Henrike Moll, USC Associate Professor of Psychology and expert in social-cognitive development, will discuss her recent research into children’s reliance on testimony, demonstration, and imitation to build their understanding of the world. Moll finds that young children understand when others intend to teach them and transfer information obtained during such encounters. She argues from a comparative-evolutionary and developmental perspective that children’s physical cognition is culturally mediated and develops through understanding other’s thoughts. Rebecca Gotlieb will present about the association between perspective-taking and long-term memory in adolescents and neurobiological moderators of this relation. Gotlieb will conclude by suggesting both that it may be possible to develop biological markers of social skills and that creating opportunities for adolescents to exercise these skills may support their memory for social and academic content. Vanessa Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Population Health at NYU and expert in teacher-student relationships, will highlight the role of teachers’ social-emotional skill and systems thinking in the dynamic interaction between teacher and students. Rodriguez will present evidence of the importance for students’ learning of teacher-student behavioral and psychophysiological synchrony. She will conclude with implications for improving teacher professional development by focusing on cultivating teachers’ social-emotional skills. Presenters will invite open discussion covering implications of social-emotional skills for learning and recommendations for practice.
Speakers range from junior to mid-career scholars and are trained educational and developmental researchers with experience in MBE. This symposium will address the nascent understanding of SEL within MBE. It will offer new interdisciplinary evidence from human development, comparative psychology, and social neuroscience to inform theories of social-emotional learning and educational practice for enhancement of SEL to support students’ learning and workforce preparation.
Henricke MollUniversity of Southern California
Associate Professor of Psychology
Hunter GehlbachUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Associate Professor of Education
Vanessa RodriguezNew York University
Assistant Professor of Population Health
Rebecca MerkleyCarleton University
Questions of how people learn and develop new skills are of central interest to both educators and developmental cognitive scientists alike. Unfortunately, communication between the two fields is all but absent (Bruce et al., 2017). Indeed, the ‘research-practice gap’ represents a persistent and major obstacle in the pursuit towards bi-directional knowledge exchange and creation. As such, there is a growing need to build infrastructure that supports and facilitates opportunities for collaborative, productive, and iterative exchange between the disciplines of education and developmental cognitive science. The aim of this symposium is to highlight projects that have involved researcher-teacher collaboration in order to shed light on current barriers to MBE and potential solutions. We plan to incorporate teachers’ perspectives by recording interviews with teachers who have participated in these projects, as they are unlikely to be able to attend the event due to scheduling conflicts and the high expense.
In the first presentation, Zack Hawes will report on the design, implementation, and effects of an in-service mathematics Professional Development (PD) model for teachers of Kindergarten–2nd Grade. Developmental cognitive neuroscience researchers worked closely with a team of K–2 educators over an 18-week period with the shared goal of improving students’ numerical thinking. Central to this model was the integration of research and practice and helping teachers develop research-inspired activities to test out in their classrooms and share with the group. Both the successes and the obstacles of this approach will be discussed.
In the second presentation, Megan von Spreckelsen will report on a project investigating the impact of preschool educators’ use of mathematics language on the academic outcomes for the children in their care. Data were collected from 13 preschool and nursery settings over ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, as part of a wider study into cognitive and educational foundations of mathematics in preschool children. Preschool practitioners reported their levels of teaching confidence across different areas of mathematics and their use of maths language was observed in the classroom.
In the third presentation, Amy Napoli will report on work designing, implementing, and evaluating a parent-based home numeracy intervention. Parents of 3 and 4 year old children attended an informational meeting and received text messages with strategies for incorporating numeracy practices into their children’s daily lives. Children were pre- and post-tested on their general numeracy skills, and parents reported on their frequency of numeracy engagement, beliefs of the importance of math development, and self-efficacy at engaging their children in math activities
In the final presentation, Andres Bustamante will share his research and experience with Parkopolis: A life-size playful learning board game that fosters science and math skills. Derived from cutting edge research in the science of learning, Parkopolis is designed for installation in public spaces with the intent of promoting engagement and learning dialog between parents, children, and their peers. During this presentation, Andres will discuss the pilot work, community partnerships, and the latest findings from this project.
Rene Grimes will serve as discussant and draw on her unique perspective from her experience as a general and special education early childhood educator and a mathematics learning disability researcher. Rene is passionate about involving the ‘educator’s voice’ in MBE initiatives and will share her opinions on ways to move forward in this regard.
Zachary HawesUniversity of Western Ontario
PhD candidate, Numerical Cognition Lab
Megan von SpreckelsenUniversity of Oxford
Researcher, Developmental Psychology
Amy NapoliUniversity of Nebraska, Lincoln
Assistant Professor and Early Childhood Extension Specialist
Andres BustamanteUniversity of California Irvine School of Education
Rene GrimesUniversity of Texas, Austin
Former Early Education Teacher and current PhD student
Frederick MorrisonUniversity of Michigan
The early development of executive function (EF) has and continues to be a focal point of research given its relevance for school readiness and early academic outcomes. The burgeoning area of EF research has drawn the interest of scientists from different disciplines, all of whom have contributed to our understanding of the nature, sources and growth of these foundational skills. However, much of this work relies on different techniques, tools, and measurement traditions, highly specific to academic discipline. As a result, less is known about the degree to which research from distinct disciplines inform one another and the extent to which findings from different fields can improve learning and educational practices.
This symposium will focus on four studies that employ methods from neuroscience, experimental cognitive science and educational psychology to understand the development of EF and its relations to academic achievement in young children. Each presentation has been designed to address the following questions: 1) how can findings from different disciplines improve our understanding of the link between executive function and academic achievement? and 2) how this work may be used to inform us of learning processes and improve educational practice? Specifically, the first presentation will explore relations between executive function student motivation, and academic skill acquisition, using laboratory-based assessments and teacher reports (Torgrimson, et al.). Next, examinations of longitudinal associations between a neural index of conflict monitoring and emergent math skills from preschool through first grade (Isbell, et al.) will be explored. Finally, in two separate talks drawing from a related data set, the neural correlates of response inhibition and early mathematics skills will be described (Ibrahim, et al.), as well as the development and validation of a set of new group-based EF tasks that assess classroom-like behaviors (Ahmed, et al.).
Frederick Morrison is a Professor of Psychology and the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Morrison's work examines the impact of child, family and schooling factors in shaping children's cognitive growth and academic achievement. His most recent work involves collaborations with cognitive neurophysiologists to examine the impact of schooling on brain and behavioral measures of executive function and academic achievement. These experiences provide the knowledge and skills to contribute significantly to the cross-disciplinary nature of the current project.
Jennie Grammer is an Assistant Professor in Human Development and Psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Motivated by an interest in the individual differences observed in children’s school success, Dr. Grammer draws upon Psychology, Education, and Neuroscience to examine the impact of the elementary school context on developmental changes in children’s cognition and academic achievement.
Dr. Elif Isbell is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Sarah Jo Torgrimson is a Ph.D. student in Human Development and Psychology at UCLA.
Amira Inbrahim is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan.
Sammy Ahmed is a Ph.D. Candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan.
Jennie GrammerUniversity of California Los Angeles
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Elif IsbellUniversity of North Carolina Greensboro
Human Development and Family Studies
Sarah Jo TorgrimsonUniversity of California Los Angeles
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Amira IbrahimUniversity of Michigan
Combined Program in Education and Psychology
Sammy AhmedUniversity of Michigan
Professor of Education Studies and
Associate Dean of Social Sciences
Our interdisciplinary group of academics and educators have forged a partnership to gather real-time information about children’s developing minds and brains. Lacking information about how to personalize their methods, teachers often struggle to reach the wide range of learners in their classrooms. Better understanding of children’s development as part of the systems in which they develop and grow will help us to address mismatches between educational practices and learning science.
An invaluable strength of this work is the resilient partnership between UCSD faculty and the highly innovative Vista Unified School District (VUSD). VUSD serves approximately 22,000 students from P-12. With a student population that is 60% Hispanic, 58% of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and 24% English learners, this district represents the growing diversity of many districts across the state and the nation. In many ways, the district and city of Vista represents the educational challenges we face across the nation. VUSD and UCSD have joined together in a research-practice collaborative called the VUSD-UCSD International Center for Educational Research and Practice (ICERP). Conducting school-community embedded research that impacts practice quickly. ICERP aims to provide education that is early, personal, and relevant (see overview in Education Week).
Our team will study 100 4-year old children, continuously assessing their early neurocognitive, language/literacy, numeracy, attention, executive function/self-regulation, and social-emotional development within the context of their classrooms. We will also assess early functional brain development with a novel application of wireless, child-friendly, EEG caps. The children’s classrooms will be live learning laboratories, where the learning process happening there is carefully protected. The research plan will allow us to improve models explaining differences in learning outcomes, identify areas of need, and evolve interventions that adapt intelligently to promote better, and more consistent, learning outcomes and increased student engagement and agency.
Amanda Datnow is a Professor of Education Studies and Associate Dean of Social Sciences at UCSD. She will describe the evolution of the partnership and a focus on the use of data to inform teaching and learning. Matt Doyle is Assistant Superintendent for Innovation for VUSD and the Executive Director of ICERP. He will describe the aims of VUSD and ICERP for innovation in P-3 education and the educator roles in the partnership. Tim Brown, Assistant Professor of Neurosciences, conducts research on brain mechanisms in language development. He will talk about the use of noninvasive brain measures in models of academic skills and engagement. Alison Wishard Guerra, Associate Professor of Education Studies, conducts research on culture and development in early childhood, with particular focus on social and language development among Latino children from low-income families. She will describe this aspect of the research plan. Shana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Education Studies, conducts research examining Mexican heritage families’ beliefs and experiences with autism spectrum disorder. She will describe the component of the research program focusing on these issues. Finally, Terry Jernigan, Professor of Cognitive Science and Director, Center for Human Development, will describe the rationale for the unique research model adopted for our collaboration.
Matt DoyleAssistant Superintendent for Innovation for VUSD and
Executive Director of ICERP
Tim BrownAssistant Professor of Neurosciences
Alison Wishard GuerraAssociate Professor of Education Studies
Shana CohenAssistant Professor of Education Studies
Terry JerniganProfessor of Cognitive Science and
Director, Center for Human Development
Lia CommissarWellcome, London
Education and Neuroscience lead
This symposium will present a range of work where neuroscience has been integrated into classroom practice and policy. The presenters will give an overview of their projects and research, focusing on what has worked well and what has been learnt along the way. This is intended to be a highly interactive session with plenty of time for questions and discussion about the key issues and how to address them.
Marc directed the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education from 2007 to 2018. He will discuss the impact of teaching basic neuroscience concepts to teachers in a Masters program in MBE centered on models of learning from the cognitive sciences, as measured by revisions to their own lesson plans.
Janet directs the BrainU program in neuroscience for K-12 teachers and writes curriculum for their classrooms, www.Brainu.org. She will discuss teachers’ classroom applications of the neuroscience knowledge from analysis of teacher interviews following classroom observations in the short term and long term perceived impacts on practice.
Having completed a IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning Fellowship, Paul will be able to share his views on how key neuroscience research on learning has relevance to educators, policymakers and governments on a global scale. In addition, he will share findings from a recent project integrating neuroscience into an initial teacher training course in the UK.
Fran is an expert in designing and leading teacher professional development at the National STEM Learning Centre in the UK. She will share insight into the collaborative development process of an online course on the ‘Science of Learning’ and provide feedback from the first cohort of teachers who took part.
Richard Churches will describe a project in which he has supported teachers to run their own randomised controlled trials based on the best MBE evidence. He will present some of the teachers' findings and discuss this as an alternative methodology for context specific knowledge creation.
Marc SchwartzUniversity of Texas at Arlington
Professor of Mind, Brain and Education
Janet M DubinskyUniversity of Minnesota
Professor of Neuroscience
Paul Howard-JonesUniversity of Bristol, UK
Professor of Neuroscience and Education
Fran DaintyNational STEM Learning Centre, UK
Head of Content and STEM Expertise
Richard ChurchesEducation Development Trust, UK
Lead Adviser for Education Reform and Evidence Based Practice
This panel brings together learning game designers, cognitive psychologists, and learning data analysts to discuss how game-based learning paired with multi-modal data analytics can provide new insights into learning.
Jodi Asbell-Clarke and Elizabeth Rowe from EdGE at TERC will discuss how they are measuring implicit learning in personalized learning environments, such as games. Data mining detectors, grounded in extensive observation and human-coding, can automatically detect implicit STEM learning in games at scale. Using Educational data mining (EDM) for formative assessment may reveal abilities of learners with cognitive differences who perform poorly on tests and schoolwork, particularly in areas such as Computational Thinking, which may profit from strong systematic thinking and creativity of some cognitively diverse learners.
Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki from Landmark College will discuss how he and EdGE integrate eye-tracking data into data log analysis from learning games to explore the role of attention in implicit learning. Having identified features through human observation, EDM detectors analyzing eye-tracking and game data simultaneously can show features consistent with players attending (or not attending) to critical game features that may help explain their performance in the game. This talk will share research challenges in designing a system to synchronize multi-modal data “in the wild”, and will discuss some of the preliminary constructs of visual attention that are thought to play a key role in implicit game-based learning.
Bruce D. Homer, from the CUNY Graduate Center, will discuss how adolescents’ neurocognitive development has informed the design of CREATE Lab’s SmartSuite, a set of digital games to improve executive functions (EF). Studies examining the effects of matching design features in games from the SmartSuite to specific neuro-cognitive changes in our adolescent participants show that younger adolescents benefit more if their EF training game focuses on speed of response, while older adolescents benefit more from an emphasis on accuracy. Similarly, older adolescents benefit from increased activations of emotions during EF training, while younger children benefit from a more emotionally neutral version of the game. The findings will be discussed in light of both having a better understanding of the development of EF in adolescence, as well as the ways in which building digital games that are neuro-cognitively age appropriate can enhance learning and training of cognitive skills.
Jan L. Plass from New York University will discuss in more detail the study on hot vs. cool executive functions (EF), asking whether a game designed to induce higher emotion arousal (hot EF) would be better able to train EF compared to a game designed to induce lower emotion arousal (cool EF), and whether this effect differed for different age groups, and for students with different levels of EF. In a study with middle and high school students we found that the version of the game inducing higher emotion arousal was especially effective for older students, and for younger students with higher levels of EF. Theoretical as well as practical implications for the role of emotions on EF training will be discussed.
Ibrahim Dahlstrom-HakkiLandmark College
Dr. David KraemerDartmouth College
Assistant Professor, Department of Education and
Advisor, Psychological and Brain Sciences Graduate Program
How does math anxiety impact learning and achievement? What can be done to mitigate the negative impacts of math anxiety on learning and testing environments? Talks in this symposium sample a range of methods and age groups to investigate the impact of math anxiety on real-world educational outcomes. Decades of research have highlighted key cognitive and neural components implicated in performance decrements associated with math anxiety. Building on this prior work, recent insights from laboratory- and classroom-based research shed new light on the links between anxiety, stereotype threat, negative emotion, and academic achievement. Classroom-based studies reveal important factors related to early learning trajectories, including how changes in the difficulty of the material differentially affects elementary students who experience math anxiety. Further research on elementary math education highlights the impact of stereotype threat – the idea that individuals who identify as members of a stereotyped group are negatively influenced by the stereotype, especially in high-pressure situations such as math tests. Results indicate that both stereotype threat and responses to evaluative pressure can impact math test performance, and also math learning. In moving towards effective interventions, reappraisal of negative emotion is revealed to be an effective moderator of the negative effects of physiological arousal on test performance in the lab, and these effects are examined both in terms of neural systems and in terms of classroom achievement at the high school and college levels. Overall, these findings illustrate clearly that math anxiety and stereotype threat play a large role in math learning across the educational experience of many students. Fortunately, this research also highlights key ways in which we might be able to increase each student's potential for academic success.
Four speakers will present recent research related to the mechanisms of math anxiety and possible interventions. Dr. Richland’s research examines stereotype threat and evaluative pressure. While previous research has focused on the effects of stereotype threat on math test performance, this research extends to examine how these stressors impact students' math learning. Her talk will examine how stereotype threat and evaluative pressure experienced alone or simultaneously, during cognitively demanding mathematics instruction, impact 5th graders’ learning. Dr. Trezise’s research investigates how math anxiety changes in classroom contexts. Specifically, her talk will focus on several aspects of classroom learning, including problem complexity (arithmetic to algebra problems in an adolescent sample), and throughout the learning trajectory before, during, and after a lesson on ratio (in a grade 5 sample). Dr. Pizzie’s research examines interventions aimed at remediating math anxiety. Across several lab-based and classroom-based studies her work examined physiological indices of negative emotion, neural substrates of affect and math computation, and academic performance in high school math classes. Her talk will discuss the potential for cognitive reappraisal as a promising method for remediation of the deficits caused by math anxiety. Finally, in her research, Shaw focuses on understanding the mechanisms and factors that contribute to math anxiety, and also examines ways to reduce it. Her talk will discuss research that explores the relationship between math anxiety and flexible thinking in mathematics, including research that investigates how math anxiety relates to “aha” moments in math.
Dr. Lindsey RichlandUniversity of Chicago
Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development and
the Committee on Education
Dr. Kelly TreziseUniversity of Chicago
Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Comparative Human Development
Dr. Rachel PizzieGeorgetown University
Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Psychology
Senior graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program
Dr Lindsey RichlandUCI
Professor, School of Education
Dr Kelly TreziseUniversity of Chicago
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Comparative Human Development
Classrooms are emotional spaces: students can bring their own emotions and stress into the classroom, and educational environments can provoke pressure for many students. How do these emotions and stress impact students' ability to learn, retain, and use information? This symposium will address this question by characterizing different emotions and their associated learning consequences, with the aim of better understanding the educational consequences of emotions and stress in learning contexts. We will discuss stressors that accompany children into the classroom (e.g., socioeconomic), trauma and maltreatment, and anxieties provoked from academic contexts, focusing in particular on those that result from what is increasingly described as crucial to 21st century education - activities that require innovation and creativity (Creativity Anxiety). We examine consequences of these stressors that range from neurocognitive structural changes to effects on memory and educational achievement, as well as impacts on gender gaps in achievement. Together, the presentations integrate perspectives from neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, and education research. The presenters represent a range in disciplines and approaches, and thus will provide rich new opportunities for insights into levers for reducing the negative consequences of stress and negative emotions on youth’s classroom learning.
Dr Daniel Hackman will use neuroscience methods understand the neural and cognitive effects of socioeconomic disadvantage and related environmental stressors. Dr Jodi Quas will adopt a developmental and physiological perspective to examine the effects of stress on memory, a core cognitive function necessary for success in academics. Dr David Kraemer will present the development of the Academic Anxiety Questionnaire, which aims to separately assess anxiety related independently to testing, writing, science, math, and general trait-level anxiety. Dr Rich Dexler adopts a cognitive approach to characterise Creativity Anxiety, an anxiety associated with creativity and innovation, and explore related associated gender differences and possible implications for STEM education. Co-Chairs for the symposium are Dr Lindsey Richland and Dr Kelly Trezise. They take a psychological and educational approach to these questions, and will lead a discussion that highlights the educational implications of the panelists research. Taken together, the presentations demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to emotions and learning research, and the symposium will build a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships to physiological, cognitive, and educational consequences.
Dr Daniel HackmanUSC
Assistant Professor of Social Work Department of Children Youth and Families
Dr Jodi QuasUCI
Professor of Psychology and Social Behaviour and Nursing Science
Dr David KraemerDartmouth
Assistant Professor of Education, Dept of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dr Rich DakerGeorgetown University
Phd Candidate, Psychology Department