Monday, July 27, 2009

New Science Of Learning Offers Preview Of Tomorrow's Classroom

New Science Of Learning Offers Preview Of Tomorrow's Classroom:
"To understand how children learn and improve our educational system, we need to understand what all of these fields can contribute,” explains Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., professor and head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and co-director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC) at the University of California, San Diego, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. “Our brains have evolved to learn and adapt to new environments; if we can create the right environment for a child, magic happens.”"


  1. Adaptation happens every day to new environments. As we see things we learn to deal with them and we learn to then adapt to our new environment. But one question

    Isn't that common knowledge?

  2. I think it was Einstein who said that "Science is Common Sense, systematically applied" A good approach is to start with common sense, then learn how to use the tools to systematically test it, to find out when it works and when it doesn't.

    Usually young people think that science is something you learn. Actually science is something you do.

  3. Yes but if Science was common knowledge then maths and english are common knowledge to some. It differs with everyone.One person could be amazing at English and he could think of it as common knowledge because it is so easy to him. Common knowledge is knowledge known by most people and to tell the truth not many people know science the way Einstein did.

  4. Good points, but . . .

    I think you are missing the "systematically applied" part. To think about something systematically you need to be great at using the tools. In the case of science that means math and especially statistics. It also mean always being on the lookout for evidence that contradicts the "common knowledge." That means being able to evaluate evidence to see if it makes sense.

    Also I think there is a big difference between common sense and common knowledge. At one time it was common knowledge that the world was flat and that brains don't change. Turns are both do not describe what actually happens. That's the evidence part.

    To me, common sense is about logical thinking.Doing logical thinking usually works to separate the possibly real from the possibly bs. Once you bring in real evidence from the real world, it helps figure out which part of common wisdom turns out to be true. And which part of common wisdom turns out to be bs.

  5. What i'm saying is that knowing how an atom splits is neither common knowledge nor common sense. It is a procedure that must be learned therefore i am a little confused to as why Einstein said this. Maybe to him it is common sense but to most it is textbook learning.

  6. But there were Greek philosopher/scientist who said that things were made of very small particles. I don't know if they called them atoms. But the idea made sense.

    It took another 2000 years for people to figure out the math and how to do it.

    The only thing the Greeks had was common sense. But the common wisdom at the time was something completely different.

    That's what I'm trying to say by common sense is logical thinking and common wisdom is sometiems true and sometimes bs.

  7. I think we both agree with that