What Works: Knowing About Learning

Institutions serving student learning:

  • have goals for student learning that shape policies, practices and programs campus-wide
  • recognize that students persist and succeed when they are engaged in ‘doing science’ within a community and thus provide adequate resources for such a community
  • establish formal opportunities for continuing dialogue on ‘knowing about learning’
  • recognize and reward those responsible for student successes in the study of STEM
  • take findings from cognitive science and from the work of leading agents of change into account as new approaches are considered, implemented and assessed

Departments and programs serving student learning have a collective understanding of:

  • institutional goals for student learning
  • the current nature of their discipline/field and of what their students should learn
  • how to teach the essential concepts of the discipline/field
  • a variety of pedagogical approaches and of means to assess their impact on student learning
  • the backgrounds and academic preparation, learning styles and career aspirations of potential and current students, and understand how the scope and sequence of departmental offerings serves their students

Faculty serving student learning:

  • share their passion for doing science
  • take personal responsibility for the quality of learning of students in their classroom and lab

Connections that serve student learning:

  • bring outstanding elementary and secondary teachers systematically into on-campus discussions
  • link colleagues within and beyond the campus with expertise and interest in knowing about learning
  • build an understanding about the impact of science and technology on society

Spaces that serve student learning:

  • reflect institutional goals for student learning
  • facilitate a wide range of student learning styles and pedagogical approaches
  • foster learning communities
  • make the doing of science a visibly human activity