Tag Archives: learning

Examining Early Childhood Education

Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. The environments, supports, and relationships young children experience have profound effects, and they thrive when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are knowledgeable about how to support their development and learning and are responsive to their individual progress. Our reports explore the current state of care and education for young children, and offer recommendations to build upon existing strategies and programs.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation

Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and the education of young children bear a great responsibility for their health, …

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Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

High-quality early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry is critical to positive child development and has the potential to generate economic returns, which benefit not only children and their families but society at large. Despite the great promise of early care and …

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Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8

Decades of research have demonstrated that the parent-child dyad and the environment of the family—which includes all primary caregivers—are at the foundation of children’s well- being and healthy development. From birth, children are learning and rely on parents and the other caregivers …

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Exploring Early Childhood Care and Education Levers to Improve Population Health: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Experts from the health and the early childhood care and education (ECE) fields gathered on September 14, 2017, in New York City at a workshop hosted by the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. The workshop presentations and discussion focused on the evidence base at the intersection of …

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Financing Investments in Young Children Globally: Summary of a Joint Workshop by the Institute of Medicine, National Research Council, and The Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development, Ambedkar University, Delhi

In January 2014, the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, in collaboration with the IOM Board on Global Health, launched the Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally. At this meeting, the participants agreed to focus on …

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Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures

Educating dual language learners (DLLs) and English learners (ELs) effectively is a national challenge with consequences both for individuals and for American society. Despite their linguistic, cognitive, and social potential, many ELs—who account for more than 9 percent of enrollment in …

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Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity

Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children’s present and future educational success. Research demonstrates that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young children enjoy their early informal …

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Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How

The assessment of young children’s development and learning has recently taken on new importance. Private and government organizations are developing programs to enhance the school readiness of all young children, especially children from economically disadvantaged homes and communities and …

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Strengthening Benefit-Cost Analysis for Early Childhood Interventions: Workshop Summary

The deficiencies that many children experience from birth to school age–in health care, nutrition, emotional support, and intellectual stimulation, for example–play a major role in academic achievement gaps that persist for years, as well as in behavior and other problems. There are many …

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From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary is based on the original study From Neurons to Neighborhoods: Early Childhood Development, which released in October of 2000. From the time of the original publication’s release, much has occurred to cause a fundamental …

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From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development

How we raise young children is one of today’s most highly personalized and sharply politicized issues, in part because each of us can claim some level of “expertise.” The debate has intensified as discoveries about our development-in the womb and in the first months and years-have reached the …

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Perspectives on the PISA Test Results from the Board on Science Education

The performance of U.S. students in science has been in the news this week, as we ranked 23rd in an international standardized assessment given to 15 year-olds in schools. We asked Martin Storksdieck, the director of the National Research Council Board on Science Education, for his perspective.

On December 7th the results of the largest international assessment of student performance in reading, math and science were released. The Programme for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, is conducted under the coordination of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and is supported by national organizations in 65 countries. The ranking of countries in PISA, based on the scholastic performance of a statistical sample of their 15-year olds on this test, can be a matter of much national pride or disappointment, may lead to questions about its validity and fairness, or might get ignored entirely. However countries may respond to this huge international effort, or whether one agrees entirely on the appropriateness of the assessment being used, PISA does elicit questions about why students in some countries do so much better than students in other countries, and ultimately what the factors are that make for effective education.

While research on reasons for country differences exist, there is little agreement on how much one country can learn from another. However, research on what contributes to effective science teaching and learning that is ultimately reflected in sophisticated and appropriate tests of student performance has been compiled and critically assessed in a variety of recent reports from the National Research Council. In Taking Science to School, America’s Lab Report and Learning Science in Informal Environments, various expert committees developed frameworks and criteria for effective science learning, based on existing evidence. These reports contain much of the information that can guide best practice in science education, and, if applied widely in and out of classrooms, may help improve student performance on tests like PISA.

These books and other titles from the National Research Council can inform discussion and provide guidance to promote science education.

Taking Science to School Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8

What is science for a child? How do children learn about science and how to do science? Drawing on a vast array of work from neuroscience to classroom observation, Taking Science to School provides a comprehensive picture of what we know about…
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Ready, Set, SCIENCE! Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

Podcast available here.

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to…
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America's Lab Report America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science

Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high science curricula have been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they contribute to science learning? What is the…
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Learning Science in Informal Environments Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

Podcast available here.

Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a…
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Surrounded by Science Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and…
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Engineering in K-12 Education Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other “STEM” subjects–science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student…
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Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills: A Workshop Summary

An emerging body of research suggests that a set of broad “21st century skills”–such as adaptability, complex communication skills, and the ability to solve non-routine problems–are valuable across a wide range of jobs in the national economy. However, the..
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Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8 Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation

K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for..
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Systems for State Science Assessment Systems for State Science Assessment

In response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Systems for State Science Assessment explores the ideas and tools that are needed to assess science learning at the state level. This book provides a detailed examination of K-12 science..
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How Students Learn How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for even..
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How People Learn How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition

This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom…
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7 New Books In Education, Hydrology, Climate Change & Hybrid Vehicles

Our featured publication of the new books this week is in the topic of education and has already found a good deal of popularity thanks to this article in Education Week. There’s six more books (five with free PDFs) new to nap.edu this week, dealing with subjects such as water and hydrology, testing, and conflict and security issues.

Featured Publication

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (prepublication)

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system.

Preparing Teachers addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science. The book evaluates the characteristics of the candidates who enter teacher preparation programs, the sorts of instruction and experiences teacher candidates receive in preparation programs, and the extent that the required instruction and experiences are consistent with converging scientific evidence. Preparing Teachers also identifies a need for a data collection model to provide valid and reliable information about the content knowledge, pedagogical competence, and effectiveness of graduates from the various kinds of teacher preparation programs.

Federal and state policy makers need reliable, outcomes-based information to make sound decisions, and teacher educators need to know how best to contribute to the development of effective teachers. Clearer understanding of the content and character of effective teacher preparation is critical to improving it and to ensuring that the same critiques and questions are not being repeated 10 years from now.

All New Publications

Best Practices for State Assessment Systems Part I: Summary of a Workshop (prepublication)

Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Review of the WATERS Network Science Plan (prepublication)

The Use of Title 42 Authority at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Letter Report (prepublication)

National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces: Letter Report (final)

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (final)