“In Recent Decades…” Observations of Education

What exactly does it mean that “students learn?” For many generations, student learning in classrooms has been focused on their ability to remember information. If students could accurately recall what they were taught for a long time after they were taught it, then we assumed they had learned it well. That concept of learning seems inadequate today.  

In recent decades, scholars have detailed the very effective teaching that happens outside of classrooms. In recent decades, cognitive and neuroscientists have elucidated the changes in brains associated with learning; and the learning sciences have helped educators translate those discoveries into principles of classroom design and teaching practice. In recent decades, information technology has changed the landscape of information creation, analysis, dissemination, and this has changed humans’ relationship with information and institutions. These are all discoveries and advances that will inform our concepts of teaching and learning in the coming decades.