Review

Foundations for a New Science of Learning

Science  17 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5938, pp. 284-288
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175626

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Abstract

Human learning is distinguished by the range and complexity of skills that can be learned and the degree of abstraction that can be achieved compared with those of other species. Homo sapiens is also the only species that has developed formal ways to enhance learning: teachers, schools, and curricula. Human infants have an intense interest in people and their behavior and possess powerful implicit learning mechanisms that are affected by social interaction. Neuroscientists are beginning to understand the brain mechanisms underlying learning and how shared brain systems for perception and action support social learning. Machine learning algorithms are being developed that allow robots and computers to learn autonomously. New insights from many different fields are converging to create a new science of learning that may transform educational practices.

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