Main Article Content
The neuro prefix is very fashionable, and neuroeducation is just one of the myriad offsprings. Neuroscience offers an invaluable contribution to assess, diagnose, and perhaps manage pathologies, including disorders of learning in children and adolescents. However, neuroscience as such has so far proved to have little to offer to education in school. If misunderstood, neuroscience can open the gate to a number of questionable practices in the classroom. Even considering the discipline which has most to offer, cognitive psychology, the transition from lab results to school activities is challenging and should accord with didactic aims and educational contexts. Teachers and educators should resist the allure of applying neuroscientific findings and theories as if they were recipes to be carried out. In this viewpoint we will argue against the direct use of neuroscientific research findings to inform classroom education.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access)
Anderson, M., & Della Sala, S. (2012). Neuroscience in education: an (opinionated) introduction. In Della Sala, S. & Anderson, M. (Eds.), Neuroscience in Education: The good, the bad and the ugly, (pp. 3-12). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600496.001.0001
Ansari, D., & Coch, D. (2006). Bridges over troubled waters: education and cognitive neuroscience. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(4), 146-151.
Baddeley, A.D., & Longman, D. J. A. (1978). The influence of length and frequency of training sessions on the rate of learning to type. Ergonomics, 21(8), 627-635.
Bahrick, H. P., Bahrick, L. E., Bahrick, A. S., & Bahrick, P. E. (1993). Maintenance of foreign language vocabulary and the spacing effect. Psychological Science, 4(5), 316–321.
Baker, D. P., Salinas, D., & Eslinger, P. J. (2012). An envisioned bridge: Schooling as a neurocognitive developmental institution. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, Suppl. 1, S6-S17.
Beauchamp, C., & Beauchamp, M. H. (2013). Boundary as Bridge: An analysis of the educational neuroscience literature from a boundary perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 25, 47–67.
Betts, J., McKay, J., Maruff, P., & Anderson, V. (2006). The development of sustained attention in children: the effect of age and task load. Child Neuropsychology, 12(3), 205-221.
Bradshaw, G. L., & Anderson, J. R. (1982). Elaborative encoding as an explanation of levels of processing. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 21(2), 165–174.
Bruer, J. T. (1997). Education and the brain: A bridge too far. Educational Researcher, 26(8), 4-16.
Carpenter, S. (2020, April 30). Distributed practice or spacing effect. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Retrieved from https://oxfordre.com/education/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-859.
Cermak, L. S., & Craik, F. I. M. (Eds.). (2014) Levels of processing in human memory. London, UK: Psychology Press.
Chaney, J.H. (1993). Alphabet books: Resources for learning. The Reading Teacher, 47, 96-104.
Coltheart, M., & McArthur, G. (2012). Neuroscience, education and educational efficacy research. In S. Della Sala & M. Anderson (Eds.) Neuroscience in education. The good, the bad and the ugly (pp. 215-221). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.
Coltheart, M., Rastle, K., Perry, C., Langdon, R., & Ziegler, J. (2001). DRC: A dual route cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud. Psychological Review, 108, 204-256.
Corballis, M. (1999). Are we in our right mind?. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Mind Myths (pp. 25-42). Chichester, UK: Wiley.
Corballis, M. (2007). The dual-brain myth. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Tall tales about the Mind and Brain (pp. 291-313). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.
Corballis, M. (2012). Educational double-think. In S. Della Sala & M. Anderson (Eds.), Neuroscience in education. The good, the bad and the ugly (pp. 222-229). New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Corkin, S. (2013). Permanent present tense: The unforgettable life of the amnesic patient, H. M. New York, NY, US: Basic Books.
Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 11(6), 671–684. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5371(72)80001-X
Cubelli, R. (2009). Theories on mind, not on brain, are relevant for education. Cortex, 45(4), 562-564.
Dehaene, S. (2007). Les neurones de la lecture. Paris, FR: Odile Jacob.
Dehaene, S. (2011). The massive impact of literacy on the brain and its consequences for education. In A.M Battro, S. Dehaene, & W.J. Singer (Eds.) Human Neuroplasticity and Education. Scripta Varia, Vatican City, 117, 19-26.
Dehaene, S., Cohen, L., Sigman, M., & Vinckier, F. (2005). The neural code for written words: A proposal. Trends in Cognitive Neurosciences, 9, 335-341.
Donoghue, G. H. (2020). Translating neuroscience and psychology into education: Towards a conceptual model for the science of learning [PhD thesis], The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Donoghue, G. H., & Horvath, J. C. (2022). Neuroeducation: A brief history of an emerging science. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience, 2nd edition (pp. 632-637). Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier.
Dougherty, M.R., & Robey, A. (2018). Neuroscience and education: A bridge astray? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 401-406.
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising direction from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58
Gates, A. I. (1917). Recitation as a factor in memorizing. New York, NY, US: Columbia University.
Godden, D. R., & Baddeley, A. D. (1975). Context-dependent memory in two natural environments: On land and underwater. British Journal of Psychology, 66(3), 325–331.
Goswami, U. (2006). Neuroscience and education: From research to practice?. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7, 406–413.
Goswami, U. (2011). What cognitive neuroscience really tells educators about learning and development. In J. Moyles J. Paylor & J. Georgeson (Eds.), Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning (4th ed., pp. 21-31). Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.
Hostetter, A. B., Penix, E. A., Norman, M. Z., Batsell, W. R., & Carr, T. H. (2019). The role of retrieval practice in memory and analogical problem-solving. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 858-871.
Howard-Jones, P. (2014). Neuroscience and education: myths and messages. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15, 817–824.
Hughes, B., Sullivan, K. A., & Gilmore, L. (2020). Why do teachers believe educational neuromyths? Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 21, doi: 10.1016/j.tine.2020.100145
Karpicke J. D., & Bauernschmidt, A. (2011). Spaced retrieval: Absolute spacing enhances learning regardless of relative spacing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37(5), 1250-1257.
Legrenzi, P., & Umiltà, C. (2011). Neuromania. Oxford, UK: OUP.
Logie, R. H. L., & Della Sala, S. (2010). Brain training in schools, where is the evidence? British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(6), 127-128.
Leysen, J. (2021). Confusions that make us think? An invitation for public attention to conceptual confusion on the neuroscience-education bridge. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53, 1464-1476.
McDaniel, M. A., Anderson, J. L., Derbish, M. H., & Morrisette, N. (2007). Testing the testing effect in the classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19, 494–513.
Morris C. D., Bransford J. D., & Franks, J. J. (1977). Levels of processing versus transfer appropriate processing. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 16, 519-533.
Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9, 105–119. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.010
Pishdadian, S., & Rosenbaum, R. S. (2022). Memory and amnesia. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience, 2nd edition (pp. 413-424), Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier.
Rickard, T. C., & Pan, S. C. (2018). A dual memory theory of the testing effect. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25, 847–869.
Ritchie, S. J., Chudler, E. H., & Della Sala, S. (2012). Don’t try this at school: the attraction of ‘alternative’ educational techniques. In S. Della Sala & M. Anderson, (Eds.), Neuroscience in Education: the good, the bad and the ugly (pp. 244-264). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.
Roediger, H.L., III, & Karpicke, J.D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17, 249–255.
Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: Long-term improvements from quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Applied, 11, 382-395.
Rogowsky, B. A., Calhoun, B. M., & Tallal, P. (2020). Providing instruction based on students' learning style preferences does not improve learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(164). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00164
Rossignoli-Palomeque, T., Perez-Hernandez, E., & González-Marqués, J. (2018). Brain training in children and adolescents: Is it scientifically valid? Frontiers in Psychology, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00565
Rowland, C. A. (2014). The effect of testing versus restudy on retention: A meta-analytic review of the testing effect. Psychological Bulletin, 140(6), 1432-1463.
Sigman, M., Peña, M., Goldin, A. P., & Ribeiro, S. (2014). Neuroscience and education: prime time to build the bridge. Nature Neuroscience, 17, 497–502.
Smith, S. M. (1979). Remembering in and out of context. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 5, 460-471.
Smith, S. M. (1988). Environmental context—dependent memory. In G. M. Davies & D. M. Thomson (Eds.), Memory in context: Context in memory (pp. 13–34). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Torrijos-Muelas, M., González-Víllora, S., & Bodoque-Osma, A. R. (2021). The persistence of neuromyths in the educational settings: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.591923
Tulving, E. (1972). Episodic and semantic memory. In E. Tulving & W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of memory (pp 381-403). New York, NY, US: Academic Press.
Tulving, E., & Thomson, D. M. (1973). Encoding specificity and retrieval processes in episodic memory. Psychological Review, 80, 352-373.
Turkeltaub, P., Gareau, L., Flowers, D., Zeffiro, T. A., & Eden, G. F. (2003). Development of neural mechanisms for reading. Nature Neuroscience, 6, 767–773.
Yoncheva, Y. N., Blau, V. C., Maurer, U., & McCandliss, B. D. (2010). Attentional focus during learning impacts N170 ERP responses to an artificial script. Developmental Neuropsychology, 35(4), 423–445.
Willis, J. (2008). Building a bridge from neuroscience to the classroom. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(6), 424-427.