Science of Learning | Teachers College Columbia University

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The Science of Learning: Practical Implications for Instruction

May 4 - 5, 2018

May 4, 2018 - May 5, 2018

8:00am - 5:00pm EST each day
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, NY

Registration Fee: $575
Breakfast and lunch are included both days.

Limit: 90 attendees

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Understanding how people learn is central to the practice of any educator and current research about how the human brain works can now powerfully inform the learning designs of any teacher. Incorporating our EdX MOOC (massive online open course) The Science of Learning: What Every Teacher Needs to Know, which has served over 30,000 people in over 190 countries around the world, this two-day workshop will expand your knowledge of the latest research about how people learn and help you create practical plans to make your teaching practice more effective.

This workshop will introduce you to the latest cognitive science research about how people learn. During our time together we will ask “How can what we know about how the brain works be used in my day-to-day teaching?”

The workshop format will include brief lectures, small and whole group discussions, individual reflection and research and time to design and/or redesign lesson plans. We will provide a wealth of resources to deepen your understanding and opportunities to stay current with new developments in cognitive science.

Questions we will address about learning include:

1. How do we make memories for effective learning?

  • How do we make, store, and retrieve memories?
  • How does prior knowledge influence learning?
  • What is cognitive load and how can it be optimized for learning?
  • How do we make enduring and usable memories?
  • What is retrieval practice and why is it so important?
  • What are some common misconceptions students and teachers have that hinder learning?

2. How do student mindsets and other “non-cognitive factors” influence learning?

  • What are growth and fixed mindsets?
  • How do students with fixed and growth mindsets respond differently to challenge academic challenges?
  • Why are effort and hard work not enough to ensure academic success?
  • How do student perspectives about struggling and belonging influence their learning?
  • Why do we have to be “stealthy” in addressing non-cognitive factors in learning?

3. What teaching strategies are most effective for enduring learning?

  • What does it mean to be a diagnostic and responsive teacher in an “inside/out” way?
  • What does it mean to create “desirable difficulties” for learners?
  • What does it mean to “scaffold” student learning, cognitively and emotionally?
  • What are highly effective teaching strategies identified by research and how can they be incorporated into teaching practice?

4. How do we help students become self-regulated learners?

  • What are the habits of an effective self-regulated student?
  • Why are some common study strategies ineffective?
  • What is metacognition and why is it so important for self-regulated learning?
  • What role does motivation play in deep learning and how do we motivate young learners?
  • How does formative feedback enhance learning and what are ways to practice it?

A prelude to the workshop will be having workshop participants access the online course, “The Science of Learning—What Every Teacher Should Know,” developed by Teachers College in conjunction with edX. We will ask that you complete part of this online course before you arrive for the workshop. Once you register for the workshop, we will provide complete information for signing up for the online course.

Pearl Rock Kane

Pearl Rock Kane, a professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, holds the Klingenstein Family Chair for the Advancement of Independent School Education. She holds a master of arts degree from Smith College and a doctorate from Teachers College. Professor Kane serves as the director of the Klingenstein Center and is the advisor for the master's degree programs.

Professor Kane taught and served as an administrator in public and private schools in Michigan, Massachusetts and New York. She currently serves on the board of Uncommon Schools, a charter management organization. She is a founding trustee of Brooklyn Prospect Charter School in Brooklyn, NY.

Professor Kane is the recipient of a number of honors and awards including the 2009 National Association of Principals for Schools for Girls Outstanding Achievement Award, and the European Council of International Schools 2008 Award for Exemplary Contribution and Outstanding Service to Promotion of International Education.

She is editor of The First Year of Teaching: Real World Stories by America's Teachers; Independent Schools, Independent Thinkers; and The Colors of Excellence: Hiring and Keeping Teachers of Color in Independent Schools. She has published numerous articles on issues of leadership, diversity, governance, and the attraction and retention of teachers. Her current areas of research focus on privatization, charter schools, and independent and international school leadership and governance.

Kevin Mattingly

Dr. Kevin Mattingly has been a science teacher, administrator, and athletic coach for 35 years in junior high and high schools. In addition, he has taught graduate courses in learning theory and its practical teaching applications for 13 years at Teachers College, Columbia University and served as faculty in the Klingenstein Summer Institute for 17 years. Over the years he has helped start a school (The Mountain School in VT), been a consultant to systemic school reform initiatives, and worked with over thirty schools on curriculum design, teaching strategies and professional development programs. He has also been involved with a variety of summer academic programs for students including the New Jersey Scholars, Vermont Governor's Institute on Science and Technology, Hotchkiss Summer Portals and a number of summer enrichment programs for public school students from New York City, Philadelphia and Trenton, NJ. He is the director of the co-curriculum for the Riverdale School (NYC). Mattingly holds a Ph.D. in zoology and a B.A. in biological sciences from Indiana University (IN).

This program is for teachers and school leaders who seek to improve teaching and learning through the application of cognitive science research.

Participants who successfully complete the workshop will receive 1 CEU and a Certificate of Completion.

Please note, we are not able to offer partial CEUs for those who cannot attend the full workshop.

Teachers College, Columbia University has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).


Our location

Teachers College, Columbia University is located at 525 West 120th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway. The closest subway stop is the 116th Street/Columbia University stop, accessed by the 1 train. After getting off the train, Teachers College is a couple of blocks North, about 5 minutes walking distance.

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There are two international airports in the New York City area: (1) JFK international airport; and, (2) Newark International Airport.

TAXI FROM JFK: JFK is located in Queens Borough of NYC. Teachers College, Columbia University is located in the Manhattan Borough of NYC. Taking a taxi would be the most convenient way to reach Manhattan from the JFK airport. It costs about $50 to reach any destination in Manhattan from the JFK, whether it is your hotel or Teachers College, Columbia University.

SUBWAY FROM JFK: Taking the subway from JFK is another option for reaching Manhattan where Teachers College, Columbia University is located. However, this option is much slower (e.g. up to 1 hour and 45 minutes) and rather inconvenient when carrying luggage (up and down several sets of stairs). You can take the airport shuttle to Howard Beach station to board A Train which takes you to 42nd Street/Times Square where you transfer to No. 1 subway train (select the UPTOWN 1 train). You would get off at 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station.

TAXI FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Newark airport is located in the city of Newark, New Jersey. A taxi from Newark to Manhattan or to the college costs about $50.

TRAIN AND SUBWAY FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: You can also take a train to reach in Manhattan from the Newark Airport. The train will take you from Newark to the Penn Station stop in Manhattan; once there, you can transfer to the No. 1 Subway train, heading uptown, allowing you to reach the 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station).


TAXI FROM LAGUARDIA: The closest domestic airport is the LaGuardia Airport. A taxi costs about $30-$35 or more to reach most hotels Manhattan, and about $30 to reach Teachers College, Columbia University by taxi.

SUBWAY FROM LAGUARDIA: You can also take bus No. M60 which takes you directly to the West Gate at 116th and Broadway. Teachers College, Columbia University is a short walk, being located at 525 West 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.


Amtrak provides train service along the Northeast Corridor. Explore rates at

Amtrak involves an approximately $20 taxi ride from 31st and 8th Avenue to 120th and Broadway (525 West 120th Street—between Broadway and Amsterdam). Or, a 20-30 minutes subway ride on the 1 train from 34th street to 116th street. Then walk North to 120th and Broadway.

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