Donna Wilson and I had the extraordinary experience this summer of traveling to Cambridge, England, to make a presentation at the 2014 Conference on Implementation Science, which took place July 28 at the University of Cambridge. We were pleased to have the opportunity to present a paper discussing the practical implementation of our graduate degree program and how it supports the emerging science of learning.
are familiar with our program, which is offered through Nova
Southeastern University's Abraham S. Fischler School of Education in
Florida, know that it was designed with real-world implementation in
mind. Thus, it fit in very well with the theme of the Cambridge
conference: "Implementing Implementation Science: The Science of Making
Interventions Effective in Real-World Contexts."
Our paper was entitled: Program
Designed With Implementation in Mind: Investigating the Impact of
Graduate Studies Focused on Applications of the Emerging Science of
Learning. In our presentation, we described how the graduate degree
program for teachers translates implications from mind, brain, and
education research and theories into practical frameworks and strategies
so that teachers may better align instruction with research on how
We shared data
suggesting that graduates of the programs were applying strategies to
increase student’s metacognitive and cognitive skills and learning
achievement. At the same time, new understandings about neuroplasticity
have had a positive impact on expectations of students potential to
Our graduate program has been shown to
positively affect the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of teachers in
the classroom. Teachers who have completed their brain-based teaching
degrees credit the program with helping them to increase student
engagement and achievement. The analysis of results led us to better
understand how some essential "big ideas" can be used as a coherent
psychological foundation in teacher education.
paper focused on four such ideas: understanding that the structure and
function of the brain change in response to learning (known as
experience-dependent synaptogenesis), increasing expectations for
student learning potential grounded in brain plasticity, dynamic
conceptions of intelligence, and the advantages of explicitly teaching
metacognition and cognitive strategies.
Implementation science is a new area of scientific, academic, and
practitioner interest that focuses on exploring and explaining what
makes interventions effective in real-world contexts. The purpose of the
Cambridge conference was to give psychology and education
practitioners, academic leaders, policy-makers, and stakeholders the
opportunity to explore how to implement interventions effectively in
education, psychology, and social care contexts.
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