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What am I Reading
January 2021
77 Science of Learning Studies Every Teacher Should Know
Busch, B., & Watson, E. (2019). The science-of-learning: 77 studies that every teacher needs to know. Routledge.

This text provides a very short summary of the main ideas from 77 studies that resulted in a positive finding toward learning. As the introduction states:

Supporting teachers in the quest to help students learn as effectively and efficiently as possible, the science of learning translates 77 of the most important and influential studies on the topic of learning into accessible and easily digestible overviews.

The overview for each study is two pages in length and consists of four sections: The Study, The Main Findings, Related Research, and Classroom Implications. The Study section provides a one or two paragraph description of the question or problem being addressed and the essential methods of the research. The Main Findings section includes one or two sentence explanations of each of the study’s main findings (typically three to five main findings). The Related Research section is typically two to three paragraphs relating one or two other research studies that are pertinent to the findings of the study at hand. Finally, the Classroom Implications section is comprised of two paragraphs discussing how the findings of the study might be applied to the classroom.

Overall Thoughts
The way the text is written, each of the research studies is easy to read. The descriptions of the studies and the findings are clearly articulated and get to the point quickly. The related research provides nice links and a bit of depth to the discussion, although the classroom implications are fairly shallow.

One concern with this type of discussion of a research study is the lack of context. There is addressing of how related research expand, challenge, or apply the study’s finding. What one gains in brevity, one loses in depth of understanding, which leads to the question: Would a novice or naïve reader be able to fully understand the principles discussed? How would actual K-12 or higher education teachers apply the findings?
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Contact Information

Peter Doolittle
Blacksburg, VA 24060
pdoo@vt.edu