Sign up for our newsletter

Share This Story

News and Opinion Feb 1, 2018

Landmark papers on the science of learning and development published in Applied Developmental Science

We are excited to share the simultaneous release of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journal, Applied Developmental Science. Co-authored by Pamela Cantor, M.D. and Lily Steyer from Turnaround for Children, along with colleagues David Osher and Juliette Berg from the American Institutes for Research, and Todd Rose from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Center for Individual Opportunity, these papers synthesize research from multiple disciplines on what is understood and what can be done to help all children develop in healthy ways, no matter their start in life, no matter the adversity they might experience as they grow up.

The first paper, Malleability, Plasticity, and Individuality: How Children Learn and Develop in Context, examines what nourishes or hinders healthy brain development. The second, Drivers of Human Development: How Relationships and Context Shape Learning and Development, focuses on how family, peer, caregiver and teacher relationships, as well as home, community and school environments impact the ways young people develop.

Combined, these papers aim to answer the following questions: What science should we pay attention to when considering how to foster healthy developmental trajectories for all children? What do we know now that could help all students learn to the fullest?

The papers grew out of the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) initiative, a collaborative effort focused on elevating and translating a diverse but increasingly convergent body of scientific literature to support the transformation of the systems that educate children from birth to adulthood. The coalition brings together six partner organizations: American Institutes for Research, The Center for Individual Opportunity, EducationCounsel, The Learning Policy Institute, The Opportunity Institute and Turnaround for Children, and aims to synthesize, integrate and translate scientific research into educational practice and policy in order to dramatically improve outcomes for students, regardless of their start in life.

Key findings and implications derived from the two papers may be found here.