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News and Opinion Jun 22, 2021

New Book on The Science of Learning and Development

Today, Routledge, a division of Taylor and Francis, published The Science of Learning and Development: Enhancing the Lives of All Young People. Edited by Turnaround for Children’s Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Pamela Cantor, M.D., and David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow at AIR, and featuring contributions from a diverse range of scholars, the book documents what science we should be paying attention to—across all disciplines and practices—that contributes to a young person’s healthy development, learning and thriving. It provides the scientific underpinning for the Essential Guiding Principles for Equitable Whole-Child Design and, in turn, Turnaround’s Whole-Child Design Blueprint and Toolbox.

The book has its origins in the work of the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance—Cantor and Osher are two of the alliance’s governing partners—whose members sought to answer the question: “Exactly what science should we pay attention to in order to design an equitable education system to develop the whole child, and what are the implications for practice?” The resulting synthesis, which was published in the journal of Applied Development Science, forms the core of this new publication.

The Science of Learning and Development unpacks major transformations in the study of learning and human development and provides evidence for how science can inform innovation in the design of systems, settings, policies, practice, and research to enhance the life path, opportunity and prosperity of every child.

The ideas presented provide researchers and educators with a rationale for focusing on the specific pathways and developmental patterns that may lead a specific child, with a specific family, school, and community, to prosper in school and in life.

The book brings together scholars and practitioners from the biological/medical sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, educational science, and fields of law and social and educational policy:

  • Brigid Barron
  • Juliette Berg
  • Marc H. Bornstein
  • Edmond P. Bowers
  • Channa Cook-Harvey
  • James P. Comer
  • Linda Darling-Hammond
  • Camille A. Farrington
  • Lisa Flook
  • John Geldhof
  • Zaretta Hammond
  • Carol D. Lee
  • Richard M. Lerner
  • John R. Nesselroade
  • James W. Pellegrino
  • Todd Rose
  • James Shelton
  • Jack P. Shonkoff
  • Lily Steyer
  • Na’ilah Suad Nasir
  • Melina R. Uncapher

Expanding and updating key published articles and expert commentary to reflect the current moment, the book explores a profound evolution in thinking that integrates findings from psychology with biology through sociology, education, law, and history with an emphasis on institutionalized inequities and disparate outcomes and how to address them. It points toward possible solutions through an understanding of the dynamic relations between a child and the contexts within which they live, offering all researchers of human development and education a new way to understand and promote healthy development and learning.

Purchase The Science of Learning and Development in paperback, hardcover, or eBook editions and request it through your local library. Until September 30, save 20% by using code SMA05.

Read more about how the ideas codified in The Science of Learning and Development play out through an integrated, dynamic relationship in the growth of a child in another recent book from Dr. Cantor and colleagues, Whole-Child Development, Learning, and Thriving: A Dynamic Systems Approach.