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Content Section

How children learn (Educational Practices 7)

The psychological principles described in this booklet summarize some of the important results of recent research on learning that is relevant for education. They attempt to integrate research coming from diverse areas of psychology, including educational, developmental, cognitive, social and clinical psychology. This research has offered us new insights into the learning process and the development of knowledge in many subject-matter areas. As a result, curricula and instruction are changing in schools today. They are attempting to become more student-centred than teacher-centred, to connect the school to real-life situations, and to focus on understanding and thinking rather than on memorization, drill and practice.

Although each principle is explained on its own, all twelve principles are best understood as an organized whole with one supporting the others. As a whole, these principles are meant to provide a comprehensive framework for the design of curricula and of instruction. Indeed, they are found behind a number of innovative programmes in schools across the world today.