Nine Ways to Align Education Policy with the Learning Sciences

We know more than ever about the science of learning and development, but education policy hasn’t kept pace with these advancements. In a new report, iNACOL (Renamed the Aurora Institute) explores the emerging research and offers a set of recommendations to align policy with how students learn best. 

Aligning Education Policy with the Science of Learning and Development analyzes recent learning sciences research and provides recommendations to address a critical need: how can education policy support and align with the science of learning and development?

This report intends to bridge a knowledge gap in the field  and can be used by education leaders to create a vision and framework for how to best support student learning and development. Policy plays a structural role in setting conditions and framing the expectations for teaching and learning in each state.

The report makes nine recommendations:

  1. Redefine student success for the whole child.
  2. Focus on supporting inclusive and safe learning environments.
  3. Create meaningful credentials that certify student mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for students to succeed and thrive in college, career, and civil society.
  4. Provide diverse learning opportunities through multiple pathways allowing students to customize their learning according to their unique needs and interests.
  5. Meet students where they are.
  6. Build educator capacity and professional judgment to support whole-child learning.
  7. Build balanced systems of assessments that better align with student-centered learning.
  8. Rethink accountability systems for continuous improvement.
  9. Support innovative student-centered learning environments.

Findings from the learning sciences illuminate the areas where our current education system is misaligned with how children learn and grow.

For the full report, see: