Science of Learning
Research on how people learn and how that learning can be enhanced and improved has recently received increasing attention from policy makers and educators. HKU scholars are drawing on a host of disciplines to consider the problem from neural, cognitive, pedagogical, technological, theoretical and policy perspectives.
The Science of Learning SRT casts a very wide net, bringing together expertise from the Faculties of Education, Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Medicine, Engineering and Dentistry to consider fundamental questions and approaches to learning.
Members of the SRT team have established strong track records investigating the neuroscience of learning, language and motor learning, literacy, technology in learning and assessment, and education policy. Moving forward, they will focus on three sub-themes to integrate their findings and develop new insights.
The first sub-theme concerns the neural, cognitive and pedagogical aspects of language learning research and educational interventions. HKU is particularly strong in language learning research – our researchers have done groundbreaking work on the neuroscience of Chinese language learning, bilingual education, Chinese language pedagogy and curriculum designs for first and second language speakers. Language learning in a multilingual context will be a focal research area in the coming years.
The second sub-theme is technology-enhanced learning and assessment, a rapidly evolving field. HKU has developed a strong reputation in technology enhanced learning and pedagogical innovation. It has also expanded research in natural language data mining and is participating in the edX massive open online course consortium with Harvard and other universities. The next stage of research will develop a more nuanced understanding of how people learn in different settings, build better tools and theories of assessment, and develop pedagogical and technological designs to enhance learning in authentic learning environments.
The third sub-theme aims to build tools and theory to connect our current state of knowledge about learning at different levels from individuals to groups, organisations, communities and social systems. It will draw on members' extensive expertise in local and international innovation programmes at school and classroom levels, and comparative studies of pedagogy and student achievement. Research outcomes will contribute to successful strategic and policy interventions for largescale learning improvements.
Learning lies at the core of all aspects of human performance. Therefore, understanding how we learn should have essential implications on human lives. Our mission is to contribute to advances in learning related policy and practise that are grounded in research that connects our understanding of learning in individuals, teams, organisations and communities.
Professor N.W.Y. Law,