This project aimed to enable pre-service teacher students to become active and peripheral participants in a community of practice in neuroscience research in education. It also aimed to increase critical and active engagement with the threshold concept of ‘understanding’ as a cognitive process.

  • Course: EDUC2716 Learning, Mind and Education, 2nd year educational psychology course
  • School/Faculty: School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Delivery: weekly, two-hour face-to-face lecture and one-hour tutorial
  • Active learning approach: experiential learning, situated learning, peripheral participation in a community of practice, Wikis
  • Assessment tasks: weekly online learning logbooks, microteaching in groups, reflections of group work

Key issues and anticipated outcomes

This project aimed to address the following issues:

  • Students often have issues with key threshold concepts like ‘understanding ’and ‘learning’ within an educational context, as opposed to everyday use.
  • Further, ‘neuromyths’ about how the brain works, for example, need debunking, allowing for deeper insights into learning stemming from neuroscience.
  • Pre-service teacher students need to see themselves as peripheral participants in a community of practice of neuroscience research in education.
  • Such a community of practice is hosted at UQ, through the Science of Learning Research Centre (SLRC) at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). The SLRC focusses on neuroscience research in education, an area relevant for pre-service teachers.

Project innovation team

  • Dr Simone Smala – Course Coordinator & Project Innovation Lead
  • Heather Millhouse – Project Collaborator & Researcher