Instruction and cognition

Jennifer G. Cromley, James P. Byrnes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


When teachers provide instruction to students, they provide opportunities for students to learn information. To be maximally effective, these opportunities should present information in ways that are compatible with the way the mind works. Using a US Department of Education Practice Guide as a structure for our review, we review 'second wave' cognitive science research on spaced learning, worked examples, coordinating visual and verbal representations, coordinating and concrete representations, quizzing, delayed Judgment of Learning, and explanatory reasoning. We also contextualize these lines of research within the contemporary K-12 classroom environment and constraints on teachers and school administrators. We close by advocating that all stakeholders in the instructional process also remember 'first wave' cognitive science findings, and also recommend more research on how specific motivational constructs could be brought to bear to encourage students to use these proven but effortful learning principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-553
Number of pages9
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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