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ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

2016 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

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Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom

Wendy L. Ostroff

Reviews  |  About the Author  |  Comments

About This Book

Human beings are born to learn. During the last few decades, developmental science has exploded with discoveries of how, specifically, learning happens. This provides us with an unprecedented window into children’s minds: how and when they begin to think, perceive, understand, and apply knowledge.

Wendy Ostroff builds on this research and shows you how to harness the power of the brain, the most powerful learning machine in the universe. She highlights the processes that inspire or propel learning—play, confidence, self-regulation, movement, mnemonic strategies, metacognition, articulation, and collaboration—and distills the research into a synthesis of the most important, takeaway ideas that teachers will need as they design their curriculum and pedagogy. Each chapter has suggested activities for exactly how teachers can put theory into practice in the classroom. 

When you understand how your students learn, you will know how to teach them in a ways that harness the brain’s natural learning systems.

See the book's table of contents and read excerpts.

Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom

Book Details

Table of Contents

Study Guide

Related Resources

Product No: 


August 2012

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Reviews and Testimonials

"Wendy Ostroff has written a must-read book for students in teacher training programs, new teachers, and classroom veterans. Drawing on scientific studies of children’s development, Ostroff provides how-to guidelines for helping children learn, and most important, she provides specific classroom strategies teachers can easily incorporate into their daily lesson plans. This is a book teachers will treasure!"

—Martha Ann Bell, Professor of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Va.

"Understanding How Young Children Learn showcases Dr. Wendy Ostroff’s rare talent: the ability to comprehend and synthesize important empirical studies in developmental science and offer up accurate accountings and useful applications to those in the world most likely to make a difference in children’s lives, teachers and parents....The range of research covered by Dr. Ostroff is vast, but it is distilled into a highly manageable, easily digestible resource--a splendid accomplishment from a thoughtful scholar."

—Robin Panneton, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology,
Director of the Infant Perception Laboratory, and Director if the Office of Degree Management,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

"This book is exactly what I’ve been looking for, providing a good balance between scientific research and classroom practice. As an elementary principal, I’m looking forward to using the many nuggets this book offers with my teachers, and what can we, the practitioners, be doing differently in the classroom to ensure learning!"

—Pamela Jasso, Principal
San Carlos School District, Calif.

"Ostroff's approach effectively manages to synthesize great corpora of research and theory to provide real-world, tangible ways of enhancing children's learning and intellectual development. Understanding How Young Children Learn will undoubtedly become base reading for educators seeking to delve deeper into understanding cognitive development."

—Jamie Cooper, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs and
Adjunct Faculty Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

"Examples are at the heart of Ostroff’s conversational and well-documented text about learning as it develops from birth. Sidebar summaries, transparent experiential accounts, and related recommended activities promote healthy cognitive development for children, and if I may add, the child in every learner regardless of age."

—Patricia M. Kean, Educational Therapist and Associate Professor at the Curry College
Program for the Advancement of Learning, Milton, Mass.

About the Author

Wendy L. Ostroff, AuthorWENDY L. OSTROFF's expertise in cognitive psychology, child development, and metacognition stems from her research experience as a scientist in the Infant Perception Laboratory at Virginia Tech; as a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; and as a Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford University. 

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Other Books by Keyword

brain and learning

Other Resources by Keyword

brain-based education | learning | cognitive processes | knowledge retention | early childhood education


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