Communicating research to support the evolution of teaching

Further reading

Evolution of the Learning Brain
Published: 2018

Author: Paul Howard-Jones

How does learning transform us biologically?

What learning processes do we share with bacteria, jellyfish and monkeys?

Is technology impacting on our evolution and what might the future hold for the learning brain?

These are just some of the questions Paul Howard-Jones explores on a fascinating journey through 3.5 billion years of brain evolution, and discovers what it all means for how we learn today.

Along the way, we discover

How the E. coli in our stomachs learn to find food

Why a little nap can help bees find their way home

The many ways that action, emotion and social interaction have shaped our ability to learn

The central role of learning in our rise to top predator

An accessible writing style and numerous illustrations make Evolution of the Learning Brain an enthralling combination of biology, neuroscience and educational insight. Howard-Jones provides a fresh perspective on the nature of human learning that is exhaustively researched, exploring the implications of our most distant past for twenty-first-century education.

"In Evolution of the Learning Brain, Howard-Jones provides an accessible introduction to the evolution of the nervous system and brain – hoping, perhaps, to provide readers with a more accurate model of how the brain learns. Channelling the spirit of David Attenborough, he leads us through an evolutionary history of life on Earth, dropping into the timeline at various points to talk about what is happening to the brain and nervous system."― Nick Rose, TES

About the Author
Paul Howard-Jones is Professor of Neuroscience and Education at the School of Education, University of Bristol. He is a cognitive neuroscientist, educational expert and broadcaster.

Inventing Ourselves
Published: 2018

Author: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Why does an easy child become a challenging teenager?
Why do teenagers struggle to get up in the morning?
Why do they often take excessive risks?

'Finally, a book about the adolescent brain written by someone who actually does the science! Highly readable, ground-breaking' Professor Laurence Steinberg

"This is a fascinating book, which captures the complexity of adolescence but at the same time provides a clear, accessible account of our current understanding of the ‘teenage brain’. The underlying argument that adolescence is a period of development that should be celebrated is well made and challenges us all to rethink the way in which we relate to the adolescents with whom we come into contact at work, home or elsewhere. Given the complex changes that are going on in the ‘teenage brain’ it is no wonder we see such a variety of behaviours. As the author reminds us, the vast majority of adolescents do not go to extremes but become adults who support their families and, in their own way, contribute to society.
In this book Sarah-Jayne Blakemore has, without doubt, made neuroscience of the ‘teenage brain’ accessible to a wide audience. More importantly, through her personalisation of the material, she has presented it in a way that is engaging and relevant. There is much still to learn about how the brain works but for now this book is not only an excellent introduction for someone new to this field but it also challenges us all to think again about the importance of the ‘teenage years’ and how we might work with (rather than against) the adolescents with whom we come into contact every day. " (Professor Derek Bell, Director of Learnus)

Educational Neuroscience

Published: 2013

Edited by Denis Mareschal,
Brian Butterworth and Andy Tolmie

Educational Neuroscience presents a key reference source for students, educators, policy makers and educational and developmental psychologists interested in bridging the gap between the biological basis of learning and the delivery of education in the classroom.  An overview of the latest finding in developmental cognitive neurosciences and their possible applications to education is provided, with individual chapters written collaboratively by educationalists, psychologists and neuroscientists to ensure maximum clarity and relevance to a broad range of readers.

Introducing Neuroeducational Research

Published: 2009

Author: Paul Howard-Jones

Amongst educators, scientists and policy-makers there is a growing belief that the field of education can benefit from an understanding of the brain. However, attempts to bring neuroscience and education together have often been hampered by crucial differences in concepts, language and philosophy. In this book, Paul Howard-Jones explores these differences, drawing on the voices of educators and scientists to argue for a new field of enquiry: neuroeducational research.

The Learning Brain

lessons for education
Published 2005

Authors: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Uta Frith

In this groundbreaking book, two leading authorities in the field review what we really know about how and when the brain learns, and consider the implications of this knowledge for educational policy and practice.

The Making of human concepts

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
published 2010

Edited by Denis Mareschal, Paul Quinn, and Stephen E.G. Lea

A highly original new book that tackles one of the most mysterious and puzzling qualities of human nature - our ability to conceptualize, presenting views from a range of authorities in the area

Considers the evolutionary origins of conceptual thinking, how and when it might develop in childhood, and whether animals have some kind of ability to conceptualise

Brings together a range of views from some of the most respected authorities in cognitive science, neuroscience, developmental psychology, animal cognition

Presents multi-disciplinary perspectives, enabling the reader to see the commonalities and differences that existing in the study of concepts across different disciplines.


A Very Short Introduction

Published 2009

Author: Uta Frith

Everyone has heard of autism, but the disorder itself is little understood. It has captured the public imagination through films and novels portraying individuals with baffling combinations of disability and extraordinary talent, and yet the reality is more often that it places a heavy burden on sufferers and their families.

This Very Short Introduction offers a clear statement on what is currently known about autism and Asperger syndrome. Explaining the vast array of different conditions that hide behind these two labels, and looking at symptoms from the full spectrum of autistic disorders, it explores the possible causes for the apparent rise in autism and also evaluates the links with neuroscience, psychology, brain development, genetics, and environmental causes including MMR and Thimerosal. This short, authoritative, and accessible book also explores the psychology behind social impairment and savantism, and throughout, sheds light on what it is like to live inside the mind of the sufferer.

The Rythms of Life


Authors Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman

Why can’t teenagers get out of bed in the morning? How do bees tell the time? Why do some plants open and close their flowers at the same time each day? Why do so many people suffer the misery of jet lag? In this fascinating book, Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman explain the significance of the biological clock, showing how it has played an essential role in evolution and why it continues to play a vitally important role in all living organisms.

Making up the Mind

How the Brain Creates Our Mental World

Published 2007

Author: Chris Frith

Written by one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Making Up the Mind is the first accessible account of experimental studies showing how the brain creates our mental world. Uses evidence from brain imaging, psychological experiments and studies of patients to explore the relationship between the mind and the brain Demonstrates that our knowledge of both the mental and physical comes to us through models created by our brain shows how the brain makes communication of ideas from one mind to another possible

The Brain at school

Published: 2009

Author:  John Geake

Within education there is a growing interest in neuroscience research and what it can teach us. This book focuses on what neuroscience means for education professionals - in key areas such as learning, memory, intelligence and motivation - and addresses questions such as:

How does the brain enable us to learn?
Why do some children have learning difficulties, such as ADHD or dyslexia?
How can actual scientific research be applied to pedagogy and curriculum design?

Thinking Fast and Slow

Published: 2011

Author:  Daniel Kahneman

The phenomenal New York Times Bestseller by Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow offers a whole new look at the way our minds work, and how we make decisions.

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.

The Dyscalculia Solution

Published: 2014

Authors: Jane Emerson and Patricia Babtie

This new book by authors Jane Emerson and Patricia Babtie follows on from their award winning book, the Dyscalculia Assessment. Once careful assessment has identified the particular numeracy difficulties your pupils may have, the Dyscalculia Solution provides a practical teaching guide for addressing and solving those difficulties.

The Dyscalculia Solution includes step-by-step instructions on how to teach pupils to use whole numbers by talking and reasoning about them, and communicating their thinking in a verbal, diagrammatic and written form. The book includes scripts to emphasise the importance of using the correct language to develop numerical thinking, as well as teaching objectives, activities and games which are important for fostering a positive attitude to numeracy. Each new concept builds on previous understanding so that new facts are derived by reasoning from known facts.

The Dyscalculia Solution is ideal for use with primary school children, but can easily be adapted for older students, and is invaluable for SENCOs, TAs, educational psychologists and mainstream teachers, keen to support students with numeracy difficulties in their class.