Thursday, April 16, 2015
Hawkeye Lunch and Learn event set for April 28 in Des Moines
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By: Office of Strategic Communication  |  2015.04.16  |  08:56 am
Bob McMurray, associate professor of psychology, linguistics, and communication sciences and disorders at the University of Iowa, will present "From the pristine lab to the noisy classroom, and back again: How the cognitive science of learning can impact teaching, and how the classroom can impact cognitive science" at the next Hawkeye Lunch and Learn event in Des Moines. The free event will be held at noon Tuesday, April 28, in the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, 1200 Grand Ave, Des Moines.
Education is an important topic in the public discourse right now and with good reason: for many children, our education system is not working. Recent estimates suggest that as many as 60 percent of middle school students nationwide are not meeting expectations for basic skills such as reading. Much of the public discourse has centered on teaching: what should we be teaching, and how should teachers be managed and evaluated.
Similarly, education research tends to focus on what is most important to teach and how best to teach it. But there’s a critical voice missing from this important debate: how do students learn? 
Remarkably, this key component of the system is often missing from the discourse, the policy, and the research. For the last century, the cognitive sciences—psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and computer science—have given us tremendous insights into how people learn—insights that have great potential for shaping education. But these insights are often difficult to translate from the well-controlled lab and simple stimuli we use, to educationally relevant content in a real-world setting. 
In this talk, McMurray will describe recent forays made into these important issues. By partnering with a private sector education technology company, McMurray and others have been able to start to translate principles from the cognitive sciences to early reading. This offers a fundamentally different view of what reading is and how children learn to do it from what is traditionally considered. At the same time, the challenges of working with more complex material in the real world have started to make researchers think differently about the basic science of learning.
The Hawkeye Lunch and Learn series offers monthly events in Des Moines and Iowa City designed to connect Iowa communities, university faculty, and government and industry leaders. The Provost’s Office of Outreach and Engagement sponsors the series.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact the Office of the Provost in advance at 319-335-3565.

Contacts: Erika Christiansen, Provost's Office of Outreach & Engagement, 319-335-0219