Skip to content
Aurora Institute

Press Release

Nine Recommendations to Bring Education Policy into Alignment with What We Know about How Kids Learn and Develop

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2019) — We know more than ever about the science of learning and development, but education policy hasn’t kept pace with these advancements. In a new report, iNACOL (@nacol) explores the emerging research and offers a set of recommendations to align policy with how students learn best.

Aligning Education Policy with the Science of Learning and Development analyzes recent learning sciences research, and provides recommendations to address a critical need: how can education policy support and align with the science of learning and development?

“The imperative for alignment between state and federal education policy and the learning sciences is clear,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL. “Our task, therefore, is to determine not ‘if,’ but ‘where’ and ‘how’ the research demonstrates a need for the current education system to be redesigned based on what the learning sciences tell us is best for children and students.”

This report intends to bridge a knowledge gap in the field  and can be used by education leaders to create a vision and framework for how to best support student learning and development. Policy plays a structural role in setting conditions and framing the expectations for teaching and learning in each state.

Natalie Truong, iNACOL policy director and author of the report said, “Policymakers armed with research on how students learn best can help shape the conditions for scaling powerful, personalized learning environments that affirm, support, and individualize learning to meet each student’s unique needs. With enabling policy aligned to research, students can develop as learners and whole individuals to attain successful and prosperous futures.”

To get there, the report makes nine recommendations:

  1. Redefine student success for the whole child.
  2. Focus on supporting inclusive and safe learning environments.
  3. Create meaningful credentials that certify student mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for students to succeed and thrive in college, career, and civil society.
  4. Provide diverse learning opportunities through multiple pathways allowing students to customize their learning according to their unique needs and interests.
  5. Meet students where they are.
  6. Build educator capacity and professional judgment to support whole-child learning.
  7. Build balanced systems of assessments that better align with student-centered learning.
  8. Rethink accountability systems for continuous improvement.
  9. Support innovative student-centered learning environments.

Download a full copy of Aligning Education Policy with the Science of Learning and Development.

About iNACOL

The mission of iNACOL is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on Linkedin, and follow us on Twitter.


Media Inquiries

To schedule an interview with Aurora Institute staff or to request data and research, please contact Chiara Wegener.

Office: (703) 752-6216

Visit the Newsroom