Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons

Integrating Cognitive Theory and Classroom Practice

Edited by Kate McGilly

A Bradford Book





A timely complement to John Bruer's Schools for Thought, Classroom Lessons documents eight projects that apply cognitive research to improve classroom practice. The chapter authors are all principal investigators in an influential research initiative on cognitive science and education. Classroom Lessons describes their collaborations with classroom teachers aimed at improving teaching and learning for students in grades K-12. The eight projects cover writing, mathematics, history, social science, and physics. Together they illustrate that principles emerging from cognitive science form the basis of a science of instruction that can be applied across the curriculum.

The book is divided into three sections: applications of cognitive research to teaching specific content areas; applications for learning across the curriculum; and applications that challenge traditional concepts of classroom-based learning environments.

Chapters consider explicit models of knowledge with corresponding instruction designed to enable learners to build on that knowledge, acquisition of specified knowledge, and what knowledge is useful in contemporary curricula.

ContributorsKate McGilly. Sharon A. Griffin, Robbie Case, and Robert S. Siegler. Earl Hunt and Jim Minstrell. Kathryn T. Spoehr. Howard Gardner, Mara Krechevsky, Robert J. Sternberg, and Lynn Okagaki. Irene W. Gaskins. The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. Marlene Scardamalia, Carl Bereiter, and Mary Lamon. Ann L. Brown and Joseph C. Campione. John T. Bruer.

A Bradford Book


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262133005 333 pp. | 5.9 in x 8.8 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262631686 333 pp. | 5.9 in x 8.8 in


Kate McGilly


  • To better understand the authors' messages and to prepare our students for the challenges ahead, we at the local level must assume responsibility for learning how to use these 'classroom lessons' in our own schools.

    Brian Bottge

    Educational Leadership


  • The unique value of Classroom Lessons is that it provides, for the first time, examples of how a 'cognitive engineering' might emerge from cognitive science, reporting on hard tests in applied settings. And what a set of people: they are some of the best scientists in the business; and in several cases they have teamed up with master practitioners.

    David Klahr

    Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Classroom Lessons represents, in my view, perhaps the most significant development of the late eighties and early nineties in education. That is, it is a state-of-the-art look at the intersection of education and cognitive science. It is the first book I know of that focuses on the methodological and practical difficulties involved in designing experiments that attempt not only make a measureable difference in ongoing education practice, but to produce excellent scientific results.

    Andrea A. diSessa

    School of Education, University of California, Berkeley