Science of Learning Research Centre


Impactful research for the benefit of students and their teachers

Findings from the SLRC’s state-of-the-art experimental classrooms at the universities of Melbourne and Queensland have guided how teachers focus student attention for optimal learning. World-Class Research Facilities

Measured and validated strategies for the optimal timing and type of feedback to students to have the best impact on learning. SLRC research has been incorporated into a teacher feedback matrix tool. Giving students feedback – getting the balance right

Examined how students’ confusion can be harnessed for better problem-solving in digital learning. A significant breakthrough has been the ability to detect confusion in digital learning tasks – making it possible to identify and address confusion in a digital environment. Confusion is not such a bad thing: researchers


Demonstrated the effectiveness and benefits of group cooperative learning for science-based inquiry and identified strategies for teachers to implement this approach in STEM classrooms. Cooperative Learning

Numeracy intervention program in association with South Australian Department of Education & Child Development already showing improved NAPLAN results. Raising the performance bar in South Australia

Researchers from UQ worked with SLRC partner Questacon on a large-scale public science project, which involved the development of an interactive multitasking exhibit. Understanding the impact of technology multitasking on the developing brain.

A study commenced in 2016 examined teacher stress and emotion regulation using functional MRI (fMRI), behavioural and survey measures, and then evaluated the benefits of two interventions to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. The aim is to produce an evidence base for intervention rather than rely on self-reporting methods. Understanding stress and boosting wellbeing in our teachers.

SLRC-developed interventions have been shown to reduce mathematics anxiety in primary teachers, enabling them to improve their maths confidence and reduce negative flow-on impacts to their students. An SLRC pilot intervention program is now being run with trainee teachers. Maths anxiety


Closing the gap between and Indigenous and non-Indigenous education

The SLRC is directly advising Indigenous communities to achieve educational outcomes in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, partnering with the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Arnhem Land Communities and the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation.

SLRC research has demonstrated science-driven adult-to-child prompt and feedback strategies have a positive impact on language and attention skills development amongst Indigenous children in an early childhood education setting.

Researchers are working to validate the accuracy and reliability of tools that measure the effectiveness of learning improvement interventions when these tools are used in remote communities.

The Centre is now collaborating with Indigenous-owned employment and training company enVizion Group and technology company Euclideon to design interactive digital technologies to improve educational engagement for Indigenous youth in remote Queensland.


SLRC work delivering practical influence

The SLRC has developed research-informed resources for teachers, students and parents. These include the PEN – Psychology, Education and Neuroscience – Principles series of fact sheets, podcasts and videos explaining, in a clear and simple way, the science of various classroom practices.

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A successful teacher-in-residence program has been run in partnership with the Queensland and Victorian education departments.

SLRC has delivered research-informed professional development training programs to more than 1200 teachers across Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Seminars and training courses are being run throughout 2017. Collaborate with us

Science of Learning principles have been incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education courses at The University of Melbourne and The University of Queensland.

A MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on deep learning has been announced, to take science of learning to a broad international audience. Please visit the website for more information and enroll here.

SLRC has collaborated with Nature Publishing to establish the Nature Partner Journalan international open-access journal which is the world’s first to integrate neuroscience, psychology and education findings for this rapidly emerging academic field.

Launched an online community forum npj Science of Learning Community, providing lay-language summaries of the latest science for a broad audience from parents to educators and policy makers.

Australia, through the SLRC, hosted the major international science of learning conference in September 2017 with funding support from the US National Science Foundation and from UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education.

SLRC is increasing its international influence, as demonstrated by the award of an IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning Fellowship to SLRC Chief Investigator Profeibro-logossor Ross Cunnington. During this time, Ross worked in Switzerland to translate neuroscience research for policymakers and governments. Australian researcher to join landmark world learning initiative

SLRC researchers have produced 219 research publications, far exceeding targets set by the Australian Research Council. The SLRC has also exceeded ARC targets for research training (student numbers).