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The New Science of Learning and Why Students Forget their Economics so Quickly

Donald Wargo () and Olga Vilceanu ()
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Donald Wargo: Department of Economics, Temple University
Olga Vilceanu: School of Communication, Rowan University

No 1104, DETU Working Papers from Department of Economics, Temple University

Abstract: The human brain has automatic, built-in abilities to filter and discard information so that the vast majority of the information that enters our senses is deleted. Consequently, the result is that teachers need to understand, model, and program student learning to work in harmony with these natural abilities. New discoveries in the "science of learning" that employ multi-disciplinary work in psychology, neuroscience, machine learning, and education have shown us how the human brain works. Furthermore, studies of child development, plasticity of the human brain, and computational approaches to learning have contributed to new understandings of how we learn and how long-term memory is formed. The most important of these findings are: 1. Learning is computational and probabilistic, using Bayesian Logic. 2. Learning is fundamentally social in nature. 3. Designated brain circuits link perception and action. 4. The human hippocampus and REM sleep collaborate to form and store long-term memories. In addition, we present the implications of this research for the teaching of economics and also present practical techniques that can be incorporated into classroom teaching to help students study more efficiently and improve student learning.

Keywords: Neuroeconomics; Learning; Memory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D87 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-06
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