Since the early 1990s, there has been a concentration of effort aimed at maximizing student achievement in school education and rectifying the debilitating effects of failure. In 1994, a Carnegie Corporation Taskforce on Student Achievement drew on new research in a variety of fields, including the emerging 'new neurosciences', to refute the narrow assumptions and fmdings of conventional educational research and to assert that effective learning requires a response that is as much about affect and social dynamics as about cognition. In so doing, it challenged the erstwhile dominant thinking about thinking and its ramifications for teaching, re-defining learning to incorporate into the notion of 'intellectual depth' matters of communicative competence, empathic character and self-reflection as being at least as significant to learning as the indisputably important technical skills of recall, description, analysis and synthesis. The chapter will explore the research findings of the new neurosciences and the implications of their new thinking about thinking for effective teaching. It will draw especially on a range of research insights into effective teaching based on application of these findings, including drawing on data from a number of research projects from the Australian Government's Quality Outcomes and Values Education Programs.
Psychology of Thinking: Psychology of Emotions, Motivations and Actions p. 139-154