Learning Skills Research Foundation

Making Learning Connections

About us

"Every area of activity has a pivotal moment when a discovery or an invention can really enhance our learning and understanding. Transport was never the same after the discovery of the combustion engine or medicine after penicillin.

Understanding how the brain works and how people learn could be that moment for education; a discovery as important as that of DNA half a century before. If we build on this knowledge teaching and learning, quite simply, may never be the same again"

Baroness Morris of Yardley, former Secretary of State for Education, Chair of the Executive Group of IEE (Institute for Effective Education).

Children enjoying learning

The experience a child has through their education has a profound effect on their future. The qualifications and skills they gain will shape the rest of their lives.

Yet too many children in the UK are leaving school with poor or no qualifications. This can have far reaching and devastating effects on their adult lives.  In many cases this is because they have never been taught how to learn.

“Pisa tests: UK lags behind in global school rankings.  The UK is still lagging behind leading countries at education and has made little progress in international rankings since results three years ago”   BBC 6 Dec 2016

Russell Hobby, Leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, warned that the results showed ‘a lost decade’ in which the government had pursued an “obsession” with structural change which had “little impact on either standards or equity”.  Dec 2016

We need to bring every advance in developing learning skills to bear as fast as possible.  The focus here is changing and a new revolutionary discipline is emerging, the field of Educational Neuroscience.  Academics, psychologists and teachers have begun to collaborate and explore the connections between our brain functions and learning processes in order to discover new learning techniques that will help children reach their full potential.

Our work is in bringing together educators and those who specialise in the study of the brain, the mind and behaviour. Our interest lies in the mechanisms that underpin all learning whether ‘normal’ learning, coping with specific learning difficulties or dealing with special education needs.

Our aim is to share and act on the evidence and insights from high quality research in these multi-disciplinary fields in order to bring understanding of how we learn.
Improving education is a national priority in the UK.  Our future is being staked on cutting the deficit and growing the real economy and that demands a clever, skilled workforce.

We’ve spent vast sums of money in this country on a ‘transmit and receive’ model of education, focussing on physical buildings, new technologies and new curricula but we spent piteously little on understanding why it is some children are so much better at learning than others.

We’ve got to tackle it now or the UK is in danger of falling behind over the next decade as we face new global competition.
© Learning Skills Research Foundation 2022