Understanding learning: education and neuroscience

Educational neuroscience brings together insights from education, neuroscience and psychology to enhance student learning.   

Why it’s important

As we discover and understand more about how we learn, we can use this knowledge to guide teaching practices and help young people achieve more at school.

Combining expertise from education, neuroscience and psychology can: 

What we’re doing

The Education and Neuroscience Initiative

In 2014, we launched the Education and Neuroscience Initiative in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). 


We funded six projects. Their aim is to develop and evaluate the impact of educational practices informed by neuroscience. The projects all had to show potential for being effective, scalable and affordable for schools.  

These are some of the only interventions to have been systematically tested on this scale for academic impact in the classroom.

The projects are:

Scoping work

As part of the initiative, we surveyed teachers and parents to find out their views on how neuroscience affects education. Read the final report [PDF 650KB] and appendix [PDF 225KB].

The EEF has published a literature review. It examines the impact of interventions that are, or claim to be, based on neuroscience.


We ran the pre-conference at the International Mind, Brain and Education Conference in Toronto on 15 September 2016. Catch up with highlights on our online networking site, connecting educators, psychologists and neuroscientists.

See the findings from our interactive online event, held in 2015, which allowed teachers to ask researchers questions about the brain and learning.   

More information

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact Lia Commissar

More about our work in science education

Science education is one of our priority areas. Find out more about what we're doing to inspire teachers and students.

Education resources

We produce and fund a wide range of educational resources for teachers