Understanding learning: education and neuroscience

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

Why it’s important

We can use knowledge about how people learn to develop and test evidence-informed teaching practices that help young people achieve more at school. 

Combining expertise from education, neuroscience and psychology can also help to dispel neuromyths – common misconceptions about how we learn and how the brain functions.

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). 

The initiative aims to:

Through the initiative we’ve funded projects in the following areas:

Building the evidence for educational interventions

These projects are some of the only educational interventions informed by neuroscience to have been systematically tested at scale for academic impact in the classroom.

They all had to demonstrate potential to be effective, scalable and affordable for schools. 

Supporting teachers with the science of learning

These projects connect teachers with research on the science of learning in a variety of ways. 


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's literature review examines the impact of interventions that are, or claim to be, based on neuroscience.


In June 2018 we hosted the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction’s (EARLI) biennial Neuroscience and Education conference. The conference brought together researchers from education, neuroscience and psychology to hear about the latest developments in the field. Catch up with the talks.

In 2016 we ran the pre-conference at the International Mind, Brain and Education Conference in Toronto. Read more about what we learnt.

More information

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact Lia Commissar

More from the team

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

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