Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning

MQF Level: 6

ECTS Value: 4 ECTS

Duration: 8 Sessions

Contact Hours: 20

Self Study Hours: 50

Assessment Hours: 30


Module Description

This module provides learners with the opportunity to analyse and interpret various studies relating to cognition and learning and infer changes to classroom practice to further improve learning. In this module, learners will explore various processes in the brain and apply current research to education. Topics covered will include executive functioning, attention, working memory, early and adolescent brain, retrieval and transfer of knowledge.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a) Link the role of executive functioning to attention and its effect on academic achievement;
b) Develop an understanding of the importance of sleep in learning;
c) Demonstrate an understanding of sensitive periods in brain development;
d) Devise a link between retrieval and transfer of knowledge and how this can be tackled in the classroom.


a) Broaden their understanding of visual perception and attention;
b) Expand their knowledge of different kinds of development and sensitive periods (emotional, social);
c) Identify techniques that promote transfer of learning.


a) Apply cognitive research to the classroom to support learning;
b) Evaluate how working memory, executive functioning and visual perception relate to effective learning;
c) Associate research-based evidence on how content retrieval and application of knowledge can be improved.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Research Assingment and Online Tasks/Reflections.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Beruenger, C., Miranda, A., Colomer, C., Baixauli, I. & Rosello B. (2017) Contribution of Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning, and Pragmatics to Socialization Behaviors of Children with High Functioning Autism. Springer Science.
2. Karmiloff Smith, A. (2010) Neuroimaging of the Developing Brain: Taking developing seriously. Wiley-Liss, Inc.
3. Kelly, A. E. (2011) Can Cognitive Neuroscience Ground a Science for Learning? John Wiley & Sons.
4. Kirk, H., Gray, K., Ellis, K., Taffe, J. & Cornish, K. (2017) Impact of Attention Training on Academic Achievement, Executive Functioning, and Behavior: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Washington.
5. Thomas, M. & Victoria, K. (2009) Sensitive periods in brain development – implications for education policy. European Psychiatric Review

Supplementary Reading List

1. Diamond, A. (2010) The Evidence Base for Improving School Outcomes by Addressing the Whole Child and by Addressing Skills and Attitudes, Not Just Content. Taylor & Francis.
2. Dundar, S., Ayvaz, U. (2016) From Cognitive to Educational Neuroscience. Canadian Centre of Science and Education.
3. Whitted, K. (2011) Understanding how social and emotion skills deficit contribute to school failure. Taylor & Francis.

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