Researchers from across the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro to share data in order to foster new educational practices and policies based on evidence

How can science improve education? Varied answers to this question will be offered at the International Symposium on Science for Education, and satellite event of IBRO Congress, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro at July 5th and 6th. In the event, researchers from different scientific areas will gather to present research data that can have an application on education and learning.

The meeting is organized by the Brazilian Network of Science for Education (Rede Cpe) with the support of the Ayrton Senna Institute (IAS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program of the symposium contains lectures and presentations related to learning and science. There will be discussions on subjects like the development of the child brain, the impact of the social environment on cognition, neuroplasticity, memory mechanisms, the effects of music and art on learning and the role of the new technologies in schools.

One of the highpoints will be the lecture of Patricia Kuhl (Washington University, USA), internationally known for her work about how babies learn languages. Another important presentation will be the one of the Brazilian neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte) who will talk about the relationship between biological factors and learning in low income settings. Also of interest will be the lecture of biologist Daphne Bavelier (Rochester University, USA) who will present her data on action videogames as a learning tool.

According to organizer of the event, the Rede CpE Coordinator Roberto Lent (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) the main goal of the symposium is to establish a dialogue between researchers, teachers and policy makers. “Although there are researches about learning being conducted across different disciplines, there is a disarticulation between what is produced in the universities and the educational policies that are out there”, points out Lent. “Our intention with this meeting is to overcome this by bringing together these actors from both poles to discuss scientific evidence about educational matters.”

Lent believes the symposium is also important to the local scenario in Brazil and that it has the potential to improve the way schools operate in the country. “The developed countries are much more advanced with the applications of science on education than we are”, he claims. “For us, it is not enough to solve the basic gaps in the educational system, like teachers’ salaries and better equipped schools. We have to invest in science to foster educational practices; otherwise we will never be competitive.”

About The Author

Sofia Moutinho

Science journalist based in Rio de Janeiro and especialized in covering science, health, technology and environment. Most of my work has been published in the Brazilian science magazine “Ciência Hoje”. At the Rede CpE I am responsible for the relation with the public and the press and also for the website content.

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