• Annette Laguerre

Understanding How Young Children Learn.

Scientists have learned a great deal in recent years about how children learn.

In 2012, Professor Wendy Ostroff wrote this bellwether book about the impact scientific learning has had on how we teach at Parallel Hope and other progressive schools in America.

Here's what Amazon editors say about this book:

"The field of developmental science is exploding with findings--some surprising, some counterintuitive, and all of great potential value to educators. In writing this book, prominent cognitive psychology and child development expert Wendy L. Ostroff set out to distill the mountain of information in front of her to a handbook of learning. Understanding How Young Children Learn delivers. It succinctly presents research in a way that is memorable and makes immediate sense to readers. It also lays out specific lesson plans for implementing cutting-edge scientific findings into the classroom.

"Human beings are born to learn. During the last few decades, developmental science has exploded with discoveries of how, specifically, learning happens. This provides us with an unprecedented window into children's minds: how and when they begin to think, perceive, understand, and apply knowledge.

"Wendy Ostroff builds on this research and shows you how to harness the power of the brain, the most powerful learning machine in the universe. She highlights the processes that inspire or propel learning--play, confidence, self-regulation, movement, mnemonic strategies, metacognition, articulation, and collaboration--and distills the research into a synthesis of the most important takeaway ideas that teachers will need as they design their curriculum and pedagogy. Each chapter has suggested activities for exactly how teachers can put theory into practice in the classroom.

"When you understand how your students learn, you will know how to teach them in ways that harness the brain's natural learning systems."

Dr. Wendy L. Ostroff is Associate Professor in the Program for the Advancement of Learning at Curry College. Annette Laguerre is Principal of the Parallel Hope Alternative School in Silver Spring, MD, Learn more at

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