Kelly Shiohira

The Global Science of Learning Education Network (GSoLEN) is a collective of international scientists, educators, and policy-makers organizing to achieve maximum benefit from strategies grounded in the science of learning, designed to meet the needs of diverse learners and our global future. Science and research have a tremendous capacity to inform how we overcome systemic inequities and support all children to reach their full potential. The Collaborative caught up with the new director of GSoLEN, Kelly Shiohira. 

How would you describe the work of a science of learning network?

The work of a science of learning network is to create opportunities and infrastructure to facilitate the integration of the science of learning into education practice, and to facilitate the use of evidence from classrooms and students to help determine what works, for whom, and in what contexts. As technology and scientific research methods advance, we are able to gather an increasingly deep and nuanced understanding of the neurobiological and cognitive aspects of how humans actually learn, and the effects of various influences such as culture and environment on these learning processes. The science of learning is the field that summarizes what we have learned in this area, and connects this research to its practical implications for teaching and learning. 

What experience do you bring as a network lead?

My background is in educational development, and I have worked internationally for almost two decades across planning and policy, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation in an attempt to improve learning outcomes for students. I have degrees in the science of education as well as linguistics, with a focus on early literacy, the integration of technology into education, and connecting education to the world of work. I have a deep interest in innovative credentialing and different ways of looking at learning and the learning experience. What I bring to the space is a strong investment in equity, and a belief that education can be a lever for positive change for individuals and societies.

What’s next for GSoLEN?

GSoLEN is an organization with an expansive reach and lofty goals, and it will take all of us working together to achieve the type of education we envisage at scale. As we move forward, GSoLEN will forge deeper connections with other networks and individuals, and collectively we will move with the intention to influence educational technology, teacher training, curriculum development, and policy as key levers that can help change education to better fit the needs of our diverse children and our global future.