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Book Review: Grasp: The science transforming how we learn


Thomas R. Ryan

Doctoral student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, US
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American preservice teachers are routinely introduced to educational philosophies positing that all students can learn (Edmonds, 1981) and that a culturally responsive approach considering students’ knowledge and experiences is tantamount (Gay, 2018). The atmosphere in many American public schools, however, reflects far less cultural responsiveness and faith in students’ abilities than one would anticipate (Bonner et al., 2018). In these schools, teaching to the test is a practical necessity (Volante, 2004), students are sorted into tracks based on perceived potential (Meyer, 1977), and curriculum design is restricted by state and local standards (Spillane, 2004). Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn (2020) by Sanjay Sarma with Luke Yoquinto offers teachers, school administrators, and educational policy-makers a historical analysis of how this situation came to exist and a review of the latest research on cognitive science relevant to education. The book also presents a refreshing proposal to alter the status quo. Sarma, who leads MIT’s Open Learning program, is well experienced with novel approaches to curriculum design and implementing radical ideas to reach diverse student bodies. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the science of learning or a modern approach to educational policy.
How to Cite: Ryan, T. R. (2021). Book Review: Grasp: The science transforming how we learn. Journal of Technology Education, 32(2), 56–59. DOI:
Published on 24 May 2021.


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