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International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing

Informed by the most up-to-date research from around the world, as well as examples of good practice, this handbook analyzes values education in the context of a range of school-based measures associated with student wellbeing. These include social, emotional, moral and spiritual growth – elements that seem to be present where intellectual advancement and academic achievement are being maximized. This text comes as ‘values education’ widens in scope from being concerned with morality, ethics, civics and citizenship to a broader definition synonymous with a holistic approach to education in general. This expanded purview is frequently described as pedagogy relating to ‘values’ and ‘wellbeing’.

This contemporary understanding of values education, or values and wellbeing pedagogy, fits well with recent neuroscience research. This has shown that notions of cognition, or intellect, are far more intertwined with social and emotional growth than earlier educational paradigms have allowed for. In other words, the best laid plans about the technical aspects of pedagogy are bound to fail unless the growth of the whole person – social, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual, is the pedagogical target. Teachers and educationalists will find that this handbook provides evidence, culled from both research and practice, of the beneficial effects of such a ‘values and wellbeing’ pedagogy.

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Cognitive Load Theory

Over the last 25 years, cognitive load theory has become one of the world’s leading theories of instructional design. It is heavily researched by many educational and psychological researchers and is familiar to most practicing instructional designers, especially designers using computer and related technologies.

The theory can be divided into two aspects that closely inter-relate and influence each other: human cognitive architecture and the instructional designs and prescriptions that flow from that architecture. The cognitive architecture is based on biological evolution. The resulting description of human cognitive architecture is novel and accordingly, the instructional designs that flow from the architecture also are novel. All instructional procedures are routinely tested using randomized, controlled experiments.

Roughly 1/3 of the book will be devoted to cognitive architecture and its evolutionary base with 2/3 devoted to the instructional implications that follow, including technology-based instruction. Researchers, teachers and instructional designers need the book because of the explosion of interest in cognitive load theory over the last few years. The theory is represented in countless journal articles but a detailed, modern overview presenting the theory and its implications in one location is not available.