Connecting forward: Applying concepts beyond the classroom


Tina Grotzer, Principal Research Scientist in Education

Student Group



Harvard Graduate School of Education


Applying Cognitive Science to Teaching and Learning

Group Size

35 students

  • Model real-world examples of what was covered in class for students. For example, you could open class by presenting a newspaper article that connects to the day’s learning.
  • Prompt students by suggesting particular places or areas where they can be on the lookout for real-life examples.
  • Kamarainen et al. demonstrate that teaching science in a way that is meaningful and relevant to students is linked to learning gains and affective gains for students (2013). 
  • Application of scientific knowledge in real-word contexts and engagement of students’ own perspectives can promote transfer beyond the classroom (Dede, 2009).
  1. Vancouver University’s Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning provides a list of ten teaching practices that can build metacognition in students.