K-12 Education

Learning and the Social Brain

August 6, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development


These videos explore the brain science that undergirds the concept of learning as a social endeavor. Dr. Patricia Kuhl, the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair at the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, describes how social context and connection affects learning and what that means in the classroom and beyond.

What Is the Social Brain?

In this video, Dr. Patricia Kuhl provides an overview of the social brain and the ways in which it enables learning throughout the lifespan.

Masters of Social Learning

Dr. Patricia Kuhl discusses the science behind the ways small group work and face-to-face interactions stimulate better learning.

When the Social Brain Misfires

This video explains elements of the social brain we should be wary of, such as the impact of stereotypes based on children’s identities which can affect their sense of belonging in the classroom and their ability to learn.

The Social Classroom

Building on what we know about social learning, this video illustrates what classrooms today are doing to support learning in the classroom.

These videos were produced by Edutopia as part of a series developed in collaboration with the National Commission for Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.