Learning Minds

We bring together leading experts to co-create evidence-based ideas and solutions for learning and child development.

Brain development and cognition are guided and organized by cultural, social, emotional, and biological factors that contribute to individual variability in learning abilities and outcomes. These factors influence how much and how well children learn and are able to transfer their learning to new situations. We want to understand and embrace this variability in learning.

The concepts of individualized and personalized learning and adaptive teaching have a long tradition in educational sciences and pedagogical psychology. Despite this long tradition, there is very little empirical evidence on how individualized learning and adaptive teaching can be implemented in schools, and under what conditions they are effective. Many educational settings fail to take into account individual differences and to foster children’s learning potential. This raises a key question: How is it possible to organize learning for large numbers of students while also responding to their diverse individual needs?

We want to gain a better understanding of how heterogeneity and individual differences affect learning and we want to explore how these findings can be applied in practice, including by making smart use of educational technologies that offer new perspectives for both implementation and empirical investigation.

Our approach 

The Learning Minds portfolio combines rigorous research, social innovation, and entrepreneurship on a global scale to strengthen the global research and evidence base and shape the future of learning and development.

We draw on our years of experience in convening and supporting the most brilliant minds to create new partnerships, streams of collaborations, and cross-sectoral groups that drive new ideas and solutions around human learning – all while nurturing an international network of leading experts in child development and learning.

The Learning Minds portfolio bases its work on rigorous and state of the art evidence and creates global and local coalitions around the most important issues of child development and learning. This is achieved through the following programs: the Jacobs Foundation Conference, the Klaus J. Jacobs Awards, the Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship and our communities.

A woman sits on a white desk above a floor painted with brightly coloured geometric shapes

Strategy 2030