Educational Neuroscience:Applying New Tools and Methods to Educational Research

Principal Investigator(s) /Chercheur principal (Chercheurs principaux):

Stephen R. Campbell, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Co-Investigator(s) /Co-chercheurs:



SSHRC Standard Research Grant (Amount: $40,000.00)


2008-2010 (Status: Ongoing)

Contact Information/Personne contact:

Tel: 778-782-3630 E-Mail: Office: Education Building 8643 SFU Burnaby


Educational neuroscience is a potentially foundational new area of evidence-based research that brings expanded conceptual and observational dimensionality to traditional forms of educational research. This initiative seeks funding to move educational research into new dimensions of embodied manifestations of cognition and affect. Specifically, this initiative aims to bring new levels of rigour to the study of mathematical cognition and the instructional design of Compute Enhanced Mathematics Learning Environments (CEMLEs). The theoretical framework is based on an embodied view of cognition, which suggests that changes in lived experience must manifest through changes in bodily state. It will be a significant advance in mathematics education research to have more evidence-based measures that better distinguish amongst learner anxiety, perception, concept formation and reasoning. Such is the task here.

Project Objectives/Objectifs du projet:

(1) To support research in its initial stages by encouraging the development of new ways of analyzing, structuring, integrating and transferring knowledge in the humanities and the social sciences. (2) To develop high-quality research that makes use of the laboratory, this enables the recording of electroencephalographic (EEG) brain waves and eye- tracking (ET) data. (3) To provide new ways of analyzing, structuring, integrating and transferring knowledge in education.(4) To complement and expand upon protocols and data obtained from research methods, in developing cognitive models of learners’ thinking. (5) To demonstrate and establish methods of cognitive neuroscience in education research.

Research Plan/Plan de recherche:

Phase 1.In the beginning, the focus will be on honing the usage, application and integration of these new methodologies. Phase 2. Will entail demonstrating the viability and reliability of this approach. Phase 3. The two main methods in this initiative are electroencephalography and eye tracking.


This research development initiative proposes a quantum leap to expand the horizons of educational research in the newly emerging area of educational neuroscience. The first practical application of using these new methods will be to study preservice teachers’ embodied and behavioural experiences in learning and doing mathematics. The research aims to inform and improve mathematics teacher education and the instructional design of CEMLEs.