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Program Details

Grant Program: Cognition and Student Learning
Contact: Dr. Lara Faust
(202) 245-6532

PDF File FY 2024 84.305A (PDF: 846 KB)
MS Word FY 2024 84.305A (DOC: 346 KB) CLOSED

The Cognition and Student Learning (CASL) topic supports research that capitalizes on our understanding of how the mind works to inform and improve education practice in reading, writing, mathematics, and science, and study skills. The long-term outcome of this research includes an array of tools and strategies (e.g., instructional approaches, curricula, assessments) based on principles of learning and information processing gained from cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience and documented to be efficacious for improving learning in education settings.


CASL began as a topic area in fiscal year (FY) 2002 and was one of the first programs competed through the National Center for Education Researchís (NCERís) grants competitions. CASL was developed to support innovative research at the intersection of cognitive science and education practice.

CASL researchers have explored, developed, and tested for efficacy a number of new approaches to teaching and learning, some of which are easy and inexpensive to implement, and others that transform how we think of learning in the classroom.

Why is CASL Unique?

Through CASL, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides a mechanism for cognitive scientists to bring what they have learned from the laboratory to authentic education settings, such as classrooms. IES encourages applicants to this program to actively engage with students and practitioners when formulating their research plans to facilitate the identification of research questions that are meaningful and practical in authentic education settings.

The research coming out of this program has proven time and again the value of bridging these fields both to further inform our understanding of how the mind works as well as to improve education practice.