The depth of research presented here seems to slay some sacred cowsDespite being academic in principle, How Learning Happens is easy to digest. Kirschner and Hendrick don’t simply reproduce the texts verbatim. Instead, the book is written with the classroom practitioner in mind, using each paper’s abstract and key elements, linking them to wider connected research (there are copious references) and then developing the findings into concrete methods of application. Importantly, the authors take lengths to explain caveats when putting theory into practice. For example, in the discussion of Dweck’s paper on motivation and personality, the authors set out a theory of why attempts to replicate her interventions may not have generated similarly effective results to the original research. It is through this methodology that Kirschner and Hendrick demonstrate that, while we may know the best examples of evidence-based practice, when it comes to application of that practice, there is more than a “one and done” approach needed. Throughout the book, and whatever their stance on the research discussed or ideologies criticised, Kirschner and Hendrick write with a warmth that doesn’t detract from the academic rigour applied in their thinking. That said, the authors are not afraid to cut down persistent examples of received wisdom and popular ideologies (the assumed benefit of using ICT, discovery learning, etc) through their “Cautionary Tales” and “10 Deadly Sins of Education”. Kirschner himself is referenced in some sections, which sceptics may claim is self-serving and driving a particular ideology. However – and this is important – said sceptics should not ignore the scope of the chosen papers, the referencing, and the reasoning behind their choice. Champions of those practices grouped under the “10 Deadly Sins” banner may point to the numbers of subscribers to their philosophies to advocate for persisting in their beliefs, but the depth of academic theory and research presented here seems to slay their sacred cows. My key takeaway from this book is how important a teacher is. According to Kirschner and Hendrick, they are the lynchpin of learning – responsible for the right environment and incentives to learn as well as clarity of communication and rigorous activity design. How Learning Happens is ambitious in reach, determined in argument and thorough in reasoning. The authors have produced a text that will aid teachers to appreciate and correctly use the science necessary to improve their practice. Schools looking to implement professional development on teaching and learning on an evidence-based footing would do well to use it as the foundation of any programme.