The cognitive and social processes involved in learning fundamentals of biology may be very different to those required for discussion of philosophy in an online learning environment. Learning through positive interdependence has been extended to collaborative and social learning online. The effects of such online computer-supported collaboration are much harder to measure than for group work in a classroom. Active and constructive learning involves students carrying out an activity that can support learning — such as commenting, critiquing, constructing — while thinking about the purpose and aim of the activity. The success of active, constructive and collaborative learning raises a question as to how young children learn. The neuroscience of human memory may provide a basis for new pedagogies of accelerated and optimized learning. Innovating pedagogy may focus less on the individual elements of instruction and more on how to merge the new pedagogies into an effective process of lifelong learning.