Brain-Based Education


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Brain-Based Education

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Brain-Based Education

  1. 1. Today's learners need to be critical and creative thinkers, and Brain-Based Learning lays the foundation for this.
  2. 2. Brain-Based Education is the purposeful engagement of strategies that apply to how our brain works in the context of education. Brain-based learning has hatched a new discipline now entitled by some as educational neuroscience, or by others as mind, brain, and education science (Sousa, 2011). Whatever we call this "not really new discipline," it is a comprehensive approach to instruction using current research from neuroscience. Brain-based education (aka educational neuroscience) emphasizes how the brain learns naturally and is based on what we currently know about the actual structure and function of the human brain at varying developmental stages.
  3. 3. Brain-Based Learning is also the application of a meaningful group of principles that represent our understanding of how our brain works in the context of education. - 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. This form of learning also encompasses such newer educational concepts like: mastery learning, experiential learning, learning styles, multiple intelligences, cooperative learning, practical simulations, experiential learning, problem-based learning, Movement education, also known as embodied learning.
  4. 4. The Brain-based Learning Theory assumes that when the brain fulfills its normal processes, learning will occur. Proper nutrition, clean air and rested bodies are all normal processes. In education, many students lack a basic need, and learning cannot occur. Brain-based learning theory is based on current research about the structure and function of the brain. Brain-based teaching is all about understanding the principles of brain research and using strategies in a purposeful way based on these principles. What we know about how the brain works has a significant impact on curriculum, instruction and assessment.
  5. 5. Brain theory in the 1970s spoke of the right and left-brain. Later, Paul MacLean developed a concept of the Triune Brain which refers to the evolution of the human brain in three parts. In this theory MacLean hypothesized that survival learning is in the lower brain, emotions were in the mid-brain, and higher order thinking took place in the upper brain. Currently, brain-based education embraces a more holistic view of the brain -- one that is more systems-based and gestalt -- the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
  6. 6. Brain-based Learning is the newest in educational theories. It encompasses past theories, such as multiple intelligences, meta-cognitive reflection and cooperative learning. The brain based learning movement is based upon advancements in technology, which have permitted researchers to analyze the brain with greater precision than in generations prior to the development of high-performance computers. In accordance with neuroscientists’ suggestions classroom practices can be modified by teachers applying new theories of teaching and learning based on recent findings in cognition.
  7. 7. Principles & Implications for Education Educators who become aware of recent research on how the brain learns will gain exciting ideas about conditions and environments that can optimize learning.
  8. 8. - The brain performs many functions simultaneously. Thoughts, emotions, imaginations operate concurrently. They interact with other brain processes such as health maintenance and the expansion of general social and cultural knowledge. *** Implications for Education; - Teachers need a frame of reference that enables them to select from the vast array of methods and approaches that are available. That is because this leads to a good teaching which should orchestrate all dimensions of parallel processing.
  9. 9. - Like the heart, liver or lungs, the brain is a complex physiological organ functioning according to physiological rules. - Learning is as natural as breathing, and it is possible to either inhabit or facilitate it. - Neuron growth, Nourishment, Happiness, Stress and Threat affects the brain. - The actual writing of the brain is affected by school and life experiences. Anything that affects our physiological functioning affects our capacity to learn. *** Implications for Education; - Brain-based teaching must fully incorporate stress management, nutrition, exercise, drug education, and other facets of health into learning process.
  10. 10. - making sense of our experiences is survival oriented and basic to the human brain. The brain automatically registers the familiar while searching for the novel stimuli. People are meaning makers. *** Implications for Education; - Brain-based education must furnish a learning environment that provides familiarity and stability. - Educators should be able to satisfy the brain's enormous curiosity and hunger for novelty, discovery and challenge.
  11. 11. - The brain is both scientist and artist, attempting to discern and understand patterns as they occur and giving expression to unique and creative patterns of its own. - Learners are patterning all the time in one way or another, searching for meaning. *** Implications for Education; - Teacher should not stop learners from patterning, but they can influence the direction. - Teacher should provide learners with problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  12. 12. Emotions & Cognition cannot be separated. - Emotions are crucial to memory because they facilitate the storage and recall of information. - What we learn is influenced and organized by emotions and mind-sets involving expectancy, personal biases and prejudices, self esteem, and the need for social interaction. *** Implications for Education; - Teachers should make sure of that the emotional climate is supportive and marked by mutual respect and acceptance. The cooperative approaches to learning support this notion. Reflection & Metacognitive approaches should be encouraged.
  13. 13. - There are differences between the left and the right hemisphere of the brain. - The value of the two-brain doctrine is that it requires educators to acknowledge the brain's separate but simultaneous tendencies for organizing information. - One is to reduce such information into parts, the other is to perceive and work with it as a whole or series of wholes. *** Implications for Education; - Good teaching builds understanding and skills over time because it recognizes that learning is cumulative and developmental. - Teachers should have to know that vocabulary and grammar are best understood and mastered when they are incorporated in genuine, whole language experience.
  14. 14. - The brain absorbs the information of which it is directly aware and to which it is paying attention. It also absorbs information and signals that lie beyond the immediate focus of attention. - Peripheral perception; the brain responds to the entire sensory context in which teaching or communication occurs. (For example; changes in body postures - Our inner states show in skin color, muscular tension and posture, rate of breathing, eye movements, and so on.) - Peripheral information can be organized to facilitate learning. *** Implications for Education; - The teacher can and should organize the materials that will be outside the focus of the learner's attention. - Teachers should engage the interests and enthusiasm of students through their own enthusiasm, coaching and modeling.
  15. 15. -We learn much more than we ever consciously understand. We remember what we experience, not just we are told. - "Having reached the brain, this information emerges in the consciousness with some delay, or it influences motives and decision" - A student can easily learn to sing on key and learn to hate singing at the same time. *** Implications for Education; - Teaching should be designed to help students benefit maximally from unconscious processing. You can use "Active processing" - Active processing allows students to review how and what they learned so that they can be responsible for their learning and the development of their own personal meaning. - Teachers should deliver his students the ways of reflection and meta-cognitive strategies.
  16. 16. 1- Remembering what we had for dinner last night doesn't require the use of memorization. - We have natural spatial memory system which doesn't need rehearsal and allows for "instant" memory of experiences. This memory registers our experiences. - The system is always engaged and is inexhaustible. It is enriched over time. The system is motivated by novelty. - In fact, this is one of the systems that derive the search for meaning. 2- The more information & skills are separated from prior knowledge and actual experience, the more we depend on rote memory and repetition. - Rote memory works for facts and skills that are dealt in isolation and which need rehearsal and memorization. These facts are organized differently in brain and need more practice. All new information must be worked on before it is stored. Note: Concentrating too heavily on storage and recall of unconnected facts is a very inefficient use of the brain. *** Implications for Education; - Educators are adept at focusing on memorization of facts. Common examples include; multiplication tables, spelling, and sets of principles in different subjects. - Teachers shouldn't overemphasize the focus on memorization because it doesn't facilitate the transfer of learning. - Also as a teacher, you shouldn't ignore the personal world of the learner in order not to inhabit the effective functioning of the brain.
  17. 17. - Our native language is learned through multiple interactive experiences involving vocabulary and grammar. It's shaped both by internal processes and by social interactions. - That is an example of how specific items are given meaning when embedded in ordinary experiences. - Spatial memory is best invoked through experiential learning. *** Implications for Education; - Teachers should use a great deal of "real life" activity including classroom demonstrations, projects, field trips, stories, metaphors, drama, and interaction of different subjects and so on. - Vocabulary can be "experienced" through skits. - Grammar can be "in process" through stories or writing. - Success depends on making use of all senses, the more senses you use, the fixed embedded skills & experiences they get.
  18. 18. - The brain learns optimally when appropriately challenged and "down-shifts" under perceived threat. The brain is most sensitive to stress. - Under perceived threat, we literally lose access to portions of our brain. It has a physiological explanation. *** Implications for Education; - Teachers and administrators should strive to create a state of relaxed alertness in students. This means that they should provide an atmosphere that is low in threat and high in challenge. - All the methodologies the teacher uses to orchestrate the learning context influence the state of relaxed alertness.
  19. 19. - Although we have the same set of systems, including our senses and basic emotions, they are integrated differently in each and every brain. - In addition, because learning changes the structure of the brain, the more we learn, the more unique we become. *** Implications for Education; - Teaching should be multifaceted in order to allow all students to express visual, tactile, emotional, or auditory preferences. - Choices should also be variable enough to attract individual interests. - Education needs to facilitate optimal brain functioning
  20. 20. Curriculum –Teachers must design learning around student interests and make learning contextual. Instruction –Educators let students learn in teams and use peripheral learning. Teachers structure learning around real problems, encouraging students to also learn in settings outside the classroom and the school building. Assessment –Since all students are learning, their assessment should allow them to understand their own learning styles and preferences. This way, students monitor and enhance their own learning process.
  21. 21. 1- Allow students to have water bottles and to take more bathroom breaks so they are encouraged to drink more water. 2- Have a snack in the mornings in your classroom, as well as one in the afternoon. 3- Schedule time to take breaks between activities. 4- Evaluate your particular group of students and design a schedule for when they are most interested and motivated to learn.
  22. 22. The brain is complex. It thrives on environments with a variety of stimuli. Presenting information in diverse ways, such as musically and with movement, enhances learning. Chunking; In the classroom, it is important to help students make connections between new information and what the students already know. When learning new information, the brain attempts to chunk information together to retain it. The brain may connect the new information to prior knowledge or chunk bits of new information together. Feelings and Learning; Emotion and cognition are strongly connected. Emotions help store and remember information. It is critical that the classroom environment is a positive place that is conducive to learning. Thinking about Thinking Learning happens both consciously and unconsciously. When a student reflects on the knowledge she has gained, she is more likely to remember what she has learned because she has unconsciously reviewed it. Real Life Connection The brain works best when it learns in real-world context. Understanding happens when facts or skills are presented using a variety of senses and integrated across the curriculum. Using demonstrations and projects aids in meaningful learning by tapping into the natural spatial memory.
  23. 23. 1. Talking! Research has taught us that learners don't learn much from sitting and listening. Sure, they need to listen a bit, but they need the opportunity to talk! The talking internalizes what they've learned. In my classroom, I'll give the children a few tidbits of information, and then they have "turn and talk" time, where they discuss what they've learned. They love this, and it works!
  24. 24. 2. Emotions rule! If you think about the strong memories you have from your past, I'll bet they are closely related to strong emotional experiences, either positive or negative: your wedding, your child being born, a death... strong emotions. This works with children, too! Hopefully, your teaching won't bring out too many negative emotions, but there are ways to get to the positive ones! Kids love games. Some children are very competitive, and thrive on that stuff! Getting up in front of their classmates brings out plenty of emotions. Of course, different kids feel different things, so just be careful about playing with the emotions of children. What works for one might traumatize another. (Yikes, don't want to go there!)
  25. 25. 3. Visuals! Vision is the strongest of the senses. Talking alone isn't enough. Make sure the children have plenty to look at in addition to what you say. Use posters, drawings, videos, pictures, and even some guided imagery with the children to help them learn. 4. Chunking! The typical attention span is the child's age plus or minus a couple of minutes. That means that many of my second graders can't attend past 5 minutes. Again, proof that typical "lecture" type teaching just doesn't work. That means they need a chunk of information, then an opportunity to process that in some way. Here's where "turn and talk" works, as well as an opportunity to write, draw, or even move.
  26. 26. 5. Movement! Combining movement with the learning almost guarantees stronger learning. Here are some ideas: Counting by tens while doing jumping jacks, touch three desks while naming the three states of matter, and Brainy Kinesthetic Vowels Sounds , from a blog post I wrote in the fall. 0/brainy-kinesthetic-vowels-sounds.html
  27. 27. 6. Shake it up! If you do exactly the same thing, exactly the same way, it becomes boring and the brain tunes out. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things about sticking with a routine, but once in a while you need to shake it up! Have a backwards day, turning the whole schedule around (within reason, of course!) Change the seating arrangement, do one part of the day completely different. We need this in our own lives, too, don't we?
  28. 28. 7. The brain needs oxygen! They say 20% of all the oxygen used in the body is used by the brain. That means we need to get the kids up out of their seats regularly and moving! I particularly enjoy the Brain Gym exercises. I recommend the book, but there are also plenty of YouTube videos on brain gym that will model the exercises for you and tell how they help learning! Of course, there's nothing better than old fashioned jumping jacks or running in place. And the kids love it! Brain Gym ; 8. Make connections! We talk about connections in books a lot, but connections are important for the brain. It can't hold random information; it needs to connect to something else that's already there. Did you ever hear a kid say, "I remember that because I know...." You can make connections through your own experience and stories. I often talk about my daughter, my cat, or some other thing they know of to make something else come true.
  29. 29. 9. Feedback is essential! Practice doesn't make anything better unless the practice is accurate. Students need to hear they are on the right track. I use a color code to let the children know if they are on track, which I described in this blog post from September. It works pretty well for motivation, as well. this blog post ; 10. Music is magical! Tell the truth, how many of you know all the words to a television commercial? People my age know all the words to the Gilligan's Island Theme Song and the Brady Bunch Theme Song. Did we work hard to learn those? Nope, never even tried! Because they were put to music, we learned them. There are many studies on music and learning. One way I use music is that I often play "happy music" first thing in the morning. That way the children enter feeling good. Now this brings us back to #2 emotions!
  30. 30. - One way to see if you really infuse the brain in learning is to see how many of these are used in a single lesson. - Discovery? - Inquiry? - Games? - Experiments? Research? - Drills? - Hands-On? - Arts integration? - Play? - Creating an object? - Using a textbook? - Technology-driven? - Discussion? Practice? - Writing? English Instructor Thanks
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