BSA: Futures of Ageing, 19th July, 2010



Val Bissland
Centre for Lifelong Learning
Strathclyde University
v.bissland@str...
Ways of learning in later life:
Older adults’ voices.
How older adults’ preferred learning and
communication styles fit wi...
Understanding the Brain: the birth of a
learning science. OECD 2007
Executive Summary

‘Far from the focus on the brain re...
Cognitive reserve and the neurobiology
of cognitive ageing. Whalley et al.,
Ageing Research Reviews 3, 2004.


‘Recent stu...
The Mature Mind by Gene Cohen
Director of the Centre for Ageing, Health and
Humanities, George Washington University

• Th...
The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching
teaching by exploring the biology of
learning. James Zull


 “Learning is physica...
The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching
teaching by exploring the biology of
learning. James Zull




The Experiential Le...
Older Adults’ Voices:
Learning metaphor –
‘A healthy way to learn’


 - Exploring meaning through dialogue (socially
   co...
Ways of learning in later life:
Older adults’ voices.
How older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles fit
wi...
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Older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles and how these fit with recent neuroscience insights into adult learning - a presentation by Valerie Bissland

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A presentation by Valerie Bissland at the BSA Futures of Ageing Conference held on 19 July 2010 at The British Library Conference Centre, London, UK

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Older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles and how these fit with recent neuroscience insights into adult learning - a presentation by Valerie Bissland

  1. 1. BSA: Futures of Ageing, 19th July, 2010 Val Bissland Centre for Lifelong Learning Strathclyde University v.bissland@strath.ac.uk
  2. 2. Ways of learning in later life: Older adults’ voices. How older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles fit with recent insights from neuroscience about adult learning. Neuroscience and adult learning Adaptive potential of the human brain Interplay between the emotional and cognitive Emotional and Cognitive ‘fitness’ offers protection against ageing effects
  3. 3. Understanding the Brain: the birth of a learning science. OECD 2007 Executive Summary ‘Far from the focus on the brain reinforcing an exclusively cognitive, performance-driven bias, it suggests the need for holistic approaches. These recognise the close interdependence of physical and intellectual wellbeing, and the close interplay of the emotional and cognitive, the analytical and the creative arts’ (p.18). ‘Movitation is more important than youth for successful learning’ (p. 23).
  4. 4. Cognitive reserve and the neurobiology of cognitive ageing. Whalley et al., Ageing Research Reviews 3, 2004. ‘Recent studies have not supported traditional teaching that brain ageing involves widespread and severe loss of neurons and their synapses. Contemporary studies have shown that there is a restricted loss of neurons in relatively few cortical areas..’ (p. 371)
  5. 5. The Mature Mind by Gene Cohen Director of the Centre for Ageing, Health and Humanities, George Washington University • The brain is constantly resculpting itself • New brain cells form throughout life • The brain’s emotional circuitry becomes more balanced with age • The brain’s two hemispheres are used more equally by older adults
  6. 6. The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching teaching by exploring the biology of learning. James Zull “Learning is physical. Learning means the modification, growth, and pruning of our neurons, and the reshaping of our neural networks. Through experience we are cultivating our own brain. Jim Zull, Professor of Biology and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Education, Cape Western University.
  7. 7. The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching teaching by exploring the biology of learning. James Zull The Experiential Learning Cycle – activating many areas of the cortex
  8. 8. Older Adults’ Voices: Learning metaphor – ‘A healthy way to learn’ - Exploring meaning through dialogue (socially constructed and negotiated) - Learning through shared social experience - Stimulating sensory experiences - Peer teaching (a joint endeavour) - Collaborative learning (cf. ‘chalk and talk’) - Collaborative teaching (teacher as learner) - Learning on the Internet
  9. 9. Ways of learning in later life: Older adults’ voices. How older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles fit with recent insights from neuroscience about adult learning. Dialogue Emotional engagement Bring learning to life Construct own understanding ‘Blended’ learning Learning through teaching v.bissland@strath.ac.uk

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