Brain-Based Learning

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  • Eric Jensen , Renate Caine and Geoffrey Caine are all predominate BBL reaseachers who feel that the brain learns information in a specific way. By harnessing the way the brain learns, they feel educators have a better way of assuring students learn and retain information. When students learn new information they are able to store the information, retrieve it and apply it when necessary. To fully understand BBL, we must first understand how the brain learns.
  • BBLreacheres believes that the brain has a specific way of learning new information(storing, retrieving and applying). They also feel that certain things occur in the brain when learning is happening. When these occur, then learning occurs.
  • Play take a stand:Emotions do not affect student learning – disagreeNo – good learning engages student emotions. Research supports engaging appropriate emotions to engage learning, such as pleasure, challenge, exciment and slight risk. These emotion release the right about of chemicals in the brain to enhance learning. However, if emotions are too strong then they can hinder learning. If a student feel threatened (fear of embarassment, bullying, failure) then learning will be hindered. The high level chemicals released from these threats, will impact the brains ability to create connections.Movement is an important aspect of learning – agreeModerate exercise enhances processing and increasing brain cells. Therefore an important aspect BBL is to incorporated movement and exercise into the schools and classrooms activities. The 2 activities we did during today’s presentation are 2 of many ways you as a teacher can incorporate movement into your classroom. Also, if you are on working on a block schedule, you can take 3 minutes of the period and make the kids the stretch and walk around the class room. Movement is an importnant component of BBL
  • Emotions do not affect student learning – disagreeNo – good learning engages student emotions. Research supports engaging appropriate emotions to engage learning, such as pleasure, challenge, exciment and slight risk. These emotion release the right about of chemicals in the brain to enhance learning. However, if emotions are too strong then they can hinder learning. If a student feel threatened (fear of embarassment, bullying, failure) then learning will be hindered. The high level chemicals released from these threats, will impact the brains ability to create connections.Movement is an important aspect of learning – agreeModerate exercise enhances processing and increasing brain cells. Therefore an important aspect BBL is to incorporated movement and exercise into the schools and classrooms activities. The 2 activities we did during today’s presentation are 2 of many ways you as a teacher can incorporate movement into your classroom. Also, if you are on working on a block schedule, you can take 3 minutes of the period and make the kids the stretch and walk around the class room. Movement is an importnant component of BBLStudents should spend no more that 20% of their time learning in social settings – agreeHuman beings by nature are social creatures. Research has shown that participating in social situations can actually change the human brain. Data from multiple sources (social and behavioral studies using both physical data and functional neuroimaging) indicate that the development and influence of the social cognitive brain is not limited to just one area. The areas of the brain active in processing social events (the visual system, frontal lobes, sensory cortex, and emotional pathways) often process cognitive events as well (Frith & Frith, 1999). Their “double duty” nature helps explain why social events so strongly influence cognitive events.Group work is, therefore, an important aspect of the learning process. However, it must be used in moderation. Studies show that too much group work is not good. Students need to participate in group work, but only about 5%- 20% of the time.The brain is a flexible muscle and is capable of learning in any environment. DisagreeEnvironments do matter and can greatly affect the cognative process. For students and teachers to be successful, the physical environment must be ideal for learning. Things like seating, lighting, décor, temperature, class size, acoustics and so on do matter.Rewards do not motivate the brain – AgreeStudies show that using rewards for motivation can actually hinder the cognative process. Rather than using rewards, teachers should activate a students intrinsic motivation for learning. HAH!! Easier said than done.Ways to increase intrinsic motivation are: allow for choice (in both little and big things), provide a clear goal, be enthusitic, provide feedback and make content relevant to student lives.
  • BBl has proven to be effective with ELL and students with special needsIn the article “The Global Aspects of Brain Based Learning”, Connell discuss the positive impact the BBL has had on EEL learners and students with special needs. She also discusses BBL is effective strategy for teaching and reaching the diverse students in todays classrooms.BBL has proven to be more effective then traditional teaching modelsIn the article, “The effects of BBL on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles, Duman conducted thorough research proving that students who received education through BBL learned more than those who received education through traditional methods.BBL is nothing new:BBL advocates active learning, hands on learning, & deliberate practice…these are practices that have been widely accepted and used for years in the education system…making them brain based is nothing new.Many finding are false or misleading…In her article, “Brain-based Pedagogy in Today’s Diverse Classrooms: A Perfect Fit – But Be Careful!”, McCall discusses that many of the finding of BBL research are false and misleading. One such finding, that of a critical period of brain development during the early years. It was thought that by stimulating young children, those under the age of 2, with specific types of video’s, computer programs, music, and special classes can stimulate the brain and learning. This proved to be untrue. Such in the case of the Baby Einstien video’s that were recalled due to false advertising.Teachers only have “bits and pieces” of informationLack of thorough knowledge leads teachers to misapplication and developmentally inappropriate classroom practices. Before implementing BBL practices teachers need to be fully educated on BBL and brain physiology.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    1. 1. Teaching with the brain in mind
    2. 2.  The definition of Brain Based Learning(BBL) How the Brain Learns The Rules of Learning Important Aspects of BBL What Some Experts Say
    3. 3. Brain based learning is: …simply the engagement of strategies based on body/mind/brain research (Jenson, n.d.)
    4. 4.  Engagement Repetition Input Quantity Coherence Timing Error Correction(Jensen 2005)
    5. 5.  Emotions Movement SocialInteraction Learning Environment Motivation(Jenson, 2005)
    6. 6. Stand if you agree Sit if you disagree1. Emotions do not affect student learning.2. Movement is an important aspect of learning.3. Students should spend most of their time learning in a social setting.4. The brain is flexible and can learn anywhere.5. Intrinsic motivation is key to learning.
    7. 7.  Pros  BBL has proven to be effective with ELL and students with special needs. (Connell 2009)  BBL has proven to more effective then traditional teaching models (Dunman 2010) Cons  BBL is nothing new. (Eggen & Kauckak 2013)  Many finding are false and misleading. (McCall 2012)  Teachers only have “bits and pieces” of information. (Sparks 2012)
    8. 8.  The definition of Brain Based Learning(BBL) How the Brain Learns The Rules of Learning Important Aspects of BBL What Some Experts Say
    9. 9. Connell, J.D. (2009). The Global Aspect of Brain Based Learning. educationalHORIZONS, Fall 2009, 88(1), 28 – 39.Dunman, B. (2010). The Effects of Brain Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles. Education Sciences: Theory and Practice, 10 (4), 2077-2103.Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA: Associations for Supervision & Curriculum Development.Jenson, E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.jensenlearning.com/what-is-brain-based-research.phpMcCall, L.A. (2012). Brain-Based Pedagogy in Today’s Diverse Classrooms: A Perfect Fit – But Be Carful! Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Spring 2012, 78(3), 42-47.Sparks, S.D. (2012). Teachers Need a Lesson in Neuroscience, Experts Say. Education Week, 31(33), 16-17.

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