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Neuroscience and Learning

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Presentation by Rosemarri Klamn, MAPC, CHRP
November 20, 2015
EDDE 803: Teaching and Learning in Distance Education
Doctorate of Education in Distance Education

Published in: Education
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Neuroscience and Learning

  1. 1. Neuroscience and Learning Presentation by Rosemarri Klamn, MAPC, CHRP November 20, 2015 EDDE 803: Teaching and Learning in Distance Education Presentation under Creative Commons Some images are fair use
  2. 2. Neuroscience and Learning Presentation Agenda:  What is neuroscience and its relationship to learning?  Educational neuroscience in context  What can neuroscience offer educators?  Resources to further study
  3. 3. What is Neuroscience and its Relationship to Learning? Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system; its structure, how it works, develops, malfunctions and how it can be changed The nervous system includes the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system; sending billions of messages back and forth to communicate The human brain’s plasticity allows it to adapt or “learn” to overcome injury Human Brain Spinal cord Peripheral nervous system receives and returns messages to the brain through the spinal cord
  4. 4. Human cortex or cerebrum Frontal lobe: reasoning, planning, problem solving, language, short-term memory, movement, emotions Temporal lobe: auditory stimuli, long-term memory, and speech Occipital lobe: visual processing , object recognition Parietal lobe: movement, motor skills, visual-spatial relationships, connecting sensory information from visual system Think, Feel Hear, speakSee Move Neuroscience and Learning
  5. 5. The connection between the brain and learning seems obvious….. Short-term (working) memory Long-term memory Declarative (explicit) memory Semantic (facts/knowledge) memory Episodic (experience, events) memory Non-Declarative (implicit) memory Procedural (learned motor skills, habits, abilities) memory Source: adapted from Vorhauser-Smith, The Neuroscience of Learning & Development “Memories are formed, stored, and recalled…. in numerous regions of the brain”
  6. 6. Neuroscience and learning  Cognitive neuroscience studies cognitive processes using methods from neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, functional neuroimaging, and computer modeling  Behavioral neuroscience studies how the nervous system affects behavior in motivation, perception, learning and memory, and attention and motor performance  Cognitive psychology studies reasoning, thinking, language use, judgment and decision-making in adults and children; including studies of attention, memory, and visual and auditory information processing  Educational neuroscience helps diagnose and treat developmental disorders that affect perception, cognition, and behavior University of California San Diego. N.d. Department of Psychology.
  7. 7. Educational neuroscience in context  There are cultural differences in how a developmental disorder like dyslexia presents itself. Language progresses from sound to pattern to meaning  A deep or opague orthography like French or English has less direct link between letters and sounds; patterns are examined early. In shallow or transparent orthography like Spanish children read faster as they can track text and make links between sound-symbol  Anatomical and physiological differences contribute to subtypes of dyslexia; early diagnosis is important to minimize clinical deficits and develop appropriate prevention and treatment Source: Galaburda, A.M. 2012. Neuroscience, Education, and Learning Disabilities.
  8. 8. Educational neuroscience: addressing “mind, brain and education”  “The emergence of educational neuroscience has been born out of the need for a new discipline that makes scientific research practically applicable in an educational context” (Fischer & Daley, 2006)  Learning in cognitive psychology and neuroscience focuses on how individual humans and other species have evolved to extract information from the natural and social worlds  Making educational practice more scientific is similar to medical practice that lacked systematic procedure prior to Louis Pasteur’s innovations Source: Fischer K.W. & Daley, S. (2006). Connecting cognitive science and neuroscience to education: Potential and pitfalls in inferring executive processes.
  9. 9. What can neuroscience offer to educators?  Many experts propose caution in promoting practical implications of neuroscience for teaching and learning, citing increased collaboration between neuroscientists and educational practitioners as necessary before the two disciplines influence educational practice  Hook and Farah (2012) suggest that neuroscience can help educators understand and gain patience with their students, especially in middle school when teachers realize they are dealing with the adolescent brain and adapting teaching techniques to work for students Hook, C.J. & Farah, M.J. Neuroscience for Educators: What are They Seeking, and What are They Finding? Neuroethics.
  10. 10. What can neuroscience offer to educators?  Hook and Farah’s work with teachers that attend “Learning and Brain” seminars suggests talking about the science and behavior with some students increases their interest, and increases their confidence.  Neuroscience offers research on educational practices that is mostly aimed at K- 12;which should lead to teacher education in this field. Some researchers have applied this to adult learning and training. Hook, C.J. & Farah, M.J. Neuroscience for Educators: What are They Seeking, and What are They Finding? Neuroethics. “When you talk to kids about neuroplasticity and the idea that their brains change…it changes the way they thing about themselves, in a very sort of fundamental profound way.” – elementary gifted resource teacher
  11. 11. What can neuroscience offer educators?  Consistent with learner-centered classrooms that shift focus from teaching to learning and finding ways to work with student differences and help them direct their own learning  Educational practitioners can benefit from understanding the brain and adapting instructional design principles to fit the needs of the student(s)  Merrill’s first principles of instruction: demonstration, application, task- centred, activation, and integration; or Laurillard’s principles of learning through acquisition, inquiry, discussion, practice and collaboration could both be adapted to most learning situations Source: Reiguleth, C.M. & Carr-Chellman, A.A. (2009). Instructional-Design Theories and Models: Building a Common Knowledge Base. Volume III. Routledge.
  12. 12. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain  Culturally responsive instruction is about being aware of bias that affects student-teacher relationships.  Common cultural tools for learning like “music, repetition, metaphor, recitation, physical manipulation of content, and ritual” use the brain’s memory systems  Neuroscience reveals connection between emotion trust and learning. Culturally responsive teachers: understand concept of communalism that is common in communities of colour; build trusting relationships with students who are marginalized. Source: Aguilar (2015) on Hammond (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain
  13. 13. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain  Educator Elena Augilar recalls her brother’s experience at school where he was bullied due to frequent epilectic seizures that made her keenly aware of students that are outcasts because of physical, social, or emotional differences  Augillar urges teachers to be aware of “The Other”, the student that does not fit or frustrates the teacher the most. Are there physiological or cultural reasons for the student’s behavior?  Augillar challenges teachers to get to know “The Other” student on a personal level and see past their disability or oppositional behavior to find ways to include them in classroom learning Source: Aguilar (2015) Meeting the Needs of All Students: A First Step
  14. 14. Resources for Further Study  Aguillar, E. (2015). Making Connections: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Edutopia.org. Feb 25, 2015.  Hammond. Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin.  Vorhauser-Smith, S. n.d. The Neuroscience of Learning & Development. Pageup People White Paper. Retrieved November 5, 2015 from: http://www.pageuppeople.com/wp- content/uploads/2012/06/Neuroscience-of-Learning-and-Development1.pdf
  15. 15. References Aguillar, E. (2015). Making Connections: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Edutopia.org. Feb 25, 2015. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/making-connections-culturally-responsive-teaching-and-brain-elena- aguilar Fischer, K.W. & Daley, S. (2006). Connecting cognitive science and neuroscience to education: Potential and pitfalls in inferring executive processes. In L. Meltzer (Ed), Understanding executive function: Implications and opportunities for the classroom (pp 55 - 72). New York: Guildford. Galaburda, A.M. (2011). Neuroscience, Education, and Learning Disabilities. Human Neuroplasticity and Education. Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Scripta Varia 117, Vatican City 2011. Retrieved on November 5, 2015 from www.pas.va/content/dam/accademia/pdf/sv117/sv117-galaburda.pdf Hammond. Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin.
  16. 16. References Hook, C.J. & Farah, M.J. 2012. Neuroscience for Educators: What are They Seeking, and What are They Finding. Neuroethics. Springer Science+Business Media. DOI 10.1007/s12152-012-9159-3 Moore, J. 2002. Some thoughts on the relation between behavior analysis and behavorial neuroscience. The Psychological Record, 2002, 52 261-279. Retrieved November 15, 2015 from: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1243&context=tpr Reigeluth, C.M. & Carr-Chellman, A.A. (2009). Instructional-Design Theories and Models: Building a Common Knowledge Base. Volume II. Routledge. P. 15-16 University of California San Diego. N.d. Department of Psychology. Retrieved November 15, 2015 from: http://www.psychology.ucsd.edu/research-areas/cognitive-behavior-neuroscience.html Vorhauser-Smith, S. n.d. The Neuroscience of Learning & Development. Pageup People White Paper. Retrieved November 5, 2015 from: http://www.pageuppeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Neuroscience-of- Learning-and-Development1.pdf

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