Educational neuroscience: Implications for the esl college classroom

2,136 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,136
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
45
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Educational neuroscience: Implications for the esl college classroom

  1. 1. educational neuroscience: implications for the ESL college classroom prepared by Leila Palis, English Faculty, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, AZ supported by a grant from the Maricopa Community Colleges, 2013
  2. 2. defining educational neuroscience • the intersection between psychology, pedagogy, and neuroscience educational neuroscience psychology the study of the human mind and its functions pedagogy the method and practice of teaching neuroscience the study of the structure, function, and development of the brain
  3. 3. some definitions • neurons: specialized cells in the brain that carry information • dendrites: part of the neuron that transports electrical signals to the cell body • axons: part of the neuron that transports electrical signals away from the cell body • synapse: the connection between brain cells • neurotransmitters: chemical signals used by the neurons for communication image: Commissariat, T. (2011). Physicists in tune with neurons. Retrieved from http://www.physicsworld.com.
  4. 4. history of educational neuroscience • researchers unable to study the living human brain until development of CAT scan and MRI (1970s) • researchers unable to study brain function until the development of PET scan (1970s) and fMRI (1990s) • 1990’s termed “decade of the brain;” major federal funding went toward neuroscience research • educators began to look at the findings and see how they applied to teaching Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  5. 5. what the research tells us • movement improves memory and learning • brain more active when students are moving around* • movement results in more blood to the brain* • movement allows for greater access to long-term memory (more connections to prior learning)** • exercise correlated with rises in brain mass and production of cells; improvement in cognitive processing and regulation of mood* *Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. ** Scholey, A., Moss, M., Neave, N., & Wesnes, K. (1999). Cognitive performance, hyperoxia, and heart rate following oxygen administration in healthy young adults. Physiology & Behavior, 67(5), 783-789 Image: http://www.markmincolla.com/site/neuroplasticity-notes/.
  6. 6. what the research tells us • emotions have a major impact on learning • educators need to understand the role of emotions, especially stress, on students’ ability to concentrate* • students must also feel physically safe and emotionally confident* • parts of brain responsible for emotional control and rational thought not fully developed until 21-22 years** *Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. ** Giedd, J.N. (1999). Brain development during childhood and adolescence: A longitudinal MRI study. Natural Neuroscience, 2(10), 861-863.
  7. 7. what the research tells us • learning environment is important • emotional learning environment • openness of communication, expectation level, recognition, and appreciation of effort affect the social environment* • when students are engaged with the material on an emotional level, more creative thinking occurs** • stress and pleasure influence how the brain filters sensory input • stress sends sensory input to the lower reactive brain so it is not available for higher cognitive processing in the thinking brain • sensory input that is novel or linked to pleasure most easily gets through to the thinking brain*** • physical learning environment • students must also feel physically safe and emotionally confident* • novelty in the learning environment influences brain’s visual attention mechanism**** • natural, full-spectrum lighting increases performance** *Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. **Hardiman, M.M. (2010). The creative-artistic brain. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (227-248). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. ***Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45-65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  8. 8. what the research tells us • the brain can grow new neurons (neurogenesis) • brain can grow new neurons in the hippocampus, which is the area responsible for encoding long-term memories* • regrowth is called neurogenesis and is correlated with memory, learning, and mood** • neurogenesis can be improved with balanced nutrition, exercise, and low stress levels*** *Kempermann, G., & Gage, F. H. New nerve cells for the adult brain. Scientific American Special Edition, 12(1), 38-44. **Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. ***Kempermann, G., Wiskott, L., & Gage, F.H. (2004). Functional significance of adult neurogenesis. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 14(2), 196-191. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2004.03.001.
  9. 9. what the research tells us • the brain can rewire itself (neuroplasticity) • happens more quickly than originally thought • programs have been developed to rewire the cerebral networks of struggling readers to be more like those of strong readers • neuroplasticity continues throughout one's lifetime Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain , & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Image: http://tedwordsblog.com/2013/06/26/mindfulness-momentum-7-reasons-to-start-or-boost-your-practice-now/neuroplasticity/.
  10. 10. what the research tells us • dopamine levels influence learning • dopamine helps to transport information between neurons • dopamine can be triggered by different teaching strategies • students engaged in learning that correlates with higher levels of dopamine release will be more focused and motivated and have increased memory • more dopamine released when a student’s response is correct than when it is incorrect • increased dopamine results in higher intrinsic motivation • immediate corrective feedback after an incorrect response is also important • lowered dopamine from an incorrect response alters the brain’s memory circuitry to avoid making the same mistake and experiencing a drop in dopamine (dopamine disappointment response) Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45-65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  11. 11. what the research tells us • short-term memory is not that temporary • two parts of short-term memory: • immediate memory (incoming information is first processed for only a few seconds) • working memory (information is consciously processed here for a longer period of time) • information can be stored in working memory for up to several weeks • sense and meaning are the most important criteria used by the brain to choose what gets encoded to long-term memory Sousa, D.A. (2010). How science met pedagogy. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (9-26). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  12. 12. what the research tells us • music influences language learning • processing of music and language occurs in same region of the brain • parallels between musical and syntactical processing • songs introduce rhythm and intonation and their affects on pronunciation in a contextual way • songs introduce reductions, imperatives, and questions in a contextual way • certain music aids in memory and recall • motivation to understand popular music is high • certain music can create a calm and relaxed environment Lems, K. (2001).Using music in the adult ESL classroom. ERIC Digest.org, ED45964 .
  13. 13. what the research tells us • language and the brain • language is lateralized to the left hemisphere for most people* • speech and language are the most lateralized human brain functions* • lateralization is an ongoing process until at least 20 years old* • working memory (information is consciously processed here for a longer period of time) • right brain vital to having a flexible and fully functioning language system* • understanding inferences and humor • complex syntax • taking over when left hemisphere is taxed • language network interacts with other parts of the brain, depending on the language activity* • speech and language are part of the cognitive process, not separate from it* • adolescence is when more sophisticated language develops* • second language acquisition relies on different cognitive processes in childhood than in later life* • instead of critical periods with language acquisition, there are sensitive periods** *Williams,D. (2010). The speaking brain. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (85-109). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. **Anderson, M., & Della Sala, S. (2012). Neuroscience in education: An (opinionated) introduction. In M. Anderson & S. Della Sala (Eds.), Neuroscience and education: The good , the bad, and the ugly (3-12). Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press .
  14. 14. Implications for the ESL college classroom build novelty into learning reduce fear of mistakes create a dopamine- releasing environment choose the best textbooks use music how to create a learning environment with the brain in mind
  15. 15. Implications for the ESL college classroom build novelty into learning some suggestions… • modulate voice when delivering information* • use variations in font size in printed material* • vary seating arrangements periodically* • give clues about the day’s lesson and have students guess what it might be about* *Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45-65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  16. 16. Implications for the ESL college classroom build novelty into learning some suggestions… • begin each class session with a quotation presented by a student • put a timeline on the board and let students attach objects to it to demonstrate different verb tenses • use images and video clips in a meaningful way (introduce a new verb tense with a video clip or image depicting an action that represents the tense)
  17. 17. Implications for the ESL college classroom reduce fear of mistakes some suggestions… • use low-risk activities to practice language concepts • BINGO, word puzzles, role-playing • draw students’ names from a bag for participation; let students know they always have the opportunity to “pass,” and their name will be put back into the bag • allow students to use their own method of note- taking* • some students feel more comfortable writing outlines or drawing images than participating in standard note-taking *Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45-65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  18. 18. Implications for the ESL college classroom reduce fear of mistakes some suggestions… • have students teach a concept to the class • this works well as a group activity and is especially effective for reviewing material from previous class levels • allow students to use clickers to answer questions anonymously
  19. 19. Implications for the ESL college classroom create a dopamine- releasing environment some suggestions… • smile* • create activities that encourage students to move around the classroom* • use speed-dating as a model for conversation activities • have students move to a new partner every 5 minutes • use humor* • laughter increases dopamine • humorous YouTube videos can be used to illustrate concepts • students can create cartoons to illustrate a written dialogue that another student has written • create chances for incremental assessment* • respond to students’ writing and speaking as it occurs even if it is in an informal way *Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45- 65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  20. 20. Implications for the ESL college classroom create a dopamine- releasing environment some suggestions… • give students options on assignments* • let students decide on dialogue topics • give students topic choices for written assignments • allow students to collaborate* • let students work together on particularly difficult concepts • find opportunities for students to help each other understand unclear concepts • give students opportunities to draw on pleasant memories for personal examples • connecting material to important memories increases motivation and helps students to encode information into long-term memory *Willis, Judy. (2010). The current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning. In D.A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, brain, & education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom (45-65). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  21. 21. Implications for the ESL college classroom choose the best textbook some suggestions… • meaningful explanations of material must be given* • explanations should focus on importance of a concept or skill to language learning and to understanding English • material and examples in the book must be connected to real-world situations* • relationships between material in chapters must be clear (the brain is a pattern seeker)** • each chapter should remind students of what has been covered in previous chapters, not just at the beginning of the chapter but throughout *Devlin K. (2010). The mathematical brain. In David A. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, Brain, & Education (163-178). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. **Schoenfeld, A. H. (1988). When good teaching leads to bad results: The disasters of "well-taught" mathematics courses.Educational Psychologist, 23 (2), 145-166.
  22. 22. Implications for the ESL college classroom choose the best textbook some suggestions… • textbook should allow for as much active learning as possible*** •exercises should be easily adaptable to individual or group work •companion CDs should offer visual and audio reinforcements to the textbook •opportunities for students to utilize divergent thinking should be included •opportunities for discussion should be included ***NCTM. (2011). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Retrieved from http://www.usi.edu/science/math/sallyk/standards/document/chapter2/index.htm.
  23. 23. Implications for the ESL college classroom use music some suggestions… • cut song lyrics into strips and have students put them in order after listening to the song* • have students listen to a song and then summarize the meaning in writing or orally* • use songs to discuss culture* • have students present their favorite songs and discuss their meanings • use relaxing music to begin and end class* • when choosing music, consider the following: • songs lyrics should be clear* • vocabulary should be appropriate for level being taught* • pre-screen musical content* *Lems, K. (2001).Using music in the adult ESL classroom. ERIC Digest.org, ED45964.

×