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Brain Compatible
curriculum
By Ashenafi Wolde
Outline
2
 Introduction
 What is Brain Compatible Curriculum?
 Anatomy of the brain
 How learning happens in the brain?
 Brain-Compatible Learning Principles and
Their Implications for Education
Introduction
3
 Curriculum is about providing a set of opportunities
for learning. However, the meaning of learning is
changing. Thus, our concept of learning will affect
the opportunities we provide for the students.
 Findings from brain researches have influenced the
concept of learning.
 So, our knowledge about the brain could have an
impact on our knowledge about the curriculum.
 John Bruer (1997) states our emerging
understanding of the brain may eventually be able to
contribute to education, to links brain structures with
cognitive functions and with instructional goals and
outcomes.
What is Brain Compatible
Curriculum?
4
 According to (Jensen,2000), Brain Based Learning is
defined as Learning in accordance with the way the
brain is naturally designed to learn.
 Brain-compatible curriculum is a curriculum that is
based on the latest scientific research about how the
brain learns, including such factors as cognitive
development—how students learn differently as they
age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and
cognitively.
Anatomy of the brain
5
 An average adult human brain is a 1.36kg organ
governs intelligence, creativity, emotions, memory
and controls body movement, and function of
other body organs.
 It composed of cerebrum 85% , cerebellum 11%
and brain stem 4%. It receives information from
our 5 senses. It can assimilate, store, and retrieve
information.
 Cerebrum composed of right
and left hemispheres.
 In general, 92% people typically
favor the use of left side of their
brain.
How Learning happens in the brain?
6
 More than 100 billion neurons that a normal
newborn baby has.
 Learning occurs when two neuron communicate with
each other. Neuroscientists emphasize that learning
occurs when a neuron sends a message to another
(Hannaford, 1995, Jensen, 2000, Sprenger, 1999;
2002, Sousa, 2000).
 Neurons are information messengers. They use
electrical impulses and chemical signals to transmit
information between different areas of the brain, and
between the brain and the rest of the nervous
system.
Brain-Compatible Learning Principles and Their
Implications for Education
7
 Renate & Geoffrey (1991, 1994) stated the core
principles of brain-compatible learning and
connections between teaching and the human
brain.
 Educators have to take this knowledge in to
account and attempted to apply it to education,
terming it brain-compatible learning.
 Brain-compatible learning is not a program to be
installed within education. It is a set of principles
that may guide our educational decisions.
8
9
1. All learning is Physiological
 Learning engages the entire physiology.
 We are “holistic” learners-the body and mind
interact. Current brain research has revealed that
the body and mind are a partnership.
 Adequate sleep, good nutrition, and regular
exercise are critical components of thinking
(Sylwester, 2003). They first promote
neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Second, they
keep cortisol and dopamine (stress and
happiness hormones, respectively) at appropriate
levels.
Implication in education and curriculum: Use
different senses and body
10
2. The brain/Mind is social
 There is set of brain regions that are dedicated to
social cognition. Social cognition in human brain
allows to make inferences about what is going on
inside other people—their intentions, feelings, and
thoughts.
Implication in education and curriculum
 All students have the capacity to comprehend more
effectively when their needs for social interactions and
relationship are engaged and honored. So that there
is a need to stimulate social interactions in the
curriculum
3. Emotions are critical for learning
Connection between Learning and Emotion
 Emotion is the gatekeeper to learning and
performance
 Students’ emotional states influence their learning.
11
4.Search for meaning is innate
Learning is Meaning-driven
 Meaning is more important to the brain than
information.
 Humans are naturally programmed to search for
meaning. It resists meaningless patterns.
School’s Curriculum: allow students to have a sense of
identity and explore who they are
5. Search for meaning occurs through
patterns
 Patterning or chunking information assists the brain to
mentally ‘place’ or sort new information in a way that
has meaning. This allows for greater internalization
and recall of this information can be maximized
(Wagmeister & Shifrin, 2000).
 School’s Curriculum: helping students attach sense
and meaning to new information, resulting in more
efficient storage in long-term memory.
12
6. Learning is developmental
 When planning, designing, and implementing educational program,
curriculum designers and educators must consider the
characteristics of learners with respect to their developmental stage
in life.
 Piaget's four stages
Stage Age Goal of
learning
Implication in
education and
curriculum
Sensory motor Birth to 18–24
months old
Object
permanence
Preoperational 2 to 7 years old Symbolic
thought
Teach by songs,
dialogue, play,
story,
Concrete
operational
7 to 11 years old Operational
thought
Learn basic skills
of reading, writing,
calculating
Formal
operational
Adolescence to
adulthood
Abstract
concepts
Communicating,
logical, abstract
thinking
13
7. Each brain is unique and uniquely
organized.
 Each human being has unique DNA. ... Since each
brain is unique and develops in its own way,
students will learn and develop at their own pace.
 All kids are gifted!
 According to Howard Gardner’s theory, Multiple
Intelligences Theory has significant implications for
educational performance.
 The types of intelligences are: Verbal/Linguistic
Intelligence, Mathematical/Logical Intelligence,
Musical Intelligence, Spatial/Visual Intelligence ,
Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal
Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Naturalist
Intelligence
School curriculum: should acknowledge the gifted
14
8. A brain is a parallel processor
 The brain can perform several activities at once.
It processes information coming through smelling,
tasting, hearing and seeing at once.
 Renate & Geoffrey (1991, 1994) claim that
thoughts, emotions, imaginations, predispositions
operates simultaneously.
 The brain has the capacity to function on many
levels and in many ways simultaneously.
Implication in education: many different styles of
learning can be employed in the complex nature
of brain of the learner’s.
15
9. The brain functions as a whole , not in parts
 The brain always working as a whole,
simultaneously processing information in both the
left and right hemisphere.
School curriculum: needs to engage both
hemispheres of the brain
16
10. Learning involves both focused attention
and peripheral perception
 The brain learns from its environment. Everything
that goes into the brain (both important and
unimportant) is processed.
Implication in education: Educators should pay
attention what they do and say in the classroom.
There should be clear and conscious
communication.
11. Learning always involves both conscious
and unconscious
 Learning may not happen in the class, may
happen hours, weeks, months later. When
learning takes place, it becomes both a conscious
and unconscious process.
Implication in education : giving sufficient time to
reflect on and process experiences
17
12. Learning is enhanced by challenges and
inhibited by threat
 The brain learn optimally when appropriately
challenged.
 Stress/threats impacts learning negatively. During
anxiety the chemical called cortisol alerts the
body that stress is present. The brain shuts down
higher-level processing (Sousa, 2003).
In School’s Curriculum:
Moderate stress can be
introduced in many ways

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Brain compatible curriculum

  • 2. Outline 2  Introduction  What is Brain Compatible Curriculum?  Anatomy of the brain  How learning happens in the brain?  Brain-Compatible Learning Principles and Their Implications for Education
  • 3. Introduction 3  Curriculum is about providing a set of opportunities for learning. However, the meaning of learning is changing. Thus, our concept of learning will affect the opportunities we provide for the students.  Findings from brain researches have influenced the concept of learning.  So, our knowledge about the brain could have an impact on our knowledge about the curriculum.  John Bruer (1997) states our emerging understanding of the brain may eventually be able to contribute to education, to links brain structures with cognitive functions and with instructional goals and outcomes.
  • 4. What is Brain Compatible Curriculum? 4  According to (Jensen,2000), Brain Based Learning is defined as Learning in accordance with the way the brain is naturally designed to learn.  Brain-compatible curriculum is a curriculum that is based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
  • 5. Anatomy of the brain 5  An average adult human brain is a 1.36kg organ governs intelligence, creativity, emotions, memory and controls body movement, and function of other body organs.  It composed of cerebrum 85% , cerebellum 11% and brain stem 4%. It receives information from our 5 senses. It can assimilate, store, and retrieve information.  Cerebrum composed of right and left hemispheres.  In general, 92% people typically favor the use of left side of their brain.
  • 6. How Learning happens in the brain? 6  More than 100 billion neurons that a normal newborn baby has.  Learning occurs when two neuron communicate with each other. Neuroscientists emphasize that learning occurs when a neuron sends a message to another (Hannaford, 1995, Jensen, 2000, Sprenger, 1999; 2002, Sousa, 2000).  Neurons are information messengers. They use electrical impulses and chemical signals to transmit information between different areas of the brain, and between the brain and the rest of the nervous system.
  • 7. Brain-Compatible Learning Principles and Their Implications for Education 7  Renate & Geoffrey (1991, 1994) stated the core principles of brain-compatible learning and connections between teaching and the human brain.  Educators have to take this knowledge in to account and attempted to apply it to education, terming it brain-compatible learning.  Brain-compatible learning is not a program to be installed within education. It is a set of principles that may guide our educational decisions.
  • 8. 8
  • 9. 9 1. All learning is Physiological  Learning engages the entire physiology.  We are “holistic” learners-the body and mind interact. Current brain research has revealed that the body and mind are a partnership.  Adequate sleep, good nutrition, and regular exercise are critical components of thinking (Sylwester, 2003). They first promote neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Second, they keep cortisol and dopamine (stress and happiness hormones, respectively) at appropriate levels. Implication in education and curriculum: Use different senses and body
  • 10. 10 2. The brain/Mind is social  There is set of brain regions that are dedicated to social cognition. Social cognition in human brain allows to make inferences about what is going on inside other people—their intentions, feelings, and thoughts. Implication in education and curriculum  All students have the capacity to comprehend more effectively when their needs for social interactions and relationship are engaged and honored. So that there is a need to stimulate social interactions in the curriculum 3. Emotions are critical for learning Connection between Learning and Emotion  Emotion is the gatekeeper to learning and performance  Students’ emotional states influence their learning.
  • 11. 11 4.Search for meaning is innate Learning is Meaning-driven  Meaning is more important to the brain than information.  Humans are naturally programmed to search for meaning. It resists meaningless patterns. School’s Curriculum: allow students to have a sense of identity and explore who they are 5. Search for meaning occurs through patterns  Patterning or chunking information assists the brain to mentally ‘place’ or sort new information in a way that has meaning. This allows for greater internalization and recall of this information can be maximized (Wagmeister & Shifrin, 2000).  School’s Curriculum: helping students attach sense and meaning to new information, resulting in more efficient storage in long-term memory.
  • 12. 12 6. Learning is developmental  When planning, designing, and implementing educational program, curriculum designers and educators must consider the characteristics of learners with respect to their developmental stage in life.  Piaget's four stages Stage Age Goal of learning Implication in education and curriculum Sensory motor Birth to 18–24 months old Object permanence Preoperational 2 to 7 years old Symbolic thought Teach by songs, dialogue, play, story, Concrete operational 7 to 11 years old Operational thought Learn basic skills of reading, writing, calculating Formal operational Adolescence to adulthood Abstract concepts Communicating, logical, abstract thinking
  • 13. 13 7. Each brain is unique and uniquely organized.  Each human being has unique DNA. ... Since each brain is unique and develops in its own way, students will learn and develop at their own pace.  All kids are gifted!  According to Howard Gardner’s theory, Multiple Intelligences Theory has significant implications for educational performance.  The types of intelligences are: Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence, Mathematical/Logical Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Spatial/Visual Intelligence , Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Naturalist Intelligence School curriculum: should acknowledge the gifted
  • 14. 14 8. A brain is a parallel processor  The brain can perform several activities at once. It processes information coming through smelling, tasting, hearing and seeing at once.  Renate & Geoffrey (1991, 1994) claim that thoughts, emotions, imaginations, predispositions operates simultaneously.  The brain has the capacity to function on many levels and in many ways simultaneously. Implication in education: many different styles of learning can be employed in the complex nature of brain of the learner’s.
  • 15. 15 9. The brain functions as a whole , not in parts  The brain always working as a whole, simultaneously processing information in both the left and right hemisphere. School curriculum: needs to engage both hemispheres of the brain
  • 16. 16 10. Learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception  The brain learns from its environment. Everything that goes into the brain (both important and unimportant) is processed. Implication in education: Educators should pay attention what they do and say in the classroom. There should be clear and conscious communication. 11. Learning always involves both conscious and unconscious  Learning may not happen in the class, may happen hours, weeks, months later. When learning takes place, it becomes both a conscious and unconscious process. Implication in education : giving sufficient time to reflect on and process experiences
  • 17. 17 12. Learning is enhanced by challenges and inhibited by threat  The brain learn optimally when appropriately challenged.  Stress/threats impacts learning negatively. During anxiety the chemical called cortisol alerts the body that stress is present. The brain shuts down higher-level processing (Sousa, 2003). In School’s Curriculum: Moderate stress can be introduced in many ways