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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Brain-Based Learning

Explore the mysteries of the human brain! Find out how discoveries in neuroscience provide insights into how students learn -- and how to engage them in the classroom.

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Strategies for Strengthening the Brain’s Executive Functions

Introduce students to the concept of executive functions, put it to work, referring frequently to these learning tools in positive, productive classroom interactions.

An illustration of a brain in a hammock between 2 palm trees.

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Here are some activities to stimulate your students' minds when they need a change, and to focus and calm them when they're just too stimulated.

Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

By teaching students to "drive their own brain" through metacognition, we provide a concrete way to guide them think about how they can best learn.

The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning

Neuroimaging and EEG studies provide a scientific basis for the sometimes controversial belief that children become better learners when they actually enjoy learning.

Graphic of a brain

Resources on Learning and the Brain

Browse a list of articles, videos, and other links for exploring the connection between education and neuroscience.

Discuss

Action Video Gameplay: Benefits and Dangers

Last comment 2 weeks 4 days ago
1 110 1,018 views

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Last comment 3 weeks 6 days ago
27 3,070 20,179 views

Action Video Gameplay: Benefits and Dangers

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 06:00
1 110 1,018 views

Building Students' Cognitive Flexibility

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 06:00
2,517 views

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 06:00
27 3,070 20,179 views

Resources

Brain

Brain-Based Learning Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources exploring takeways from neuroscience for educators on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest: blog posts, visuals, articles, videos, and more.

2 7 views
screenshot of article first page

Study: Curiosity Enhances Learning by Improving Memory

Ever wonder how curiosity enhances learning? A study published in Neuron found that curiosity not only increases motivation to learn, but also improves memory.

1 views
screenshot of article cover

Study: The Benefits of a Mental Break

Neuroscience research shows the many benefits of a mental break.

7 127 views
screenshot of article cover

Study: The Neuroscience Behind Exercise and Math Ability

Neuroscience research sheds light on how exercise can boost math ability.

2 1 1,030 views

Browse

Two teenage girls are sitting outside at a glass table, eating lunch and laughing.
blog

Building Students' Cognitive Flexibility

As caretakers of adolescents' developing brainpower, teachers can help their students recognize inattentional blindness, embrace divergent thinking, and harness the potential of transferring their learning.

2,517 views
Three smiley face icons against an off-white backdrop. One is kissing, one is winking, and one is smiling widely.
blog

Assuming Positive Intent

Buck the cultural trend of anger and incivility with a simple checklist that helps reframe your understanding about what other people actually want and need.

889 7,305 views
photo of two kids playing a video game
blog

Action Video Gameplay: Benefits and Dangers

While evidence suggests that action video games enhance higher-order brain functions, the violence built into most commercial titles is far from beneficial.

1 110 1,018 views
A librarian is peering over the shoulder of a student who is sitting next to two other female students, all working on desktop computers in a library.
blog

Critical Analysis and Information Literacy

Teach students to evaluate what data needs to be gathered, what characterizes fact versus opinion, and where to find the most current and useful information.

13 1,091 7,911 views
A closeup of a young girl standing outside in the sun beside a wooden picnic table. She's drawing a heart on a small flower pot with a blue marker. Two kids and a male teacher are behind her, slightly out of focus, doing the same.
blog

Calming End-of-Year Stress

The school year's end can be stressful to students leaving a structured environment for uncertain situations. Offer connection and affirmation to help them feel valued and confident.

7 125 1,665 views
Four girls working as a team in front of a whiteboard
blog

Judgment: Navigating Choices and Decisions

Adolescents need guidance in learning judgment -- academic-cognitive and social-emotional -- while their prefrontal cortex is transitioning into a more efficient network for making decisions and achieving goals.

75 2,498 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
blog

The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

3 2,818 10,817 views

Pages

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11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary

Learning and memory specialist Marilee Sprenger writes about vocabulary critical to the Common Core and offers 11 strategies for helping students learn it.

25 1,428 184,727 views
An illustration of a brain in a hammock between 2 palm trees.
blog

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Here are some activities to stimulate your students' minds when they need a change, and to focus and calm them when they're just too stimulated.

36 18,889 180,359 views
blog

Don’t Listen to Music While Studying

Guest blogger David Cutler, a history, government and journalism teacher, asks us to face the music about whether or not listening our favorite tunes while studying actually helps our concentration.

26 12,469 165,797 views
blog

Addressing Our Needs: Maslow Comes to Life for Educators and Students

Guest blogger Lori Desautels translates Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs into a blueprint for classroom practice that can set the stage with comfort, care and self-reflection to optimize brain-compatible learning.

13 14,223 145,202 views
blog

Three Brain-Based Teaching Strategies to Build Executive Function in Students

Neurologist and educator Judy Willis offers three practical strategies to build and nurture students' executive function -- critical thinking, creativity, and complex decision-making. (Updated 01/2014)

16 1,445 118,159 views
blog

Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

By teaching students to "drive their own brain" through metacognition, we provide a concrete way to guide them think about how they can best learn.

76 20,287 115,038 views
blog

The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning

Neuroimaging and EEG studies provide a scientific basis for the sometimes controversial belief that children become better learners when they actually enjoy learning.

31 41,312 112,542 views

Pages

Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning

In this guide, you’ll get practical tips across the K-12 spectrum, as well as a reading list and a variety of resources to help you learn more about this fascinating field.

1 1,899 164,965 views
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