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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

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

Last comment 1 week 8 hours ago
24 10,832 45,919 views

The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

Last comment 3 weeks 20 hours ago
2 1,760 9,357 views

Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation

Last comment 1 day 13 hours ago
33 7,342 88,956 views

Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 06:00
33 7,342 88,956 views

Brain Development and Adolescent Growth Spurts

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 06:00
5 1,513 12,488 views

The Role of Mistakes in the Classroom

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 13:29
26 2,359 53,412 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.

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 2 961 views

Browse

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.

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.

2 1,760 9,357 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
blog

Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

4 1,841 16,907 views
A closeup on someone's eye. Their eye is green and blue. Their eyebrows and eyelashes are dark blond.
blog

Islands of Personality and Trains of Thought

In her third post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels explores visualizing the memories and emotions that inform students' identities and shape their cognitive processes.

7 1,088 12,681 views
A closeup of the right side of young girl's face. She has an off-white cloth wrapped partially around her head with her brunette bangs showing, covering her forehead.
blog

Creating Core Memories in the Classroom

In her second post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests creating positive academic core memories by respecting your classroom's emotional climate and engaging students' curiosity and anticipation.

1,156 5,764 views
A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.
blog

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

24 10,832 45,919 views
Four female students are standing in a hallway beside their lockers, talking to each other in pairs.
blog

OMG, I Can't Even: Drama, Social Skills, and the Teenage Brain

Teen drama is the natural disconnect in socially and emotionally developing brains. Help them by honoring (not judging) their experience, teaching social skills, and encouraging reflection.

4 2,215 16,331 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 1,425 177,144 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 18,354 164,079 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 12,427 160,429 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 14,128 133,338 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 41,091 111,628 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 1,217 110,283 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 20,223 108,361 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 1,895 160,429 views
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