Blogs on Brain-Based Learning

Brain-Based Learning

RSS

Understand how the brain works and how educators and parents can improve the learning process.

Patrick WilsonOctober 26, 2012

What do you think of when you hear the word dyslexic? All too often the reflex reaction is a stream of negative associations -- "slow reader," "under performance," "extra time on exams," "difficulty spelling." While it is true that these are common symptoms in students with dyslexia, they are surmountable problems. For any educator, the key to unleashing academic success in dyslexic students lies in understanding how their brains work.

Read More
Judy Willis MDJuly 27, 2012
"Neuroscience should be required for all students [of education] . . . to familiarize them with the orienting concepts [of] the field, the culture of scientific inquiry, and the special demands of what qualifies as scientifically based education research." - Eisenhart & DeHaan, 2005

Do you recall some of your college professors who knew their subject matter but had zero teaching skills? Staying awake in their one-way-directed lecture classes required Herculean strength (or lots of coffee). They were never trained to develop the skillset of engagement strategies.

Read More
Judy Willis MDJune 13, 2012

My Prediction: Within five to ten years in some countries, open Internet access for information acquisition will be available on standardized tests. This access will significantly reduce the quantity of data designated for rote memorization.

Read More
Matt LevinsonJune 7, 2012

In her Wall Street Journal editorial, What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind?, University of California at Berkeley psychology professor Alison Gopnik highlights two key areas of the brain that dictate adolescent and human development: (1) emotion and motivation and (2) control.

She cites Berkeley pediatrician and developmental psychologist Ronald Dahl who uses the perfect metaphor to describe adolescence: "Today's adolescents develop an accelerator a long time before they can steer and brake."

Read More
Judy Willis MDMay 22, 2012

For many of you in the northern hemisphere, the school year is coming to a close, and with it comes a likely drop in the stressors that build up and promote teacher (and administrator) burnout. It therefore may not seem timely to suggest interventions to prevent or reduce burnout. However, it is often not until we are away from a high-stress situation for a while that the brain can move out of reactive survival mode and into a relaxed state where it can ponder the big picture.

Read More
Ben JohnsonApril 25, 2012

What is a learner? A learner naturally observes and mimics. From the time we are born to the age of two, we are what you would call a learning machine. All humans during that time period are learning prodigies.

Read More
Kevin D. WashburnMarch 22, 2012

British archaeologist Mary Leakey described her own learning as being "compelled by curiosity." Curiosity is the name we give to the state of having unanswered questions. And unanswered questions, by their nature, help us maintain a learning mindset. When we realize that we do not know all there is to know about something in which we are interested, we thirst. We pursue. We act as though what we do not know is more important than what we do, as though what we do not possess is worth the chase to own it. How do we help students discover this drive?

Read More
Judy Willis MDMarch 22, 2012

A selective attentive focus and the ability to block out distraction are seminal executive functions that are minimally developed in youngsters. These functions gradually become stronger throughout the years of prefrontal cortex maturation, which last into the twenties. It is with regard to these executive functions that research about the "bilingual brain" is particularly exciting.

A selective attentive focus and the ability to block out distraction are seminal executive functions that are minimally developed in youngsters. These functions gradually become stronger throughout the years of prefrontal cortex maturation, which last into the twenties. It is with regard to these executive functions that research about the "bilingual brain" is particularly exciting. Read More

Judy Willis MDMarch 14, 2012

This post is part of a series on executive function. Here I will cover the arts and the neuroscience of joyful learning.

Promising Starts

Children's brains need to acquire memory associations that link pleasure with learning. The creative arts can provide this link through associations with the pleasures of creative experiences enjoyed during early childhood.

This post is part of a series on executive function. Here I will cover the arts and the neuroscience of joyful learning.

Promising Starts

Children's brains need to acquire memory associations that link pleasure with learning. The creative arts can provide this link through associations with the pleasures of creative experiences enjoyed during early childhood. Read More

Heidi Grant HalvorsonFebruary 6, 2012

One of the trickiest challenges any child faces (or any adult, for that matter) is figuring out how to get from wanting to do something -- like getting a better grade on his or her next quiz, or studying over the summer for college admissions tests -- to actually doing it. Commitment is a first and very necessary step when it comes to reaching a goal, but it's just the beginning.

Read More