Blogs on Brain-Based Learning

Brain-Based Learning

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

Judy Willis MDJune 13, 2011

Understanding How the Brain Works

For 21st century success, now more than ever, students will need a skill set far beyond the current mandated standards that are evaluated on standardized tests. The qualifications for success in today's ever-changing world will demand the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, use continually changing technology, be culturally aware and adaptive, and possess the judgment and open-mindedness to make complex decisions based on accurate analysis of information. The most rewarding jobs of this century will be those that cannot be done by computers.

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Judy Willis MDMay 24, 2011

Imagine you are placed in the following scenarios:

  • You are dropped off at the top of a ski resort's steepest run when you've only had experience on the beginner slopes.
  • You have to spend your day on the bunny hill when you're an expert skier.
  • You play a game of darts with the target two feet away.
  • You play a game of darts with the target 200 feet away.
  • You are a 3rd grade student trying to do a crossword puzzle designed for experts.
  • You are an adult trying to do a crossword puzzle designed for children.
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Judy Willis MDApril 14, 2011

The popularity of video games is not the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching strategies. Games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgement of incremental goal progress, not just final product. The fuel for this process is the pleasure experience related to the release of dopamine.

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Judy Willis MDDecember 1, 2010

Today's guest blogger is Judy Willis. A former neurologist, Judy is now is an elementary and middle school teacher as well as the author of numerous books on the brain and learning. This post is an excerpt from her latest,

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Claus von ZastrowAugust 10, 2010

I'll spare you the suspense. The answer is an emphatic no. In fact, strong content standards can support creativity in our schools. Standards can get a bad rap because they conjure specters of standardization, uniformity and dogma.

I'll spare you the suspense. The answer is an emphatic no. In fact, strong content standards can support creativity in our schools. Standards can get a bad rap because they conjure specters of standardization, uniformity and dogma. Read More

Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 16, 2010

I recently introduced Costa's Levels of Questioning to my students. We have some teachers at my school talking about these triggers of metacognition, so it compliments everyone's efforts to enter this discussion in the classroom.

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Betty RayMarch 6, 2010

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Kevin D. Washburn, Ed.D., is the Executive Director of Clerestory Learning, and co-founder/ owner of Make Way for Books among many other things. He recently attended the Learning and the Brain conference in San Francisco where there was a fascinating confluence of thinkers, researchers, educators and learners. This is his report.

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Anthony CodyMarch 13, 2008

This is the second part of a two-part entry. Read part one.

In many of our schools, we have stopped giving our students real creative challenges because there is not enough time for anything open ended. Open-ended projects, by their very design, allow students to explore a wide variety of interests, concepts, and skills. That means we can't easily assess these projects with a multiple-choice test; therefore, schools suffer when they pursue them.

This is the second part of a two-part entry. Read part one.

In many of our schools, we have stopped giving our students real creative challenges because there is not enough time for anything open ended. Open-ended projects, by their very design, allow students to explore a wide variety of interests, concepts, and skills. That means we can't easily assess these projects with a multiple-choice test; therefore, schools suffer when they pursue them. Read More