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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

Critical Analysis and Information Literacy

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
13 863 3,422 views

Calming End-of-Year Stress

Last comment 5 days 18 hours ago
7 108 1,864 views

The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain

Last comment 3 weeks 16 hours ago
46 16,322 97,224 views

Metacognition: Nurturing Self-Awareness in the Classroom

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 10:00
23 5,843 52,258 views

Critical Analysis and Information Literacy

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 06:00
13 863 3,422 views

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 06:00
26 3,013 20,255 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 2 1,013 views

Browse

photo of two kids playing a video game
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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.

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.

13 863 3,422 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.

7 108 1,864 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.

72 1,620 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.
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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 1,847 10,938 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.
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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.

6 1,874 21,875 views
A closeup on someone's eye. Their eye is green and blue. Their eyebrows and eyelashes are dark blond.
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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 1,186 14,989 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 1,426 181,688 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 18,861 175,003 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 12,456 164,471 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 14,212 141,583 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 1,391 116,264 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 20,257 113,023 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 41,212 112,213 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 1,897 162,648 views
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