Brain-Based Learning: Resource Roundup
Edutopia's list of resources, articles, videos, and links for exploring the connection between education and neuroscience. (Updated: 12/2013)
Resources by Topic:
- Understanding How Brains Learn
- Applying Insights from Neuroscience
- Research on How the Brain Works
- Other Edutopia Resources
- Additional Resources on the Web
Understanding How Brains Learn
- Building Brain Literacy in Elementary Students, By Judy Willis, M.D. (2013)
Neurologist, teacher, author and Edutopia blogger Willis discusses the benefits of teaching elementary students how their brains work.
- Brains, Brains, Brains! How the Mind of a Middle Schooler Works, by Heather Wolpert-Gawron (2013)
Blogger Wolpert-Gawron launches this three-part series by advising middle school teachers to read up on brain research with insight on how the 'tween brain works. In her second blog, The Mind of a Middle Schooler: How Brains Learn, read about important brain terminology and a typical classroom scenario where a middle schooler's brain is hard at work.
- Student Responses to Common Core Instruction and Assessment, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2013)
Willis considers the brain-based reasons for why some students are reacting negatively to the Common Core and its emphasis on 21st-century skills.
- Four Things All Educators Should Understand About the Dyslexic Brain, by Patrick Wilson (2012)
Wilson, CEO of The Tutor Crowd, presents four basic points that all educators should understand before working with a dyslexic student.
- A Neurologist Makes the Case for Teaching Teachers About the Brain, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2012)
Willis says that understanding neurology can give us the tools to build optimism, incentive and motivation in the classroom.
- Bad for the Brain: Goodbye to Unsustainable Education Models, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2012)
Willis demonstrates how the U.S. educational model, designed for the industrial age, is becoming unsustainable as it attempts to meet the needs of the information age.
- How to Rewire Your Burned-Out Brain: Tips from a Neurologist, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2012)
Willis provides a neurobiological perspective on why burnout happens, and, even more importantly, how to reverse the pattern.
- A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2011)
Willis, who was a neurologist before she became a classroom teacher, shares some insights about how the brain responds to video games.
Applying Insights from Neuroscience
- Brain-Compatible Study Strategies, by Lori Desautels (2013)
Guest blogger Desautels details a set of brain-compatible study strategies for fifth graders, although these methods could be adapted for use at any age.
- Strategies to Prevent the Neurotoxic Impact of School Stress, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2013)
Willis presents evidence that boredom can actually be bad for our students' brain development and suggests strategies for counteracting the chronic stress of frequent boredom on the classroom.
- Walking the Walk: An Educator’s Perspective from All Views, by Lori Desautels (2013)
Desautels decides to walk the walk of her pre-service and graduate students at Marian University's School of Education as she returns to public school and co-teaches a brain-compatible curriculum to fifth graders.
- 11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary, by Marilee Sprenger (2013)
Learning and memory specialist Sprenger writes about vocabulary critical to the Common Core and offers 11 strategies for helping students learn it.
- Playground Neuroscience: Connect and Redirect, by Barbora Bridle (2013)
Teacher and PD specialist ridle offers a quick lesson in playground neuroscience to help teachers guide their students through social-emotional issues.
- Education, the Brain, and Common Core State Standards, by Ramona Persaud (2013)
Documentary filmmaker Persaud uses the perspective of the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model to examines likely benefits and practical applications of the Common Core State Standards.
- A Joyful, Brain-Friendly Classroom, by Elaine Kennedy (2012)
Kennedy, Head of New Morning School, describes a K-8 curriculum that focuses on the students' joy of discovery.
- Helping Students De-Stress for Success, by Christopher Pepper (2012)
Health teacher and blogger Pepper discusses how stress impacts the brain and highlights ways educators can help students reduce its effects.
- Accelerating Students Along Neural Superhighways, by Tony Borash (2012)
Coach and science content facilitator Borash presents a vivid metaphor for how a brain works and offers suggestions for optimizing student learning.
- Four Strategies to Spark Curiosity via Student Questioning, by Kevin D. Washburn (2012)
Author Washburn looks at curiosity and how to inspire it in students through the questions we ask them.
- Building Math Positivity, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2010)
Willis offers several brain-based tips for helping kids master math.
Research on How the Brain Works
- Neuroscience and the Bilingual Brain, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2012)
Willis shares neuroscientific research suggesting that children growing up bilingual develop better focus and judgment.
- Understanding How the Brain Thinks, by Judy Willis, M.D. (2012)
Willis presents a six-part series on how young brains develop neurologically and offers some research-based classroom strategies to teach critical thinking and other 21st-century skills.
- What Neuroscience Tells Us About How to Teach, by Sara Bernard (2010)
In this collection of articles, Bernard discusses how lessons and experiences can shape and grow your students' brains over time.
- Big Thinkers: Judy Willis on the Science of Learning (2009)
The noted neurologist turned educator talks about the science of boredom, how to get students' attention, and the most important lessons for 21st-century learning.
- The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning (2008)
Neuroscientist Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning affects the brain.
Other Edutopia Resources
Edutopia's Classroom Guide: Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning (Now available in Spanish!)
In this free classroom resource 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. To help your students explore their own brain power, we’ve also included a bonus project that will get students thinking critically about how they learn.
- Edutopia Webinar: How the Brain Learns Best: Strategies to Make Learning Stick (2009)
In this webinar, Dr. Judy Willis--a middle school teacher, neurologist, and authority on learning-centered brain research--discusses some practical strategies based in neuroscience that educators can implement in the classroom.