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Brain Research and Education

Ameina

I was just reading an article on how it is important for teachers to know the structure and make up of the brain in order for us as teachers to better be able to adjust our teaching in order to benefit our students and help them to learn. It states that teachers should be aware of the two distictive types of memory (Precedural and Declarative). The article advises that teachers become familiar with the brain, its parts and its function.
What I would like to hear is whether we teachers should rely solely on the parts of the brain to influence our teaching? Should we look to appeal to different parts to teach specific lessons? Should we now design a course at Teachers Colleges specifically related to the brain and its role in Education? Im looking forward to reading your comments.

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Forrest

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The FastForWord program is found at the following website: http://www.scilearn.com/. I have no knowledge of this program or the research behind it. It does sound interesting.
I have a difficult time really getting behind the brain research. We know so little about the brain; it is a dangerous idea to totally change how we teach based off of research that is destined to be obsolete in months.

I am a bit overwhelmed by

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I am a bit overwhelmed by brain research. I was out of teaching for several years and feel like I've fallen behind in this area. Like Forrest, I am cautious about depending too much on this topic. I would hate to change everything I'm doing and then find out in a few years that this knowledge wasn't accurate and we should have been doing things differently based on new research. I am interested to learn more about this and certainly willing to try new things but I've been around long enough to have seen many programs/theoris that were touted to be "the greatest way to teach children ever designed" and then have them disappear off the radar in a few years. I certainly believe we can benefit from understaning how our brains work but it is such a complex organ that we may never fully understand how it operates.

I am with you 100% Tracy! I

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I am with you 100% Tracy! I am a bit leary about relying so heavily on brain research to design my teaching strategies. It seems as if there are always new insights that arise only to disappear shortly thereafter. I am, however, interested to learn more about how the brain works in terms of processing information. As a student, I never had difficulty learning new material. In fact, I have a photographic memory which made it easier to recall information. This can be tough as a teacher because it becomes frustrating when students are just not "getting it" and I am at a loss as to how to present it differently. Maybe a course in college on this topic would be of interest to educators?

Do you have more information

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Do you have more information on the Fast Forward program? I have a lot of struggling readers and have been searching for information.

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Sarah,
You were the first to respond to what I too was thinking. There is so much research out there today and it seems people are so quick to jump on many wagons. I would change aspects of my teaching due to the concept of brain research and how it works, but I personally would not just change my way of teaching based on this one method. I spend a lot of time reading the latest researched ideas and different theories on how to help my students. I often only take very small pieces of the research back to my classroom but it seems that I am almost getting numb to the newest and latest reached and developing ideas. My opinion, take everything with a grain of salt.

Inclusion Facilitator

Fast ForWord is a computer

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Fast ForWord is a computer software program. I do not have it but I have looked at it. In my opinion, with any software you need to see this as a supplemental piece of instruction. Everything is nicely packages and even the phrases: "research-based and brain research".

Maureen

Inclusion Facilitator

Sarah, I feel the same way

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Sarah,

I feel the same way as you do. I incorporate new ideas into my instruction but I always use my foundational pieces. I even have several "antique" favorites which has all been revised but it is still the same and sometimes more cleaner/clearer spatially for my students.

Maureen

Every year, I have at least a

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Every year, I have at least a few students who "get it" the first time around and others who need repetition (sometimes 30-50x) before the information clicks and has meaning for them. Computer based skill work helps in this area with these students. I know I am making the information relevant to them, but there seems to be a need to repeat again and again for it to stick. I would like to learn more about how these learners are "wired" so that I can teach them better.

music teacher

I think that everyone here

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I think that everyone here has addressed the issue: we know that we have students that will "get it" the first time no matter how it is taught, but the rest require repetition. It is how we choose to explore that repetition that makes us artists. By using the different styles of learning as a guide, and varying the way the information is introduced and processed, we are more likely to give all of our students the success they deserve. The problem is not our creativity...it is the time we are given to ensure success.

6th Grade Special Education Teacher, NJ

Hi Jen and All- Your comment

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Hi Jen and All-
Your comment about how we need to "differentiate leaning strategies" to enhance students learning based on parts of the brain really intrigued me.
I wonder if, when the model of differentiate instruction was base on "how the brain works?"
They both work hand in hand to help deliver the best education possible per student. The both are becoming more and more expectable in our educational system.

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