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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Brain Research and Education

Brain Research and Education

Related Tags: Brain-Based Learning
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207 Replies 2139 Views

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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Amanda W's picture
Amanda W
Teacher in rural Georgia

JM

We use the program in grades 1st to 7th in our school. I find the programe to be very useful. It is a timed program. Students choose to practice and then test. For example, at each level of mastery students may get 2 min 30 sec. Once they have mastered the program the first time I set a new time goal of maybe 2 min. Special ed students may get 3 min at each level. Each students mastery time can be set at different levels. The program also has fractions, decimals, and squaring numbers. I think you will love it. It is really beneficial for students that stuggle in mathematics. Students tend to do better in mathematics once they have learned the basic facts. Go to the website and check it out.

kat's picture

I think that understanding how the brain works is facinating and should be used when we are planning our lessons. However, I do not think it should be the only factor involved. I do think though that we should use what we know about the brain to help us differentiate our lessons to better fit our students.

JM's picture
JM
Middle School Math

[quote]JM

We use the program in grades 1st to 7th in our school. I find the programe to be very useful. It is a timed program. Students choose to practice and then test. For example, at each level of mastery students may get 2 min 30 sec. Once they have mastered the program the first time I set a new time goal of maybe 2 min. Special ed students may get 3 min at each level. Each students mastery time can be set at different levels. The program also has fractions, decimals, and squaring numbers. I think you will love it. It is really beneficial for students that stuggle in mathematics. Students tend to do better in mathematics once they have learned the basic facts. Go to the website and check it out.[/quote]

Thanks, Amanda. I didn't see it on the website, but now that I know it's a test, I will look on the top bar. We use the STAR assessment in our school - this is the first year we are using it and we just administered the first set. We are supposed to give it again in 5 weeks. Hopefully I will be able to use this with some of the students before then, and we will see the results!

Lori H.'s picture
Lori H.
7th Grade ELA Teacher

Amanda,
I am not familiar with Math in a Flash. We use Success Maker and have used it for at least 15 years. I think many students just get tired of the same program year after year. I'm glad that your system uses a program that has positive results. I'm sure we have students that do see gains, but I'd like to investigate different programs. I'd like to know more about Quantum Learning like some of the others that have responded here.

Terilyn's picture

I actually think that as educators, we will always know and do what is considered best practices for our students. It is a good idea to keep up with the latest research for informational purposes. It would be a great idea to provide a college course or staff developments on this topic and encourage teachers to use strategies to his/her own discretion.

Katrina D's picture
Katrina D
college student in elementary education

I haven't heard of the "Fastforward" program, but that would be something to look into if it claims to be research based. For struggling readers I'd suggest being trained in the Ortan-Gillingham Approach, which is definitely based in linguistics and brain research. If one can implement it correctly it works astoundingly well. It was created to remediate dyslexia.

Hollie Gebhardt's picture

I think it would be great to offer courses in brain research in college. I would also like some inservices on this type of research if this where we are headed in the education field. It does make sense that if we are teaching students, that we should know how their brains work. I do think that we should see what the research says before we jump on board though. It seems as if in the education field we move from one great idea to the next, until it all comes full circle.

DebM's picture

I too have always found brain research to be fascinating. I believe that to be an effective educator, a teacher must keep up on the latest information and research related to the brain. As scientists discover new information about our brains and how we learn best, I think educators must use various methods to enhance learning so that it is valuable to the student. As we have become a technologically driven society, education must also create opportunities for learning that reflect new scientific research. Nonetheless, all learning must be valuable and meaningful to students' real life. Connections is the key. Connections help stimulate new pathways of learning and create a closet of schema from which students can draw inspiration, knowledge, and experience from to advance their own unique endeavors.

Donitta M's picture
Donitta M
teacher

After reading several articles on brain based reserch I am very interested in this. I did like an article about how much we are already doing towards the research like hands on learning experiences that we participate in with the students. We arrange our classrooms with the tables and chairs in a certain order, and the things that we put on the walls so that I students will be exposed to as many items as possible. We also look at other means of teaching and checking for information gained that do not invovle paper and pencils.

Julie Nichol's picture

I,too have just read the articles regarding Fast Forword. I am an ED teacher for 2-4th grade where I spend a great deal of my time redirecting my students and struggling to keep them on task. In the process, my students are struggling to read. with very limited time in a day to reach all of my students, I am constantly trying to find ways in which they will benefit. Time permits only two reading groups; 1 for lower readers and 1 for the better readers. Realisticaly, all of my students need one on one instruction although I have seen a lot of progress with a few of them. The ones I worry about are the ones who are still struggling to learn mere phonemes let alone pre-primer or primer words. I hate the fact that I can't keep their attention because they have come to the conclusion that they cannot do it and they have just given up. I have not given up and try constantly with different approaches. Nothing is working. If there truly is a way to "rewire" the brain, I would try anything. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have tried starting at square 1 with short vowels and sounds of individual letters, but this isn't working. Anything at all would be appreciated. I am horrified to pass them on when I couldn't help them to read. I fear they will continue to get further and further behind. Any help is welcome!

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