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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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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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Mirdita S's picture
Mirdita S
sixth grade social studies, from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

Kim and/or Rosa,

You both mentioned that the Quantum learning has been beneficial in your classrooms could please elaborate how have you changed your teaching strategies and in what areas have you seen improvements in your students?

Tiffany's picture

Diane G.-
You made an excellent point in stating "if it is a subject matter that we briefly dabble in and don't become acquainted with I feel that it would just become another trend in education that swings like a pendulum." Too often, I feel that teachers become educated with great ideas to strengthen their teaching, but yet they never implement those ideas. If brain research and using the information found will postively affect our students, this is something in which we should all be spending more time. Maybe the word will spread about brain research connected with education and this will become a growing part of the classroom.

kevin's picture

The brain is a key component of education. It controls the way we feel, think, learn, act. I think it is important to understand the brain and its functions. Sometimes I feel that as educators we tend to jump on bandwagons, just like fickle sports fans might jump on the bandwagon of the hottest team. We need to carefully evaluate information given to us, and think analytically about the evidence provided. There is no doubt that brain research is beneficial to educators. The question we need to ask is what relevance does the research have and how can we captivate it for effective use in the classroom.

Amanda W's picture
Amanda W
Teacher in rural Georgia

I just think we start too many new programs in education without really seeing if the ones that are already in place are really doing what they should be doing.

Kori's picture

I think I would like to try the website you mentioned. I have a struggling student in my classroom that is very slow to process information. Her mother is very concerned and really doesn't know how to help her. I feel like I don't have all the resources I need to help her as well. It can be very frustrating when you know there is a problem, but you don't know how to help make it better. Especially when you have tried most of the conventional methods that the school tells you to do. Her mother had the same problems growing up and it would make me feel so good to be able to give my student some success and build her self confidence.

Mirdita S's picture
Mirdita S
sixth grade social studies, from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

This Question is for Rosa and Kim you both mentioned that your students have benefited from Quantum learning. How has it changed your teaching techniques/stratgies and in what ways have the students benefited?

Amanda W's picture
Amanda W
Teacher in rural Georgia

Math Facts in a Flash is a research based program. It is designed to help students develop recall of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication facts. Each time they master a set of facts, they move up to the next level. I use it as a tier 2 and 3 intervention. Students work at their own pace 5 to 10 min a day. Go to www.renlearn.com. Scroll down and click on Math Facts in a Flash. The program also has English in a Flash. This program is mostly used with our ELL students. It is sometimed used with our below level readers.

Amanda W's picture
Amanda W
Teacher in rural Georgia

I would like to know more about the Fast Forward program. If you have used it, please share more information.

Audrey Pore's picture

Quantum Learning can be used at all grade levels and all subject matters. I attended a week long workshop where we learned many different strategies to use in the classroom. We also talked about the parts of the brain and their functions. When the workshop was complete, I left with a huge binder full of information, ideas, and strategies.

Another resource for ideas is Dr. Marcia Tate. She has had several best-selling books such as Worksheets Won't Grow Dendrites. I had the opportunity to listen to her speak at a conference and she also had a lot of great information to share. You can look at her website at www.developingmindsinc.com. She also has several videos on You Tube. If you search for the dendrite lady, you can find informational videos with her sharing some of her knowledge.

JM's picture
JM
Middle School Math

I first became fascinated by the brain when I saw a program about a woman who had severe seizures. Surgeons were able to eliminate the seizures by cutting through the tissue that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Unfortunately, there were side effects. The most striking one, and the one I remember, was that she could see what she wanted to wear in the closet, but it took her several tries to get it out. I don't know if over time she was able to rewire her brain, but knowing the power of the brain, I think she probably could, to a certain extent. In the article mentioned, Pat Wolfe says, "...learning experiences change and reorganize the brain's structure and physiology."
The brain is an amazing organ, and we need to know as much about it as possible to be effective teachers. I think this article supports a lot of the research on being an effective teacher, especially in terms of making connections with the students and providing a safe environment for learning.

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