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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 2168 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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Kim's picture

After reading Rosa's comments about Quantum Learning, I wanted to say that she is absolutely correct about it being both helpful and fun. It is DEFINITELY a worthwhile workshop. I attended a weeklong conference over the summer a couple of years ago and came away with numerous strategies for helping students learn.
I highly recommend it for any teacher looking to enhance their instruction and engage their students!

Kristy's picture

I know that this is still a work in progress but I believe it could be beneficial to us teachers and the entire community. There is so much to learn about the brain ad how it processes information it is daunting and extremely interesting. Looking through the sites that everyone posted on her, quantum learning, and brain-based learning each are filled with useful information. I have not heard of quantum learning until today. This is something I hope to continue learning about in the future.

Robin's picture
Robin
Teacher

I have always known that our experiences shape the brain. I now truly understand the importance of teachers offering meaningful and connected expeiences for students. The more relevant and repeated experiences students have, the better they are able to retain that information.

Forrest's picture

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.

Tracy's picture

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.

Sarah's picture

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?

E. Brice's picture

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

Michelle H.'s picture

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.

Maureen Paul's picture
Maureen Paul
Inclusion Facilitator

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

Maureen Paul's picture
Maureen Paul
Inclusion Facilitator

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

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