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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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Dawn Grover's picture

I find the research on brain development to be intriguing! I just read a fascinating article on formative assessment. Our school district is really trying to push for the use of formative assessment. Yes, we all do summative assessments, so what's the difference between the two? This article states why it is crucial to give formative assessments. Formative assessments are used to identify the individual needs and "prescribe' an action plan. Formative assessment help build our students higher level thinking skills.

lynn's picture
Title I reading teacher from SC

I have read two articles on brain research. I find the brain based approach to intervention interesting. As an intervention teacher myself, I can indentify with the language to literacy approach. Both articles mentioned the "Fast Forward" computer program. I look forward to learning more about this approach.

Danielle Monetti's picture

I think as teachers we should always question what we read, even if it is scientifically based. As a grad student at Walden Univ. I believe we have all read the same article. I thought it was interesting and I am not trying to discredit the research. But we are not teaching brains we are teaching people. I think it is important to be aware of the functions of the brain, and plan more "visual" / "tactile" lessons across the board, but I think a majority of the trends or philosophies in education have been encouraging teachers to do this for years. The way I see it we as teachers should immerse the students in the process of learning in a more "interactive" way. This makes sense, and I believe that this is a common thread in most modern theories on how to teach the modern population of students. These educational practices are a great perspective to have and being aware of them is important. Sometimes small changes to your approach can make a big difference, especially when you don't have the time to really revamp everything. Not to mention, I do think many of us already are considering these things while we teach.

Cazzie's picture

I have heard several great things about the Fast ForWord program. Our process coordinator mentioned it last year, but we have not purchased it yet for our school. I understand it has been proven to increase student reading levels by at least two grade levels. I would like to know more about this program.

Lindsay Thompson's picture
Lindsay Thompson
4th grade teacher from MI

Wow! It was so interesting reading your posts! I am new to this whole blogging thing, but I am getting hooked! I, too, am reading the articles discussed. I have never given much thought to how the structure of the brain plays such a huge role in education. Fascinating!

Amanda's picture

I think looking at brain research should be a part of a teacher's understanding of students, but should not solely be the basis for educational decisions. I do believe, however, that it is an important part of planning instruction, for you want to appeal to as many different learners as possible with each lesson. Understanding that students learn in different ways helps us to understand that the brain will work differently for each child.

Educating onself about the importance of the brain in learning is a good starting point, but many other factors should also be considered.

Kim's picture

What you said is so true! We need to remember that we are teaching kids not brains. Although, it has been very interesting to read how the brain works. I teach 6th grade math and sometimes, I'm sure my students think I'm teaching a different language. I'm going to use what I've learned to try and differentiate even more than I already do. I went to quantumlearning.com and have asked my administrator to send me to one of the camps. Wish me luck!

Doug Rupe's picture

I totally agree, if we can relate our life experiences to our content area, learning will be much more meaningful and interesting to our students.

Doug Rupe's picture

I have read articles about this in the past. Depending on age level and maturity, the parts of the brain that are not developed yet have behaviors that manifest themselves in particular students.

Rebecca F's picture

Angie, I think that's a great idea that you use brain gym in your classroom. I try to do 'Warm-Up' activities to stimulate the brain. Simple things like a brain teaser, a puzzle, a riddle, etc that gets the students thinking. Once they're on a roll, that's when we need to intervene and continue stimulating their minds.

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