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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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Laura F.'s picture

I read an artice for a class by Steve Miller and Paula Tallal, Addressing literacy through neuroscience, which talked about the components of language and its relationship to the brain (Miller, S. & Tallal, P. 2007). It is a great artcle to read and gain insight on this topic. It is incredible to read about how much has neuroscience helped educators understand specific details about the learning process of every human being.

Miller, S., & Tallal, P. A. (2006, December). Addressing literacy through neuroscience. The School Administrator. Retrieved January 27, 2010, from http://www.aasa.org/publications/saarticledetail.cfm?ItemNumber=7812

Kristie W.'s picture

I found brain based research to be very interesting. It gives an educator something to think about. Educators often provide many different activities that support this type of research. We often put music to new concepts or require movement. I would like to find further information on the computer based programs that are available the promote this type of research.

wendee casto's picture

To think that this is a fad is so ridicules to me. We learn with our brains and what better way to enhance our learning through brain research. I think with this research will finally get society to understand that slow students aren't stupid, their brains work differently. If we could see the way people with certain disabilities learn, we will then know how to teach them! This is so interesting and exciting and I hope this research continues.

JW's picture

I am reading some of the same articles as well on breain research as it relates to learning. It is quite interesting that as much as we know about vast expanses of the solar system, we know so little of a human organ. Research dealing with the brain has been an ongoing process and will undoubtedly be going on forever. Will we ever truly know all that goes on within the brain? Doubtful, but the more we learn the more we need to put this information to use in the education of our students.

Putting this information to use is what will insure that this is not an educational fad.


Nicole's picture

I agree with Angela S. I also have experienced children who understand and learn content very fast and I have had children who need constant repetition before it sinks in. I really feel it is how we creatively deliver the material using different teaching styles that will help our students. I do believe that if teachers are more knowledgeable about the brain and how it works it would be easier to understand why some of our students learn the way they do. I would have loved to have had a class in college on brain-based research. I think it would have been very helpful.

Nicole's picture

I agree with Kevin in the fact that the brain is the master mind behind education. I think we should spend little time jumping on different bandwagons from time time and focus on an area that will never change, the brain. I feel by better understanding how our brains work we will better understand how to teach children effectively.

Jane's picture
4th grade teacher

I have a friend who used to teach special education. She quit to have children. When I talked to her, I was telling her about the brain research paper I read and how they mentioned a program called Fast Forward. She had heard of it and it does show results. She said she had the program on her computer and her students had used it. I am very curious to watch and see how teachers adapt to the new ideas being presented with the latest brain research.

Estella's picture
4th grade teacher from California

I believe I may have read the same article. While I do think it's important for us teachers to keep up with all the research being done in regards to the brain and education, I feel we must not forget that we still have students who learn in different ways. We will have students who will be kinesthetic learnes,and others will be visual or audio learners. However, if there had been such a class when I was taking my credential courses, I would have taken it. I think that we, as professionals, need to combine the brain based research with what we know works with the different types of learners.

Estella's picture
4th grade teacher from California

I think I may have read the same article. I do think the brain based research is important. I also believe that we need to keep up with all the valid research. However, I think we still need to keep in mind that students learn in different ways. We have kinesthetic, audio, and visual learners. If a course such as the one Ameina mentions would have been offered, I would have gladly taken it.

Gin Amodio's picture

Half my class are non english speakers. I was reading the article on brain research. It stated that children learn to read proficiently when they are able to understand the spoken language in the language they are learning to read. As an educator, what is the best way to help these children. I am teaching them how to read English and most of them are spanish children. Any ideas or suggestions??

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