George Lucas Educational Foundation

Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning

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In this free classroom resource guide, you’ll get practical tips across the K-12 spectrum, as well as a reading list and a variety of resources to help you learn more about this fascinating field. To help your students explore their own brain power, we’ve also included a bonus project that will get students thinking critically about how they learn.

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What's Inside the PDF?

  1. Create a Safe Climate for Learning
  2. Encourage a Growth Mind-set
  3. Emphasize Feedback
  4. Get Bodies and Brains in Gear
  5. Start Early
  6. Embrace the Power of Novelty
  7. Bonus Project: Build a Brain Owner’s Manual
  8. Recommended Reading


Comments (2) Sign in or register to comment

Valentin Voroshilov's picture
Valentin Voroshilov

A teacher is starting a new topic; after ten minutes into the lesson the teacher looks at a large screen that glows presenting live images of the brain activities of each student. A teacher thinks: "Hmm, their prefrontal cortex does not show much of activities, but everyone has the amygdala overly excited; I need to do something about it; maybe I should try singing?"
Of course, the situation described above is fictional.
Maybe in thirty - forty years new technologies will allow teachers to observe live brain activities of students to adjust their teaching.
But until then almost nothing we learn from neurology about a brain is of any practical use for a teacher.
Like any body organ (e.g. a muscle):
1. A brain exists.
2. A brain changes/develops in time AND when being used/exercised.
That is basically all a teacher needs to know about a brain.
We also know that different parts of a brain are responsible for different activities. It would be nice having a brain scan of every student to see his or her predisposition to various teaching techniques (hopefully, no one would want to physically affect those parts to stimulate or to suppress them). But, again, that is not going to happen any soon.
So, why do we see so many papers which are trying to excite teachers about the science of brain?
I leave the answer to this question to others.
My job as a consultant is to equip teachers with concrete tools they can use in their everyday practice. That is why I advise: when reading something like "Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning" (, keep in mind that the parts about brain are interesting but not really important, the tips though are useful (but not unusual).
One might ask, if the tips are not based on our knowledge of how a brain functions, how can we trust the tips?
Well, most of the tips in the quoted or similar publications had been known for decades (even when neurology was in its infancy), extracted from the experience of numerous successful teachers, supported by the results of numerous psychological studies, and rooted into such well-known wisdoms as "Practice makes perfect", "People grow through experience", "Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play", and many others.
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov

Scott's picture

I think singing, is an exceptionally outstanding idea. I use signing with mu students and they love it (the giggle but presents a nice segue into the next event of learning. Music and movement has pertinent studies the support brain breaks and embedding music in lesson plans cross content.

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