Monday, May 23, 2022

What Is Brain Based Learning

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Our Position Is Let The Science Do The Talking

Brain-based Learning Principles (1-3)

A better-informed educator usually makes better decisions. We collect the research, form conclusions and make suggestions. Every effort is made to select from reliable sources with supporting data. If the studies are conflicting, well either say so or not present it to you. Youll need to be the ultimate judge as to whether and how the research fits in your particular learning climate.

One must be cautious and prudent in how research is interpreted and ultimately used. Our policy is to look for both the basic neuroscience research and match it with data from applied psychology or cognitive science. When there are multiple studies, with good samples and clear evidence, youll hear about it.

We will never say, Brain research proves. because it does not prove anything. It may however suggest the value of a particular pathway. We have heard five basic criticisms about brain-based education. Heres what they are and our answers to them.

Tips To Model Your Curriculum After How Children Learn

Brain-based learning is one of the best ways to help students get the most out of their education. When you plan with your students brain in mind, you can put together lessons and activities that reflect how their brains work.

Keep these five tips in mind when youre planning brain-based learning activities for your kids in class:

  • Brain-based learning is not only theoretical but practical, too. Model your assignments in ways that mirror challenges students may face in real life.
  • Keep in mind that brain-based learning also encompasses social-emotional development. Plan lessons that teach students social and team-building skills.
  • A childs learning environment can enhance or impair their academic achievement. Avoid creating lessons or situations that make students feel overly anxious, threatened, or helpless.
  • Lessons shouldnt just involve memorizing words or facts. Use activities and lessons to help students learn how to problem solve and develop critical thinking skills that will benefit them for their entire academic career.
  • Not every brain-based learning strategy will be a good fit for your students. Try out a variety of different strategies to find the best ones for your class.
  • Caine, R.N., and Caine, G. Understanding a Brain-Based Approach to Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from
  • Beneficial Things To Know About Brain

    by Wabisabi Learning | Feb 21, 2019 | Critical Thinking

    For thousands of years, teachers have taught students about every academic subject imaginable from Philosophy to Art, from Geometry to Biology, from Literature to History, and so on. During that time, many teachers were convinced that the best students were those who paid the most attention to their lectures and spent the most time reading, and rereading, all of their homework assignments. Other teachers noticed that many students responded better to more creative ways of teaching than lectures and reading assignments, and adjusted their curriculum accordingly.

    Many teachers succeeded in regularly reaching students and inspiring them to learn, while others didnt. The history of Education is also replete with teachers who treated each student as an individual and teachers who believed that treating every student the same was important. Of course, everyone who has ever been a student remembers teachers who were enthusiastic and energetic as well as teachers who treated the classroom as the location of their regular job rather than their passion.

    There have been teachers of all sorts for centuries, but until the past 20 or so years they all had something in commontheir teaching wasnt based on detailed knowledge of how brains work. Neuroscientists, though, have learned more about how the brain works since the 1990s than scientists learned in previous millenniums, reported Brainbased Education An Overview.

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    What Affects The Way In Which The Human Brain Learns

    The majority of the academic dialogue and scientific research surrounding brain-based learning focuses on neuroplasticity. This is the idea that the brains neural connections remap, reorganize, and change themselves when learning new concepts. This also happens when the individual has a new experience or practices different skills as time goes on.;

    The human brain is capable of performing several activities simultaneously. Moreover, identical information is able to be stored in several parts of the brain. Research has revealed that exercise, diet, stress, and emotional state affect learning. It has also found that the information itself is less important than the underlying meaning when the brain learns something new.

    The Brain Gets It When It Gets It


    Most experts agree that growth and learning comes from both nurture and nature. While parents and teachers clearly must expose children to ideas and allow them to have various experiences, i.e. nurture, there are many skills such as crawling, walking and talking that they will do naturally as their brains develop, i.e. nature. .

    This is a concept that I work diligently to apply to my own instructional and parental toolbox when it comes to brain-based learning. Its not always easy because its more comfortable to believe that learning is simply linear: The information goes in and out comes the product or the result. That isnt the case of course, for anyone. Nature, which includes our cognitive wiring, our emotions and personality, can actually drive the type of nurture that a child needs.

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    Use Body Brain Boosters

    Brain scientists know the body is closely linked to the brain. Playing music, exercising, eating well, and meditating all enhance the brains capabilities. Bucketloads of recent research especially point to a stronger case for physical activity and sports, Jensen says. Our challenge, though, is that many teachers say they dont have time for those. Advice to parents? Encourage your high schooler to take part in those brain-boosting activities outside of the classroom, which will enhance their academic performance.

    Sleep is another mind-boosting activity that is especially helpful. Eight to 10 hours daily is good for adolescents, says Willis, who stresses that more sleep is crucial for healthy cognitive function. The early sleep cycles are superficial. It is the later sleep thats most important. Thats when memory gets embedded.

    Teens often resist slumber, but parents can help by gently , tucking into bed earlier themselves, and rapping quasi-Ben Franklin: Early to bed makes us bright when we rise. My teens will be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

    This article is part of our Transforming High School series, a collection of stories, videos, and podcasts exploring the practices that prepare students for success in college and beyond.

    Speaking And Writing Work

    Another way to move information from the sensory memory, the shortest-term memory, to long-term memory, is to ask them to convey what they have learned in their own words via speaking and writing. This process is called recoding by many brain-based learning instruction experts. Students should summarize what they have learned rather than repeat it. At higher levels of learning, students should summarize the new information AND analyze its importance. This whole process also has the practical effect of improving students oral and written communication skills.

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    Lots Of Stress Harms Brains

    High stress levels can cause chemical changes in the brain that impair its performance. A dozen important brain-based concepts explains that the hormone cortisol can severely harm thinking when its released because of stress. Brain based learning: What is it and how to apply it reports that low stress levels help motivate students to perform, but recommends creating a positive emotional environment in class so there isnt too much stress. Basically, teachers should be calm and nice to students. Yelling and criticizing raises stress levels.

    Thanks to brain-based learning, educators now have more information about how to reach and inspire students. In other words, they dont have to teach the way that teachers taught for thousands of years.

    Brain-based learning is motivated by the general belief that learning can be accelerated and improved if educators base how and what they teach on the science of learning, rather than on past educational practices, established conventions, or assumptions about the learning process, says The Glossary of Education Reform in its article Brain-Based Learning.

    Implications For The Use Of Multimedia In Education

    Brain-Based Learning Theory

    Technologydoes not necessarily improve education. Take a simple innovation like thepencil: One can use it to write a superlative essay, to drum away the time, orto poke out someones eye.

    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Veenema & Gardner, 2002

    An attempt to discuss the current trends in multimedialearning cannot be undertaken without recognizing that there is no universalagreement in published literature that the use of multimedia in educationalmaterials is entirely effective. While it is not my intent address this issuein any substantial way, it is prudent to recognize that a wide range ofcontradictory views exist on the subject of multimedia learning . I should be clear that I do side with Veenema and Gardner whowrite that technologies like CD-ROM that include a variety of media may wellbe able to help more students form rich representations of an event andcultivate deeper understandings. However, it is unrealistic to expect this tohappen by simply adding more information and more media.

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    Take Care Of Yourself

    In the professional learning communities I observe when I travel throughout the country I see dedicated professionals who chose to become educators because of their dedication to making a difference for all students. Teachers are drawn to their career choices for admirable reasons. Creativity, imagination, perseverance, and motivation endure in the educators I meet, even in these times of teacher blame and over-packed curriculum.

    It is critical that we prepare today’s students with the executive function skill sets they will need for success in the globalized, information explosive, and ever-expanding technologically progressive 21st century. Just as certain is the continued accountability by educators to teach the over-packed curriculum in the existing standards.

    Please take care of yourselves. Take the time to acknowledge any progress toward your goals. What I’m advocating regarding more activation of students’ executive function networks may not provide you with immediate evidence of the changes you are promoting in their brains — although it is highly likely you’ll find behavior “management” problems decrease as engagement increases. You’ll have to use your executive function of resisting immediate gratification to persevere on the long-term goal of setting in motion the birth of dendrites and synapses to give your students the best chance of achieving their highest potentials of professional, social, and emotional joy, and success in the years to come.

    Many Teachers Already Use Some Brain

    • Activating prior knowledge: When a teacher introduces topics to his students by activating prior knowledge, he is helping them build on what they already know. This strengthens the connections in their brains.
    • Utilizing tools: Teachers who use rhymes, songs and graphic organizers are already using strategies related to brain-based learning. These strategies assist students to represent their thinking kinesthetically, visually and phonetically. These techniques prime the brain for learning.

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    Learning As A Function Of Students Emotions And Motivation

    It is easy to overlook this segment of learning. We dont need to always focus on improving cognitive abilities like attention, memory, mental simulations, mental rotations, pattern matching, analyzing concepts, hypothetical & counterfactual thinking, intelligence, verbal ability, and sensory awareness.

    Sometimes, the problem is more about emotion, motivation, behavior, and mental health. Cognition and emotions arent disparate entities but addressing one or the other can make addressing a problem irrelevant. Think: What use is memory training if a person has no inclination or intention to use it. Addressing both in a particular context is more holistic.

    Here are a few emotional/motivational learning strategies. Students can often benefit from these because they address the emotions which percolate through ones learning space.

  • Tolerate aversive emotions to counteract procrastination and disliked content. Read this to understand why we procrastinate and how to overcome it.
  • Add personal meaning to learning contexts. Personal relevance promotes motivation and creates an intention to apply ones learning in the real-world.;Learning with a sense of meaning makes it easier for students. Making things relevant and relatable taps into the innate human motivation called sense-making, which enables us to conceptualize all sorts of information.
  • Cope with last-minute studies by addressing thoughts like, Ok, I screwed up and I dont have time. What do I do now?
  • Further reading:

    Emotions Are Vital To Patterning

    Brain Based Learning

    Neutral learning does not exist. Whenever an individual learns something, there is always an emotional response. This means that every decision has some kind of emotion linked to it.

    This is considered one of the strongest implications of brain-based learning. This means that the classroom is actually an emotional place.

    Teachers need to encourage students to have positive attitudes. When teachers treat their students with respect, it builds a desirable environment that tends to help their students succeed.

    Teachers need to utilize materials that draw their students into learning because it is presented to them in an attractive and inviting way. Deep truths will be uncovered as the investigation into the childs brain continues.

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    There Is Nothing New In This Approach

    RESPONSE: When people say good teachers have been doing this for years, two things are true. First, you may be very young or have a short memory. Only 40 years ago, good teaching was defined by all-lecture, content-laden classes, clean desks, quiet students , with little movement. Yes, its true that some teachers have been using brain-compatible strategies for centuries, but most have been moving towards a more brain-friendly approach.

    Keep in mind that if you dont know why you do what you do, its less purposeful and less professional. Its probably your collected, refined wisdom. Nothing wrong with that, but some of the collected, refined wisdom has led to some bad teaching, too.

    But to be purposeful about your work; ah that is another matter.

    Are there recent discoveries from the world of brain-mind science that can be applied to the classroom? You bet!

    Heres a list highlighting a few specific areas of research that have important implications for learning, memory, schools and trainings.

    The point is, we now know enough about the brain to justify specific strategies that only a few years ago were just good ideas without scientific basis. Heres an example. We have irrefutable evidence that embedding intense emotions into an activity may stimulate the release of adrenaline, which may encode the memory of the learning much stronger.

    Grow As A Teacher At American University

    Brain-based learning is just one innovative approach teachers use today. To develop more techniques and grow as a teacher, American Universitys Online Master of Arts in Teaching program prepares students to be progressive minded and prepared. Through courses like Effective Teaching for Diverse Students, American University students cultivate skills to design cutting-edge curriculums. Grow your knowledge and passion for teaching at American University.

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    Break It Down And Get Active

    Two additional successful memorization strategies are chunking and active learning. Chunking is, quite simply, a technique that breaks down large amounts of content into smaller categories, making each chunk easier to process and remember.

    As the name implies, active learning is an instructional approach that actively engages the student in their education. A study of biochemistry students at UC Santa Barbara discovered that those who were enrolled in the active learning curriculum had consistent and statistically higher test scores. Examples of active learning include role-playing, group projects, peer teaching, debates, and student demonstrations followed by class discussion.

    How To Use Brain

    Brain Based Learning

      In his book A Celebration of Neurons: An Educators Guide to the Human Brain, educational researcher Robert Sylwester wrote, The human brain is the best-organized, most functional three pounds of matter in the known universe.

      We cannot afford to underestimate our students academic potential. A childs brain is capable of learning and growth that, if nurtured, can affect the trajectory of their entire academic career, and beyond. Brain-based learning can be one of the best ways to help kids reach their potential.

      But what is brain-based learning, and how can it impact your school? Read more about brain-based learning, including various benefits. Then, discover five ways you can use scientific research to engage students.

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      Directions For Future Research

      This literature on brain-based education that makes summary claims about brain processes and their implications is augmented by a literature that makes much closer ties to emerging research in brain science and that cautiously explores possibilities for enhancing research. For example, Pat Wolfe made several recommendations to educators related to taking a proactive stance as consumers and users of insights from brain science. These recommendations are for educators to learn the general structures and functions of the brain, to gain some skills in assessing the validity of a study, to exercise caution and restraint when attempting to employ insights from research studies in a classroom, and to intelligently combine insights from brain science with knowledge from cognitive psychology and educational research. To achieve these goals, Sousa argued in 1998, there is a need for professional development opportunities for prospective and current teachers to get firsthand contact with scientists involved in cognitive neurosciencethe field of combing cognitive psychology with brain-imaging techniques. Such programs are beginning to become available at a national level and involve some of the nation’s top scientists, as evidenced by advanced courses offered by the National Institute of Mental Health, Harvard University, and the University of Washington.

      B: Brain’s Time Clock

      The human brain runs on 90 to 120 cycles called;ultradian;rhythms, which influence attention, interest, cognition, memory, visual perception, arousal, performance, moods, and behavior. To accommodate these cycles, it is important to vary instructional activities and spend no more than 12 to 15 minutes of focused attention on passive learning.

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