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A Brain Based Education: Yes, Please!

September 28, 2014

Brain Based LearningBrain Based Learning Strategies and the Reasons for Them

FROM FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION’S FEAWEB.COM (Eric Jensen): “Here’s a simple, but essential premise: the brain is intimately involved in, and connected with, everything educators and students do at school. Any disconnect is a recipe for frustration and potentially disaster. Brain-based education is best understood in three words: engagement, strategies and principles. You must engage your learners and do it with strategies that are based on real science.”

If this was Facebook, I’d post a “LOVE!” comment before I shared this find to every educator and educational developer I knew. I think the secret to people with a “gift” for teaching is that they know intrinsically what brain science shows us through research. And they care about it and act on it.

This is a very well done piece. As Jensen says, brain based education is “a no brainer” — the science behind it is strong and the results are compelling. But it’s still amazing how little of an average K-12 student’s day is likely to incorporate these guiding principles, mainly: Appreciate how vital movement and our range of senses are to learning — make time for playing, physical excursion, and different tactile experiences, every day and whenever possible; Be sensitive to the real impact emotions have on learning — create a safe environment, avoid random social groupings, and know that most behavior is not hardwired but learned (or reactive); Understand that every student’s brain is developing and changing — help students wire/rewire their brains for learning and living by teaching basic thinking, social, and coping skills on a continuing basis; Realize that most human brains are “atypical” when using common benchmarks to decide this, which means that almost all of us “learn differently” or develop differently — so make different the new normal, don’t fall victim to outdated labels that limit how you perceive your students; Teach in smaller chunks — the conventional standards on how much new stuff we can realistically hold onto or learn is outdated; Remember that memory is malleable and in flux when being accessed — mediate when students review content for assessment to make sure the new “content memories” they’re creating are the right ones. And others. His article is probably easier to get through than that last run-on list of mine. You can read it here.

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