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Learning Theorist Assignment: Judy Willis

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Jasmin Lawicki

on 16 March 2014

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Transcript of Learning Theorist Assignment: Judy Willis

Learning Theorist Assignment:
Judy Willis

March 15, 2014

Jasmin Lawicki
Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed
Went back to school for her Teaching Credential and Masters of Education
Major Principles
Graduated from UCLA School of Medicine
Practiced neurology for fifteen years
Currently teaches at Santa Barbara Middle School
Learning is a lifelong process which causes growth of brain cells.
Learning connections must be maintained.
Unused neurons will be pruned.
Practice builds strong neural pathways.
Enriched learning environments stimulate growth of neural pathways.
Multi-sensory teaching increases memory.
Major Principles
Conscious thinking happens in the prefrontal cortex.
RAS and Amygdala act as filters to the prefrontal cortex.
Stress, boredom, confusion, low-motivation, and anxiety block learning.
Attention, memory storage, comprehension and executive functions are closely related to the release of dopamine in the brain.
Applying Principles
ESE Teacher, grades PreK-5

Allows students to practice learning in meaningful, authentic situations.
Decreases frustration allowing students with disabilities to learn.
Students with cognitive disorders will retain knowledge through practice and metacognitive activities.
Allows students to form higher order thinking.
Aligns with Common Core Standards.
Promotes stress-free learning environments and intrinsic motivation.
Allows students to build self-esteem.
Allows students to self-monitor.
Lowers affective filter to allow learning.
Neuroscience can be used to find the most effective teaching strategies.
Brain-Based Learning Strategies
Play a song.
Greet students in a costume.
Start lessons with unanticipated demonstration.
Use anecdotes.
Speak with enthusiasm.
Video Game Approach
Supply work to a student's "achievable challenge level."
Use incremental feedback and progress throughout the lesson.
When students master work, give them more challenging work.
Put emphasis on intrinsic motivation.
Structure Lessons Like Video Games
Personal Meaning
Keep lessons student-centered.
Use hooks to connect learning to personal experiences.
Relate learning materials across the curriculum.
Use visualization, first modeling, then allowing students to visualize.
Reduce Stress
Personalize lessons by using examples based on student interests.
Give personal feedback every 10 minutes.
Allow students who get the lesson to move ahead to prepared challenging questions.
Reassure students who are not getting anything that it is alright, they can learn the material, and you will set a time to work with them more in-depth.
Use individualized whiteboards for discussions and to assess learning.
Allow students to give a thumbs up/down for yes/no questions.
Color Gets Through the Affective Filter
Use colored pens, color-coded notes, or color words to indicate the level of importance.
Use a traffic light to indicate importance.
Instructional Planning
Plan for breaks in student learning, or syn-naps.
Lessons become student-centered.
Lessons structured to reach prefrontal cortex and promote long-term memory.
set-up to
movement and socialization.

Record, 44
(1), 33-37. Retrieved from http://db03.linccweb.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=508009165&site=ehost-live
Willis, J. (2007). Preserve the child in every learner.
Kappa Delta Pi
Willis, J. (2006).
Research-based strategies to ignite student learning:
Insights from a neurologist and classroom teacher.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Edutopia. (2011, June 21). Big thinkers: Judy Willis on the science of
thinking [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtube.com
Willis, J. (2014).
R.A.D. by Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed.
Retrieved from
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