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brain-based education group project introduction

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Dianna Gregg

on 14 June 2010

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Transcript of brain-based education group project introduction

Brain-Based Education All learning is connected to the brain, so what do we mean by this? It is learning with the brain in mind! It is teaching that takes advantage of the way the brain is meant to learn. Our brain is designed for survival, not formal education. "Biologically, our brains, like our immune systems, are focused on survival. Students will do what they need to do to survive in the "schoolyard jungle". The negative behaviors they learn and practice: put-downs, deceit, attacking, avoidance, and peer pressure are expected when they feel their physical, emotional, or psychological survival is at stake." Eric Jensen The brain is poorly designed for formal instruction, In fact, it is not at all designed for effeciency or order. Rather it develops best through selection and survival. Therefore, to maximize learning, we first want to discover how "nature's engine" runs. The Evolution of Education 1. Survival of the fittest
2. The determined behaviorist
3. The brain-based naturalist Cautions and Controversies Focuses ON: 1. Connecting learning to students lives
2. Emotional experiences
3. Personal histories and backgrounds Why is this important? A Few Brain Facts " The human brain is the best organized, most functional three pounds of matter in the known universe." Robert Sylvester It allows educators to make use of the body of research which neurologists have accumulated about how our brains actually learn. 78 % water
10 % fat
8 % protein The brain comprises about 2 % of our body weight, but burns about 20 % of our calories. Think yourself thin! The brain is best at learning the things it needs to survive! socially
economically
emotionally
physically
Is this picture true? NO No one is entirely left or right-brained. There is not really left-brained learning, or right-brained learning. We do have preferences about which hemisphere is activated more than the other, but learning does not occur in only one area. We are very interactive! Left-Brain Dominant Learners Prefer Learn things in sequence
Learn best from parts to wholes
Prefer phonics
Like words symbols and letters
Rather read about a subject first
Like to gather related factual information
Prefer detailed, orderly instructions
Experience more internal focus
Want structure and predictability
Right-Brain Dominant Learners Prefer

More comfortable with randomness
Learn best from wholes to parts
Prefer a whole-language reading system
Like pictures, graphs, and charts
Rather see it or experience a subject first
Want to gather information about relationships between things
Prefer spontaneous, go-with-the-flow
Learning environments
Experience more external focus
Like open-ended approaaches, novelty, and surprises


Which one are you? Which one do you think describes most teachers? Neurons The basic functional unit of the nervous system.
Process information through the conversion of chemical signals to electrical signals and back again.
A single cubic millimeter of brain tissue contains 1 M



A neuron's cell body stays put
It consists of one long axon which can extend up to one meter
It can develop up to 10,000 dendrites You have about 100 B
(about the same # as there are stars in the Milky Way)
You can form 1 Q potential connections
1 X 10 15 th What Constitutes Learning? Learning physically changes the brain. Every new experience we encounter actually changes our electrochemical wiring. We know that when the brain receives a stimulus of any kind, the process of cell-to-cell communication is activated.

The more novel and challenging the stimulous, the more likely it is to generate a new pathway. If stimuli are not considered meaningful to the brain, the information will be given less priority, and will leave only a weak trace.

If the brain deems something important enough to commit to long-term memory, a memory potential occurs. Called long-term potentiation (LTP), this is what scientists say constitutes memory.








Axons talk only to dendrites
When an axon meets up with a dendrite, learning has occured
Demanding mental effort builds dendrites, which atrophy without use Final Thoughts For Educators The brain is a parallel processor (it can do several things at once).
It perceives parts and wholes simultaneously.
Info is stored in multiple areas, and can be retrieved through multiple neural pathways.
Learning involves the whole body.
Humans inately search for meaning.
We focus on patterns.
Emotions drive our attention, meaning, and memory.
Meaning is more important than information.
Learning involves focused attention and peripheral perception.
Memory can be spatial, or rote.
We understand best when facts are embeded in natural, spatial memory.
The brain is social.
Learning is developmental.
Every brain is unique.
Every factor should impact how we teach, because they impact how our students will learn.
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