Friday, January 23rd, 2009...5:39 pm

Five Surefire Ways to Engage Students, Part One: Brain-Based Learning

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By Theresa Bell
The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning

Looking for ways to engage your students and motivate them to be self-directed learners?  In the weeks ahead, we’ll be examining five surefire tips:

1. Brain-Based Learning
2. Multiple Intelligences & Learning Styles
3. Cooperative Grouping
4. Graphic Organizers
5. Inquiry Based Learning

The first topic is BRAIN-BASED LEARNING.
Brain-based learning is a comprehensive approach to instruction based on how current research in neuroscience suggests the brain learns naturally.  Teachers use this theory on how students receive, process, and interpret information to change the way learning is structured for students.  Brain-based strategies immerse children in a variety of hands-on and problem-solving experiences in the classroom.

The core principles of brain based learning are:

  1. Learning is physiological; consequently, learning is enhanced by a rich environment with a variety of stimuli.
  2. The brain is social.
  3. The brain’s search for meaning is innate. The search for meaning occurs through patterning.
  4. Emotions are critical to learning.
  5. The brain simultaneously perceives and creates parts and wholes.
  6. Learning involves focused attention and peripheral perception.
  7. Learning involves conscious and unconscious processing.
  8. There are two types of memory: spatial and rote. (locale and taxon)
  9. Learning occurs faster when facts are imbedded in natural spatial memory. (locale)
  10. Learning engages the whole body.
  11. Information is stored and retrieved through multiple pathways.
  12. Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by stress.
  13. Every brain is uniquely organized.
  14. Learning is developmental.

Food for thought: “If you walked into a classroom where the teacher was skilled at applying the concepts of brain-based learning, what would you see, hear, and feel?”

Watch this spacae for more information addressing multiple intelligences and learning styles.

1 Comment

  • I agree that kids do not need to sit as much as they do. We need to redesign the desks to allow them to stand up- at a podium or sit on a stool. The first thing I did as a new teacher was to have the wood shop class build me a wheel that would spin- my kids have to get up and spin the wheel to gets points if they answer the question right. They have to move more and sit less, they will learn better no doubt about it. I love group work and wish all curriculum was based on the real world problem solving and teamwork.

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