Essential question: What is brain-based learning and how can it inform differentiation? 

Brain-based learning refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively” (EdGlossary, 2013).

 Brain based learning

Brain-based learning is centered on the science of learning versus the notions of how we historically thought the learning process was. When educators fully understand the learning process, they can then streamline the process. According to Portland.edu, below are tips that can help teachers encourage brain-based learning by:

  • Keeping diverse learners engaged (DI)
  • Creating a richer learning environment
  • Offer valuable feedback that can lead to deeper understanding

 

Educators must keep all levels of students engaged, meaning allowing for Differentiated Instruction. They must stride to create lesson plans with real world material. Also include a feedback session where further discussion can happen to allow for a deeper understanding of the classroom topics.

 

Jensen further supports these tips in the following statement: “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.”

 

Principle to Strategies for Brain-Based Learning (Jensen, 2013):

  1. Physical education, recess and movement are critical to learning
  2. Social conditions influence our brain in multiple ways we never knew before.
  3. All educators should know the brain can and does change every day.
  4. Chronic stress is a very real issue at schools for both staff and students
  5. Schools are pushing differentiation as a strategy to deal with the differences in learners.
  6. New evidence suggests the value of teaching content in even smaller chunk sizes.
  7. The role of the arts in schools continues to be under great scrutiny.
  8. Humans have the remarkable capacity to display many emotions, but only six of them are “hard wired,” or built in at birth.
  9. There have been stunning strides in rehabilitation of brain-based disorders, including Asperger’s, learning delays, dyslexia and autism.
  10. The recent brain/mind discovery that even memories are not fixed but, instead, are quite malleable is powerful.

 

The above strategies from Jensen inspire brain-based learning. Breaks like recess are necessary for any students. Younger students are able to get out some unused energy during their breaks which can help with refocus again later in the classroom. I have always thought that the social aspect is so important for students. The social side is like the undocumented lesson plan on how well we are able to develop relationship unscripted. When we are able to self cope and find a place in class where we feel we belong, that environment encourages brain-based learning and other life lessons. Teachers should know that students brains change daily and stress is a factor for everyone. Small group sizes allow for more social interaction and have positive impacts. I love that we have more developments from research of a variety of learning disabilities and the strategies to cope with them.

 

Below is a link to Edutopia videos on brain-based learning:

https://www.edutopia.org/blogs/beat/brain-based-learning

 

Resources:

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retrieved from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=301969&site=ehost-live

Jensen, Eric. (N.d). 6 Quick Brain-Based Teaching Strategies. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://www.jensenlearning.com/news/6-quick-brain-based-teaching-strategies/brain-based-teaching

Great Schools Partnership. (2013, Aug 29). Brain-based Learning. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://edglossary.org/brain-based-learning/

Jensen, Eric. (N.d). What is Brain-Based Learning? Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: https://feaweb.org/brain-based-learning-strategies

Staff. (2012, Oct 24). Explanation of Brain Based Learning. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-instruction/brain-based-learning-explained/

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “EDET 637 – Week 8

  1. I think the best advice was given in our reading and it stated that the best way to learn was to “Learn, discuss, and take a walk”. I know that it’s important for elementary students to be physically active during the day, but that is not really possible for our high school. Only half a year of PE is required for graduation, and that is taken during 9th grade, so unless it’s built into a lesson or your class to be active, it will be difficult. I think I remember reading too that you could have students just get up and walk around silently and that will help, but I have not encouraged this. I may do this as a strategy for helping kids focus in class more. Usually the issue is getting focused after the physical activity, it takes a while for some kids to calm down!

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    1. I agree that it takes time for kids to calm down. I have the same problem in elementary school with my students. However, I did find that just having my students get up and jump up and down in the middle of a long test and then quietly stretch helps them calm down and get ready to get back to work. Even if it’s just 30 seconds to a minute, it makes a big difference. I encourage you to try it.

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  2. I like how you clearly outlined ways in which we can teach using BBL. I really like this concept and how it pushes to slow down, assess, and teach to the students’ needs which will all be different.

    I also noticed the physical activity was stressed by a lot of research I was reading through. I feel like this is such a simple task that we as educators can do. I use to do it with a hyper class that I had it seemed to be worthwhile. I was always afraid others would think I was wasting precious content time if I did it too much. However, it seemed to work. Now I can back it up with saying it is researched based.

    Thanks again for clearly outlining ways in which we can help. I was so busy looking at how the brain works, I think I was a bit skimpy on these details.

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  3. I also appreciate that you outlined how we can help our students. Sometimes, I need a reminder because I get so focused on my objectives that I forget about the importance of focusing on how my students learn.

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