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Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain Energizing and Enhancing Instruction von Zadina, Janet (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 06.05.2014
  • Verlag: Jossey-Bass
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Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain

From an award-winning neuroscience researcher with twenty years of teaching experience, Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain uses educator-friendly language to explain how the brain learns. Steering clear of "neuro-myths," Dr. Janet Zadina discusses multiple brain pathways for learning and provides practical advice for creating a brain-compatible classroom. While there are an abundance of books and workshops that aim to integrate education and brain science, educators are seldom given concrete, actionable advice that makes a difference in the classroom. Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain bridges that divide by providing examples of strategies for day-to-day instruction aligned with the latest brain science . The book explains not only the sensory/motor pathways that are familiar to most educators (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), it also explores the lesser known pathways--reward/survival, language, social, emotional, frontal lobe, and memory/attention--and how they can be tapped to energize and enhance instruction. Educators are forever searching for new and improved ways to convey information and inspire curiosity, and research suggests that exploiting different pathways may have a major effect on learning. Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain allows readers to see brain science through the eyes of a teacher - and teaching through the eyes of a brain scientist.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 290
    Erscheinungsdatum: 06.05.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781118584866
    Verlag: Jossey-Bass
    Größe: 3055 kBytes
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Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain

Chapter 1
How the Brain Thinks and Learns

I just don't understand. For the last four weeks everything was ideal. I was really on top of my teaching game and the students were interested, engaged, answering questions in class, and turning in assignments. It couldn't have been better, I thought. Then I grade the exams and find that they didn't seem to have learned the material. What happened? Making Connections

What is learning? How does it differ from thinking? Could poor reading comprehension, math disability, or apparent lack of effort actually be something else? What is the purpose of homework?

Because our purpose as educators is to enhance and energize learning, we must understand the nature of learning in the brain to enhance, not hinder, the process. Even if you are not particularly interested in the neuroscience behind learning and are only looking for strategies, it is important to understand a few basic and essential processes and concepts in order to design more effective lessons. So let's wade into the technical information, just deep enough to understand the concepts. (For those interested in more information, I suggest additional readings at the end of the chapter.) Then we will examine the implications for the field of education before leaping into classroom strategies.

The brain is highly complex. As you work through this book, you will learn about many structures and functions as they relate to the topic of the chapters. In this chapter, we take a look at some of the major structures and functions.

Figure 1.1 shows the four major sections of the brain, called lobes . The word cortex refers to brain matter, so in discussing the frontal lobe, for example, we might refer to the frontal cortex, meaning the brain matter in the frontal lobe. Describing the functions of each lobe is not straightforward, as each lobe has many functions and also interacts extensively with other lobes. You will learn more about the lobes as you go along. For now, a quick overview is sufficient:

Figure 1.1 Major Areas of the Brain

Frontal lobe : involved extensively with many regions of the brain and regulates such things as emotion and attention. It is associated with executive functions, that is, higher-order thinking processes. It is also involved in movement, reasoning, and metacognition. Chapter 7 is devoted to this complex lobe.
Temporal lobe : processes language, hearing, memory, comprehension, and emotion.
Parietal lobe : integrates sensory information and is active in spatial processing and navigation, perception, arithmetic, and reading.
Occipital lobe : processes vision.
The most important fact is that the lobes work together. For example, reading can activate all lobes but some specific regions are more activated than others.

If you are over forty years old, there is a good chance that what you learned in school about the brain is wrong. Until the last few decades, scientists believed that the brain could not change except during critical periods in early childhood. After the critical window, the consensus was that you were stuck with the brain that you had. Worse, if the brain was injured, there wasn't much that could be done to fix it. We now know that the brain is plastic - it changes as a result of experience. The implications are huge for teaching and learning. Let's explore the science of plasticity.
What Does the Research Say?

Beginning in the 1960s, pioneer neuroanatomist Marian Diamond and her colleagues were the first to show that experience or training changes the brain. In this landmark study, rats that had richer environments had greater changes in their brain anatomy, chemistry, and behavior (learning). The enriched environment consisted o

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