Brain-Based Learning and Play

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Running head: BRAIN-BASED LEARNING AND PLAY

Brain-Based Learning and Play

Wanda Dix

University of Phoenix

Early Childhood Play Theories ECH 542

Professor Dr. Sharon Ray

February 8, 2008

Abstract

The following paper will explore the meaning of brain-based learning and play. The definitions, history, some of the core principles and implication of best teaching techniques will be address.

Wilson (2007) defines Brain-Based learning as a comprehensive approach to instruction based on how current research in neuroscience suggests how the brain learns naturally. This theory is base on what researchers currently know about the actual structure and function of the human brain at varying stages of development. This type of education provides a biologically driven framework for teaching and learning, and helps explain recurring learning behaviors. A meta-concept that includes and eclectic mix of techniques. Currently, these techniques stress allowing teachers to connect learning to students ½ real life experiences. This form of learning also encompasses such educational concepts as: •mastery learning,

learning styles,
multiple intelligences,
cooperative learning,
practical simulations,
experiential learning,
problem-based learning,
movement education.
Over 2,000 years there have been primitive models of how the brain works. In the mid 1900s, the brain was compared to a city switchboard. In the 1970, ½-brain theory spoke on the right and left-brain. Paul Mc Clean refers to the evolution of the human brain three parts the concept of the triune brain was introduced. McClean theory hypothesized that survival learning is in the lower brain, emotions were in the mid-brain, and higher order thinking took place in the upper brain. Currently, researchers embrace a whole system, complex brain model. During the last two decades neuroscientists have be doing research that has implications for improved teaching practices. Neuroscience is based on information obtained through autopsies, experiments, and different types of scans MRIs, EEGs, PET and CAT scans, along with the most recent brain research lab studies in neuroscience. Neuroscientists construct clinical studies that use double blind, large, diverse, multi-age, multicultural groups of people to gather reliable information. This information has helped determine how human learning occurs. In essence, these scientists have been peering into the black box in order to determine how the brain processes and retains information. Thus, technology in medicine has paved the way for many new learning innovations. Children are natural learners. They are born to be smart just think of all the amazing things they learn to do within the first few years of their lives: how to walk, how to talk, and how to do many other complex things. They are walking miracles and living evidence that the human brain has endless capacity to learn. As educators, the benefit from understanding the learning principles on which the brain works. The recent paradigm that draws on brain research to explain these principles is called Brain-Based Learning. Edelman’s “Neural Darwinism.” claims that the "genetic processes over thousands of years have led to the development of a generic brain fully equipped at birth with the basic intelligence and physical attributes needed to survive in the modern world." Infants are born with the skills to walk and talk. The basic predispositions have been genetically implanted. In other words, they are born with the necessary resources and all is needed to do is stimulate these resources because children will either use them or lose them. Thus, the brain resembles the jungle: evolution works by natural selection and not by instruction. In addition, the human brain is best at learning what it needs to survive physically, emotionally, socially,...
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