The Advantages of a Brain Based Learning Environment
PSY370 Learning and the Brain
Instructor: Rochelle Kilmer
March 3, 2011
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Brain –based learning is a comprehensive new approach to teaching by using research that has been conducted on the brain and by using the study of neuroscience. Brain-based learning emphasis how the human brain learns naturally the way it was intended. Brain-based learning is based upon what scientist currently knows about the function and structure of the brain at different developmental stages. Using the most current research and educational techniques that are brain friendly provide a biologically driven framework that will create effective instruction. Brain-based learning also helps educators and scientist both to understand and explain reoccurring behaviors in learning. Currently, related strategies and techniques stress allowing teachers to connect learning and emotional experiences as well as a student’s history and how it affects the brain and learning.
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The Advantages of a Brain –Based Learning Environment
For over two thousand years, scientists have found simple models of how people in the past viewed the brain and how it worked. Up until the middle of the 1900’s the brain was compared to a switch board that helped to run a cities phone and electrical systems. During the 1970’s brain theories spoke mostly of the differences between right and left brain. This theory went on until scientist Paul McClean developed the concept that he titled “The Triune Brain” which speaks of the evolution of the brain; his theory was based upon the brain being separated into three equal parts. McLean’s theory hypothesized that learning to survive is an action that is controlled by the lower brain, and emotions were controlled by the middle brain, and an individual’s higher order of thinking took place in the upper part of the brain. Over the last two decades, neuroscientist have continuously done research that has implications that improved teaching practices as they obtain information on how the brain works from autopsies, experiments, and different types of brain scans, such as, MRI’s, PET and CAT scans. Information has also been obtained as neuroscientist construct clinical studies that use, double blind, large, diverse, multi age, multicultural groups of people to gather information. This information has helped scientist determine how learning occurs in the brain. Based upon the conclusion from the research that was conducted, educators have taken this information and incorporated it into books about learning. As a result, brain-based learning has come into existence in the classrooms all over the world. (http://www.uwsp.edu. All learning is filtered through the brain in some way, so what is meant by teaching and learning from a brain-based approach. “Brain-based education is best understood in three words, engagement, strategies, and principles. “ Brain-based education is actually learning in the way that the brain was designed to naturally
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learn in. Brain based teachers look at their students and use various strategies and activities to determine how their student’s brain works the best. (Jensen, E. (2008) Brain-Based Learning, Corwin Press). In the 1990’s, President George Bush and Congress declared the 90’s as the “Decade of the Brain”, as a result, the new concept of Brain-based learning began to be implemented into education. Brain –based education also became an integral part of new research and literature on the workings of the brain. (http://www.principlespartnership.com) Natures biological imperative of the human brain is simple, no intelligence or ability will unfold until it is given the right model environment. From a scientific perspective, it is important to acknowledge that the human brain, just like the immune systems of the...