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Educational Neuroscience to Empower Teachers and Students

Educational Neuroscience to Empower Teachers and Students

Education is about enhancing learning, and neuroscience is about understanding the mental processes involved in learning.

This common ground suggests a future in which educational practice can be transformed by science, just as medical practice was transformed by science about a century ago.

Educators and schools around the world are increasingly using the knowledge, techniques, and programs developed from a new understanding of how our brains learn. They are applying neuroscience in their classrooms.

Why? As an educator, you might be asking yourself why would I do this in my school?

Here are some reasons why. Educational neuroscience can:

  • Empower teachers with a new understanding about how students learn
  • Help students with a range of learning difficulties
  • Improve reading
  • Deliver individualised learning for every student
  • Improve overall school academic performance
  • Build the learning capacity of each student, so they learn more easily
  • Help teachers move closer to creating learning environments, rather than simply delivering  curriculum content
  • Free teachers' time to teach and add higher value learning opportunities

Neuroeducation has the potential to ease the process of studying as well as the process of teaching. It also offers a new perspective on education by focusing on the following characteristics: brain state, hormonal state, and genetic state. It helps with reading, numerics, and attention span and helpful for students with short attention span , it provides effective learning strategies for all students. As a result, students obtain different types of learning and retention.

Neuroscience programs that students access, and teachers administer, via technology have the advantages of:

  • Scalability -  a single teacher or teacher aide can deliver the neuroscience benefits to many more students than they can without technology.
  • Consistency -  because computers don't get tired or bored they can continue to provide students with repeated trials of exercises at the required level.
  • Adaptability -  technology can adapt the degree of difficulty of tasks precisely to the level of challenge best for each individual student as the student makes progress.
  • Cost effectiveness -  the cost per student is lower with technology than if you use skilled human resources (teachers, psychologists etc)  to deliver similar educational neuroscience. This does not mean technology replacing teachers. Instead, it can free teachers' time to provide more high value one on one, or small group/classroom interaction with students.

Nevertheless, you don't need technology to give your students some of the advantages of the insights that the brain research has made available to us all. There are some techniques that teachers can use, and some "pen & paper" neuroscience-based programs available.

Before this theory there wasn’t a thorough understanding of the process of learning until it was connected with neuroscience. Just by getting a grip on the functions of the brain, neuroeducation makes the learning process ‘digestible’.

Brain-based learning involves specific teaching methods and school programmes, as well as particular lesson design and planning. All of the teaching and learning aids that revolve around brain-based learning are created according to the latest findings on how the brain works. By understanding the concept, teachers are more likely to keep diverse learners engaged, create a better learning environment, and provide valuable feedback to learners to enhance the learning process. Through this method, teachers can address the students’ emotional and social needs.

Brain-based learning strategies:

  • Set a positive tone from the beginning Talk Time. Even though listening is critical, students need the opportunity to talk!
  • Chunking. ... Break learning into chunks
  • Visualizing. ...
  • Move and Learn.
  • Provide students with activities that help them focus and achieve positive moods to prime themselves for learning.
  • Teachers need to practice techniques to increase student’s mindfulness for example, students learn to do visualizations and recalling. visualize historic events, to picture vocabulary words with images that depict their meaning, or to see math procedures acted out in their mind’s eye
  • Students can do relaxation breathing before they begin a test or challenging lesson.

In the future, it may be possible to use individual data from brain structure and activity to understand each learner’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, we could use that information to derive personalized learning styles. Some experts even hope for a complete mapping of human synapses to discover how learning occurs and thereby develop biological strategies for improvement of learning.

Neuroeducation could provide an answer, ensuring only science-based training interventions are being implemented, and that employees get to understand the fundamentals of how the brain works. Having a basic understanding of the biological processes underlying the way we think, learn, and make decisions should be considered mandatory.

Here are some tips that can help you make neuroscience work in your school- whether you deliver it via technology or not.

1. Train teachers in neuroscientific principles, particularity brain plasticity—the way the brain changes physically during learning
2. Teach students about neuroscience, so they have greater knowledge about how their brains work and how they can control their own learning.
3. Have students make predictions about the projects they are working on. It engages them more deeply in the outcome and encourages them to repeat the process.
4. Make the “perception-action” cycle central to instruction. Students need to make observations and be active during their work.
5. Use real-world ideas to help students understand difficult concepts, such as having them build model boats to study buoyancy.
6. Consider neuroscience-based learning software that incorporates the concepts above.
7. Make time during the day for relaxation sessions so students can rest between subjects. Movement and exercise also provide more oxygen to the brain, which helps in learning.

There’s a long road ahead but the impact of neuroeducation on people’s performance and overall mental health could be massive.