ERIC Number: ED212372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Brain-Based Curricula: Salvation or Snake Oil?
Hutson, Barbara Ann
This presidential address before the Midwestern Education Research Association describes the chain of evidence that is required to link brain research to classroom practice; describes some of the proposed brain-based curricula and the kinds of evidence presented to support them; and suggests guidelines for evaluating proposals for implementing brain-based curricula in the schools. Three approaches to brain-based curricula are critically reviewed, including Hart's interpretation of MacLean's triune brain concept, Sample's discussion of left/right hemispheric processing, and the Epstein/Toepfer position on brain growth stages. In view of the deficiencies of these theories for educational practice, it is suggested that future research linking neurology to the classroom should test the links between neurological structures, neurological functions, psychological functions, and classroom learning. Educators considering implementing a brain-based curriculum should ascertain that the curriculum (1) is based on accurate interpretation and appropriate extrapolation of basic neurological research; (2) reflects the curriculum learning theory from which it originates; and (3) has been proven to cause the desired changes in learning. Concluding remarks assert that advances in knowledge about neurological processing within the next two decades will be applied in instructional technology and may require inquiry into the ethics of controlling learning. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Biological Influences, Brain, Cerebral Dominance, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Evaluation, Developmental Stages, Elementary Secondary Education, Guidelines, Instructional Innovation, Learning Plateaus, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Metaphors, Neurological Organization, Research Needs
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brain Hemispheres; Triune Brain
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Midwestern Educational Research Association (Des Moines, IA, November, 1981).