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ERIC Number: EJ853238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1931-6569
Learning and the Brain: How Administrators Can Improve Teacher Effectiveness through Instruction on How the Brain Learns
Willis, Judith
AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, v1 n2 p13-15 Sum 2004
Brain-based teaching and learning focuses on how the brain learns best, and emerging brain research is a significant resource, but only if one knows how to use it as such. Teachers have the professional training and classroom experience to know first hand where there are problems in educational practices, but most teachers haven't been taught about the brain. Teacher education focuses on theories and practical applications of strategies, but rarely includes instruction on how students' brains experience learning and memory making. If teacher education included instruction in neurology, neurophysiology and neuroimaging, teaching professionals could help determine where research is needed, what research is valid and what classroom applications could be developed from valid brain-based research. In addition, the strategies that teachers have often found the most successful are likely to be the ones that can now be supported by this new research. Teachers would be able to explain to students, parents, colleagues and administrators the scientific reasons validating the techniques they use. This all serves to reflect well upon the school administrators. The best administrators are supported by and give support to the highest caliber teachers. When brain structure and function pertaining to the learning process are part of the education those teachers receive through in-service instruction or credential education, the quality of instruction and teacher confidence are both enhanced. As a demonstration of how such instruction would benefit teachers, a brief "mini-lesson" in neurology is followed by a truncated explanation of recent brain-based educational research in the field of memory. With the neurology background the reader should be empowered to comprehend the validity of the study, see the logic of some suggested classroom applications, and use his/her professional knowledge as an educator and classroom experience to design strategies suitable to his/her own needs. This article provides a sample of a well-constructed study of the actual brain activity that is taking place when memories are stored and retrieved. It is a basic primer on some of the brain neuroanatomy and neurophysiology necessary to judge the validity of "scientific" claims, and hopefully it stimulates the reader to take a deeper look at this exciting dimension of the teaching profession.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A