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ERIC Number: EJ999236
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1537-5749
Neuroscience in Schools
Schachter, Ron
District Administration, v48 n11 p40-45 Dec 2012
For generations, teachers in the early elementary years have urged their young pupils to use their brains. They're still offering the same encouragement, but nowadays they can know even more about what they're talking about. Recent advances in neuroscience--from detailed scans of the brain to ongoing research on teaching methods that increase cognitive development--have ushered in a new era of "brain-based" education. Training teachers in brain-based education is just what Leslie Owen Wilson--an education professor at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater--has been doing for the past decade. The principles that Wilson teaches graduate students include understanding the brain is social and develops better in concert with other brains; that the search for meaning comes through patterning; and that learning engages the whole body. While approaches like these may already be familiar to some classrooms, brain-based education advocates, including Wilson, insist they should be more widely practiced. At Jacob Shapiro Brain-Based Instruction Laboratory School, a 6-year-old elementary charter in the Oshkosh (Wis.) Area Public Schools, the teachers are trained in the biology and psychology of the brain. Such knowledge is invaluable in closely observing and questioning individual students to make sure they are ready to learn, emphasizes Principal Lynn Brown, who adds that angry or unhappy students do not make good learners. For all the breakthroughs in neuroscience, it's fallen to the early adopters to make the most of them, says Betsy Hill, president and chief operating officer of Learning Enhancement Corporation, which produces an online program that reinforces children's cognitive skills. "Most teachers do not have the basic understanding of the brain and how it works," she admits. "When they realize that the brain changes every day and that they can make a difference, they get excited." Still, she says, ongoing brain research and its lessons for the classroom are well worth embracing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Minnesota; Wisconsin