Brain-Based Strategies for Your Classroom
Brain-based strategies dominate leading-edge classrooms.
Developed from intensive research in neuroscience and behavioral psychology, brain-based learning addresses the needs of the whole child. It provides comprehensive academic and behavioral support and well as personalized intervention when necessary.
Notably, brain-based learning encourages independence and autonomy in learning. Rather than rely on the teacher for all learning experiences, students discover how to be self-directed as they take ownership of their educational goals. As a result, they learn how to prioritize their tasks, manage their time, and collaborate with others.
What strategies should you include?
Teaching brain-based learning can seem overwhelming, but there are a few strategies to implement right away in your classroom. To boost academic achievement, Eric Jensen encourages teachers to consider a few of these over-reaching approaches for their instruction:
· Physical movement. Physical movement enhances instruction. In an age when PE is reduced in most schools, exercise oxygenates the blood that nourishes the brain. Students who move during instruction internalize their learning more quickly.
· Socialization. Humans are social. We need to interact with others, and brain-based instruction includes collaborative strategies that teach how to work with others.
· Embrace differentiation. Most teachers recognize that students learn differently. It’s also critical to teach students that these differences are normal.
· Chunk learning. The human brain can process only so much information at a time. That is why breaking complex tasks down into manageable chunks facilitates learning. Teachers know that giving process directions one step at a time helps their students focus. So does presenting information in small bites. Brain-based learning research indicates that students are more likely to remember instruction presented in segments.
· Encourage creativity. Although schools increasingly are deleting arts programs from the curriculum, art teaches students to think in ways quite different from sequential learning experiences.
· Make emotional connections. The amygdala, a tiny organ in the center of the brain, stores important emotions for the brain to recall later. Emotional connections help to cement concepts in learner’s minds.
· Teach stress management. Like their teachers, students experience stress. Some stress is beneficial, like the kind that motivates us to complete an assignment or perform well on an exam. Negative stress can create distractions and impair learning. Students have to learn that everyone experiences stress, so it’s critical that they learn stress-management.
· Study brain development. Finally, educators who learn as much as possible about the brain and how it learns are in the best position to provide brain-based learning strategies. What we already know about the relationship between neuroscience and behavioral psychology is still in its infancy. New research creates new opportunities for reaching students with brain-based teaching strategies.
By teaching your students with brain-based strategies like these, you also help them become more reflective about their growth.
Instructional technology maximizes learning opportunities by customizing learning experiences. The personalization gives students unique experiences as well as boosts in understanding. Online learning, virtual labs, and online learning make up part of the education experience in modern classrooms.