3How the Brain Learns Practice Experimentation Watching/Listening ConnectingReflectingSocial constructionMeaning making
4Exterior Parts of the Brain Frontal Lobes – planning & thinkingTemporal Lobe – sound, speech, LTMOccipital – visual processingParietal lobe – orientation, calculations
5Interior Parts of the Brain Limbic System – generation of emotionsThalamus – processes sensory stimuli – except smellHippocampus – checks info in working memory to stored experiences
6CerebrumThinking, memory, speech and muscular movement are controlled by areas in the cerebrum.Frontal Lobe – Monitors:Higher Order thinkingDirecting Problem SolvingRegulating excesses of the emotional system
7The Brain Limbic System – generation of emotions Thalamus – directs sensory information to other parts of the brain. (except smell)Hippocampus – constantly checks info relayed to working memory & compares to stored experiences. (essential for creating meaning.)Amygdala – plays an important part in emotions – especially fear.
9Brain TransmissionsNeurons transmit impulses along an axon and across the synapse to the dendrites of the neighboring cell
101,000,000,000,000,000 synapsesLearning occurs by changing the synapses so that the influence of one neuron on another also changes.The more complex the skills demanded in an occupation, the more dendrites were found on the neurons – creates more sites in which to store learnings
11How the Brain LearnsConnections the brain finds useful become permanent; those not useful are eliminated as the brain selectively strengthens and prunes connections based on experience.What are the implications for teaching?
12Effective Teaching Requires: Planning Essential elements of effective instructionCompetent teacherConstant stream of decisionsStudents actively engagedCompatibility to how students learn
13The Brain is a novelty seeker The brain has a persistent interest in novelty.An environment that contains mostly predictable stimuli lowers the brain’s interest
14Using Novelty in Lessons HumorMovement – get the blood flowingMulti-sensory Instruction – interesting colorful visuals - & talk about their learningQuiz Games – helps students rehearse – adds repetitions for long term memoryMusic – helps motivate and helps memory
15Information Processing Model LearningStoringRememberingAre all dynamic and interactive processes
16Information Processing Model It limits its scope to the major cerebral operations that deal with:CollectingEvaluatingStoringRetrieving informationThe parts that are most useful to educators
17Information Processing Model Self ConceptPast ExperiencesSightHearingTouchWorkingMemorySense &MeaningImmedMemoryLongTermstorageSmellCognitiveBeliefSystemTasteSensoryRegisterout
18Memory Short term memory: All of the early steps of temporary memory that lead to stable long term memoryImmediate Memory – holds data for 30 secondsWorking Memory – limited capacity – conscious activity – captures our focus and demands our attention – occurs in the frontal lobes
19Working Memory Capacity – varies with age 5 years or younger – 2 items + or - 1Between items + or - 214 and older 7 items + or - 2The limited capacity explains why we need to memorize a song or poem in stages – increase capacity through “chunking”.How can this relate to learning new vocabulary words?
20Working Memory Time Limits Age dependent Pre-adolescents – 5 – 10 minutesAdolescents & Adults – 10 – 20 minutesFatigue or boredom sets in resulting in a loss of focus - unless a change in the way the individual is dealing with an item.
21Data Affecting Survival Priorities for Working MemoryWORKINGMEYData Affecting SurvivalData Generating EmotionsData for new learning
22Criteria for Long term Storage We cannot recall what we have not storedEmotional experiences have a high probability of being permanently storedDoes it make sense? (oh now I see)Learner can understand based upon experienceDoes it have meaning? (how will I use it)Is the item relevant
23Sense & Meaning Sense and Meaning are independent of each other When new learning is comprehensible (sense) and can be connected to past experiences (meaning) – retention is dramatically improved.
24Sense & MeaningStudents often listen to things that make sense but lack meaning.If they do not find meaning after the learning episode – there is little likelihood of long term storageTeachers often wonder why students forgot the lesson – (meaning – relevance must be clear) ie. Learn it because its on the test
25Sense & Meaning Past experiences always influence new learning. Teachers spend about 90% of their planning time devising lessons so that students will understand the objective (sense) – they need to be more mindful of helping students establish meaning.Integrating the curriculum increases meaning and retentionTeachers must understand the intent of the standards
26Moderate To High Very High Very Low Moderate To High Probability of being Stored in MemoryMEANIGPRST?ModerateToHighVeryHighVeryLowModerateToHighSense Present ?
27Retention Research has shown that: The greatest loss of newly acquired information or a skill occurs within 18 – 24 hoursIf a learner cannot recall information within 24 hours – there is a high probability that it was not permanently stored
28Self Concept Continuum – very low to very high Emotions play an important part in forming a person’s self concept.People will participate in learning activities that have yielded success for them and avoid those that have produced failure
29Self Concept Accepting or Rejecting New Learning People will participate in learning activities that have yielded success for them.They will avoid those that have produced failure.
30Self Concept Hierarchy of Data Processing: When a concept struggles with an emotion, the emotion almost always wins!It is possible for the rational system (frontal lobe) to override emotions – but that takes time and conscious effort.
31Self ConceptThe learner must believe that participating in the learning situation will produce new successes rather than repeat past failures.A teacher teaches children, not merely content. It is vital to create the conditions for success – educational & human relations skills (intentionally maximizing success)
32Self ConceptThe self concept is important in controlling the feedback loop and determining how the individual will respond to almost any new learning situation.What are the implications for instruction?
33Computer Model - Comparison Brain performs more slowlyIt takes time for the nerve impulse to travel along the axonThe brain’s working memory is limitedEmotions play an important role in human processing and creativity.The ideas generated by the brain often come from images.The brain changes its own properties as a result of experience
34ConstructivismStudents are more likely to gain greater understanding of and derive greater pleasure from learning when allowed to transform the learning into creative thoughts and products.(learning on a continuum, direct instruction provides a foundation, inquiry or constructivism, cooperative learning can take the learning to new and creative levels)
35How the Brain Learns – Why it is Important? When do students remember best in a learning episode?How can I help students understand and remember more of what I teach?Why is focus so important, and why is it so difficult to get?How can humor and music help the teaching learning process?How can I get students to find meaning in what they are learning?Why is transfer such a powerful principle of learning, and how can it destroy a lesson without my realizing it?
36How the Brain Learns – Physical aspects associated with learning How the brain processes informationMemory – Retention & LearningThe power of TransferBrain Specialization and LearningThe Brain and the ArtsThinking Skills and Learning
37Instructional Approaches Direct InstructionCooperative LearningInterdisciplinary UnitsIntegrated Thematic Units
38Using Humor to Enhance Learning Gets AttentionCreates a positive ClimateIncreases retentionEmotions enhance retentionPositive feelings from laughter increase probability of retentionIt is an effective discipline toolNo teasing or sarcasm
39Increase processing time through motivation Generate Interest – powerful motivatorEstablish AccountabilityProvide FeedbackPromptSpecificCorrectiveLevel of Concern
40Increase processing time through motivation Level of ConcernProvide consequencesVisibility & ProximityVarying the amount of time allotted to complete a taskVarying the amount of help or support available.
41Creating Meaning in new Learning ModelingAccurately & unambiguously highlight the critical attributesTeacher presents first to ensure students get it correct during this prime time when retention is the highest.Avoid controversial issues that evoke strong emotions that can redirect the learner’s attentionEmotions can shut out rational thought
42Creating Meaning in new Learning Using examples from students’ experienceBrings prior knowledge into working memory which promotes making sense and attaching meaning.It is important that the examples are clearly relevant to the new learning – should be planned in advance.
43Creating Meaning in New Learning Creating artificial MeaningMnemonic DevicesHomes – Great LakesRoy G Biv – red, green , blueFACEMan Very Early Made Jump Suits Using New Plastics
44Using Closure to Enhance Sense & Meaning It is during closure that a student often completes the rehearsal process and attaches sense and meaning to the new learning.Closure is different from ReviewThe student does most of the work by mentally rehearsing and summarizing the concepts and deciding whether they make sense and have meaning.
45Using Closure to Enhance Sense & Meaning Closure is an investment that can pay off dramatically in increased retention of learning.Closure is one of the most under used elements of effective instruction.
46Using Closure to Enhance Sense & Meaning Closure can occur at various times:It can start a lesson – think about two causes of WWII that we studied yesterday and be prepared to discuss them….It can occur during a lesson – Complete this problem on area before we move on to finding the volume…It should also take place at the end – to tie the entire lesson together…