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Using Brain Research to Inform Instruction

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Presentation on theme: "Using Brain Research to Inform Instruction"— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Brain Research to Inform Instruction
By Marsha Volini

2 Let’s see what the research says about student learning…

3 Brain Research Tells Us That……
All learning begins with the self-system The self-system determines whether we will engage in the learning and how much energy or enthusiasm we will bring to the event For something to be important to us, it must satisfy a basic need or be instrumental in achieving a basic goal Information that is not seen as relevant is discarded by the brain From: What Every Teacher Should Know About Student Motivation By Donna Walker Tileston

4 Motivation to Begin a Lesson
Neuroscience teaches us that….. Most of what we learn comes to us through the 5 senses The brain filters out 98% of all incoming information The brain rules out that which it determines is not important Emotion is the strongest force for embedding information into the brain’s long-term memory We add emotion to learning through sound, celebrations of the learning, visuals, simulations, and real-world applications From: What Every Teacher Should Know About Student Motivation B y Donna Walker Tileston

5 Students Need A Positive Emotional Climate
Acceptance by the Teacher: Students need to have hope that they can be successful in the eyes of the teacher Acceptance by Peers: Students need to feel safe in the classroom A Sense of Order: The brain seeks order and consistency Clarity of Tasks: Students need to understand directions and have adequate time before performing tasks Resources for Success: Including books, materials, computers, adequate time, and opportunities for practice Emotional Intelligence: Knowing one’s emotions; managing emotions; motivating oneself; recognizing emotions in others; handling relationships From: What Every Teacher should Know About Student Motivation By: Donna Walker Tileston

6 Where Does Learning Begin?
Learning begins in the self-system of the brain. Within a matter of seconds, each student will decide whether to engage in the learning – the new task- or to continue what they are doing. The self-system determines whether students will engage in the learning and how much energy or enthusiasm they will bring to the event.

7 The Self-System of the Brain
Is this task important to me? Is it personally relevant? Will I be successful? based upon past experience Do I have a positive feeling about the class itself?

8 The first component of the self-system is Importance Strategies to help students determine importance Tell students why they are learning the information. Ask students to compare and contrast what they already know about the subject with what they will learn. Build empathy. Did this ever happen to you? Did you ever need to use this information? Give the information real-world context. Show relevance through the teachers’ attitudes, emotions, and body language. Students prioritize the incoming data: body language is the highest priority; the tone, volume, and tempo of our voice is second; and the content and selection of our words is last. Tap into students’ curiosity to learn or to clear up confusions (See “Before & After” activity on following slide.)

9 “Before and After” sample activity
Before Learning After Learning Statements 1. Only people traveling first class were saved when the Titanic sank. 2. Migration is when people settle in a new country 3. 1, 098 > 1, 201 On the right, are statements from what the students will be learning. Before the lesson, students look at the statements and put true or false in the box “Before Learning”. After the lesson, students reread the statements and put true or false in the box “After Learning”. (This can be used for making predictions, assessing prior knowledge, generating student interest, etc.)

10 The second component of the self-system is Efficacy
Efficacy is the learners’ belief that they can do the task or learn the information. Self-efficacy is not based on good feelings about oneself, but on fact: “I know I can do this because I have had success in this before.” Strategies to foster self-efficacy Provide opportunities for all students to be successful. Provide specific feedback. Students need to know what they are doing that’s right, what needs improvement; and how they can make the improvements. Provide wait time after questions. Give partial credit and provide clues when students are stumped. Create a climate where students believe that the whole class is learners working together and that it’s okay if one doesn’t know the answer.

11 The third component of the self-system is Emotional Response
Emotion is the strongest force in the brain. Negative emotion can literally shut down thought processes when the learner is under great stress. (Next time you lose your car keys, see if you can do higher-level math in your emotional state!) Positive emotions help shape our motivation to learn. It is important to have a positive learning environment – both physical and emotional structures- in place. Strategies for using emotion in the classroom Music – sounds of the times, sounds of the city, other languages... Costumes – connectors to learning and remembering Symbols – connectors for factual information Drama, simulations, and student interaction

12 The Metacognitive System
Once the self-system sees that the learning is important, it can be done, and has a positive feeling about the learning, the learning is passed to the metacognitive system. The metacognitive system then sets personal goals for learning. Makes decisions about what to do when problems are encountered. Pushes the self to complete a task with high energy. Students need to be taught specific strategies for becoming organized and for setting goals!

13 The Cognitive System Processes information by making inferences, comparing, and classifying. Anytime that we present students with new learning or new tasks, the brain looks for existing connections in the brain that are based on prior experiences and prior learning (if any) then, new information can be connected to them.

14 Teachers can assist this system of the brain by…
Setting goals for the learning, posting them in the room and sending them to parents Asking students to set personal goals because learning has to have personal meaning to the learners Asking students to monitor their progress over time Providing specific and consistent feedback to students to help them identify where they are in terms of their goals Teaching students how to problem solve so that when they are not meeting their learning goals, they can change direction or determine changes that need to be made (You may want to have the students write down what they did, what went wrong, and what they will do differently next time.)

15 Some Final Thoughts About Using the Research to Engage Students in Learning

16 Engage Students in Learning by…
Connecting students’ prior knowledge, life experience, and interests with learning goals. Helping students connect classroom learning to their life experiences.

17 Engage Students in Learning by…
Promoting self-directed, reflective learning for all students. Explaining clear learning goals for each student for each activity or lesson.

18 Engage Students in Learning by…
Using a variety of instructional strategies and resources to respond to students’ diverse needs Recognizing when a lesson is falling apart and knowing what to do about it

19 Engage Students in Learning by…
Facilitating learning experiences that promote autonomy, interaction, and choice. Providing opportunities for collaborative learning.

20 Engage Students in Learning by…
Engaging students in problem solving, critical thinking, and other activities that make subject matter meaningful. Encouraging all students to ask critical questions.

21 Finally…Teachers cannot be motivated to complete it even when
for their students. but… they can teach them skills to begin a task and… to complete it even when it becomes difficult. Marzano (1992)

22 Eight Contributors to Student Motivation
Instructor’s enthusiasm Relevance of the material Organization of the course Appropriate difficulty level of the material Active involvement of students Variety Rapport between teacher and students Use of appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples

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