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Motivation underlies all behavior. It is a driving force that makes the prediction of behavior very difficult. Social scientists see motivation as the.

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Presentation on theme: "Motivation underlies all behavior. It is a driving force that makes the prediction of behavior very difficult. Social scientists see motivation as the."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Motivation underlies all behavior. It is a driving force that makes the prediction of behavior very difficult. Social scientists see motivation as the “why” people behave as they do. This doesn’t make it any easier to describe, control, or predict. Ways of conceptualizing “motivation” of learners: – Biological/physical conditions, states, processes. – Beliefs and systems of thought or philosophy about life or events – One’s cultural and/or familial background and associated values – Controlled and mediated by S-R, S-O-R, or R-S+ 2 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

3 Facilitative Debilitative Adult Learner Motives A Lot Some None Skills, Knowledge, Dispositions Acquired Performance Engagement Attitudes How Learners are Affected in Classrooms? 3 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

4 Context of Motivation by Adults and their Effects Facilitative Debilitative Adult Learner Motives A Lot Some None Skills, Knowledge, Dispositions Acquired Performance Engagement Attitudes How Learners are Affected in Classrooms? 4 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

5 Why is Motivation Important? Motivational influences both on the part of the Adult (teacher) and the Student are correlated with measures of achievement and performance High motivation means more effort and persistence with learning. An adult educator trained with someone who encourages motivation will profit more from the training and be more effective applying what has been learned in schools. 5 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

6 Neuroscientific Correlates of Motivation We can argue that “motivation” as a driving force for acquistion of skills, knowledge, and dispositions on the part of adults, for the most part, an outcome of a complex neuroscientific scenario which explains why we do and why we don’t learn. 6 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

7 Big Idea about Neurocognitive Influences on Learning Applied to Staff Development and Systems Change (Wlodkowski, 2008) When adults learn, they build on or modify (neural) networksthat have been created through previous learning and experience. The networks represent the adult learners’ prior knowledge. An instructor cannot remove the neuronal networks that exist in an adult learner’s brain. They are a physical entity. That is why we simply cannot explain something away, especially if it is a deeply held attitude or belief. Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

8 Example of RBM, RTI, Problem-Solving Approach Profound and Systemic change for schools operation in working with struggling students 180 degree shift Experience of over 30 years Comfortable with old ways Perceive little for the teacher to gain (cost/benefit) Plate is already full with other things Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

9 Learning & Brain Function The brain is organized as an organ for “learning”. In its broadest sense, the brain is learning all the time, awake or asleep, continuously, unconsciously, simultaneously performing ongoing parallel functions. Simple structures such as neurons orchestrate remarkable feats of intelligence and performance. Lets examine a few of the ideas about the brain and learning which are most relevant to motivation and learning of the adult. 9 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009

10 Neurons communicate through structures called axons and dendrites releasing neurotransmitters to send messages between them. 10

11 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 The “neurotransmitter system” both inhibits and facilitates neural transmission. These chemicals contain “instructions” which are ultimately transformed into what we call behavior, mood, thinking, sensations, emotion, etc.. 11

12 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

13 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 A Problem Solving Task 13

14 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Learning a New Language Task 14

15 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

16 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

17 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 The Triune Brain Brain Stem (Reptillian Brain) is primarily concerned with life support--control of breathing and heart rate. The Limbic System (Mammalian Brain) is the principal regulator of emotions, preservation of the species (procreation and socialization), the “flight or fight” response to stress. It also plays a critical role in the storage of information in long-term memory. The Cerebral Cortex (Neomamalian Brain) is the seat of consciousness, regulates abstract thought, hindsight, insight, and forethought. 17

18 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Neurocognitive Concepts Influencing Learning 18

19 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 � What we pay attention to has a direct effect upon both the structure and function of our brains. � The actual shaping or molding of neural connections is called “neural plasticity” � Areas that are used generate more interconnections with neurons, areas not used “prune” away these connections. � This process tells us that what we attend to has important impact upon the actual growth of neural structures, e.g. learning 19

20 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Implications of Neuroplasticity � Environment physically changes the brain � Enriched environments increase cell weight and increased branching of dendrites � Impoverished environments decrease the size, number, and interconnections of neurons � Neuroplasticity has important implications for parents, teachers, and anyone interested in facilitating optimal human learning and adjustment 20

21 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Under threat/stress, we experience what Leslie Hart calls “downshifting”, or reverting to more primitive behaviors-- our responses become more automatic, rigid, and limited with less capacity for rational and creative thought. Downshifting results in emotional centers of the brain (limbic system) to take over control resulting in deficits in rational thought and poor adjustment when we are stressed or overwhelmed by emotional stimuli... 21

22 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

23 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Comparison of the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories on emotions. According to the James- Lange theory (red arrows), the man perceives the frightening animal and reacts with physical (neurovegetative) manifestations. As a consequence of such unpleasant physical reaction, he develops fear. In the Cannon-Bard theory (blue arrows), the frightening stimulus leads, first, to the feeling of fear which, then, brings about the physical response. James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories on emotions 23

24 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Emotion drives behavior, cannot separate “thinking” from “emotional” states…. Antonio DaMasio Descartes Error 24

25 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Brain, Emotion, & Attention Brains scan internal and external environment determining what is important, unimportant, dangerous, harmless, etc. This quick assessment draws on our powerful needs for safety and survival. The brain both reacts and directs neural mechansims so that we are focused most efficiently & safely in our environment. 25

26 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

27 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Fight or flight response: 1.Heart rate and blood pressure increase. 2.Large muscles prepare for quick action. 3.A visual signal first goes from the retina to the thalamus, where it is translated into the language of the brain. 4.Most of the message then goes to the visual cortex, where it is analyzed and assessed for meaning and appropriate response; 5.If that response is emotional, a signal goes to the amygdala to activate the emotional centers…. Visual Cortex Amydala Thalamus 27

28 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Hallmarks of the “Emotional Brain (Limbic Brain Structures)  A quick, but sloppy response….  First feelings, second thoughts….  A symbolic, childlike reality….  The past imposed on the present….  State specific reality…. 28

29 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Brain and Stress 29

30 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

31 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall

32 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Level of Arousal or Anxiety Effectiveness of Performance SleepPanic Low High Optimal Arousal States and Brain Function 1. Optimal Level of arousal for different tasks. 2. We behave to maintain optimal arousal that is most appropriate for tasks. 3. Too much & too little results in decrements in competence, skills 32

33 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Relaxed Alertness According to Caine and Caine, an “optimal” state Of learning is that of “relaxed alertness” Relaxed alertness consists of a : Relaxed central nervous system Optimal motivation for the task Optimal interest, relevancy for the task Relaxed alertness frees the brain to actively seek Meaning using all of its neocortical and limbic Resources in an orchestrated way. 33

34 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain Caine & Caine Challenges traditional ways of teaching. Incorporates neurocognitive research to make recommendations about the nature of instruction/learning. Believes that until neurocognitive research on “how the brain learns” is incorporated into the classroom, innovations will generally fail. 34

35 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Brain- Based/Compatible Learning and Instruction Whose Brain is Working??? 35

36 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Principles of Brain-Based Learning (Caine & Caine, 1994) Brain is a parallel processor. Learning engages the entire physiology. The search for meaning is innate The search for meaning occurs through patterning Emotions are critical to patterning Brain processes parts and wholes simultaneoulsly Learing involves both focused attention and peripheral perception.. Learning always involves conscious and unconscious processes. We have at least two different types of memory: A spatial memory system and a set of systems for rote learning We understand and remember best when facts and skills are embedded in natural, spatial memory Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibitied by threat. Each brain is unique 36

37 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall The brain is a “parallel” processor... The human brain is always doing many things at one time. Thoughts, emotions, imagination, and predispositions operate simultaneously and interact with with our social and cultural knowledge. Good teaching orchestrates the learner’s experience, recognizing that no one technique or strategy works all the time or fits with the learner’s frame of reference. 37

38 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Learning engages the entire physiology. The interaction of different parts of the triune brain outline the importance of a person’s entire physiology relative to brain functioning. Neuronal growth, nourishment, interacts are relative to an integrated physiological response of the learner. Teachers should recognize that everything that affects our physiological functioning affects our capacity to learn (brain) 38

39 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall The search for meaning is innate... The search for meaning (making sense of our experiences) an the consequential need to act on our environment are automatic. Search for meaning is survival oriented and relative to the natural memories/perceptions of the learner. Good teaching provides state patterns, routines, and expectations. The goal of instruction should be to make concepts “meaningful” given the learners natural context. 39

40 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall The search for meaning comes through “patterning”... The brain is designed to to perceive and generate patterns, and it resists having meaningless patterns imposed on it. Meaningless patterns are isolated pieces of information unrelated to what makes sense to a student. Implications for teachers are that learners are forming patterns in one way or another. If they don’t make sense, they will make them so. Teachers can assist by helping students involve themselves in critical thinking and problem solving as well as reflection. 40

41 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Emotions are critical to patterning We simply do not learn things, what we learn is influenced by emotions and mind sets based on expectancy, personal biases and prejudices, degree of self-esteem, and need for social interaction. Emotion and cognition cannot be separated, they cannot simply be shut off, they facilitate memory. Good teaching involves the use of strong emotional hooks and situations, which allow the brain to use natural memories, contexts, that are meaningful to them. 41

42 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Brain processes parts and wholes simultaneously In the healthy person, the two hemispheres are inextricably interactive, whether a person is dealing with words, mathematics, music, or art. People have enormous difficulty learning when either parts or whole are overlooked. 42

43 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception.. The brain absorbs information of which it is directly aware and to which is is paying attention, as well as stimuli that lie beyond the field of attention. All of this, however affects us and provides a context for meaning in the classroom. Peripheral information can therefore be purposely organized to facilitate learning. 43

44 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Learning always involves conscious and unconscious processes. We learn much more than we ever consciously understand. Most of what we have learned never reaches consciousness. We must use active review and processing to bring into consciousness our perceptions and learnings. “Reflection” is one aspect of this process. 44

45 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall We have at least two different types of memory: A spatial memory system and a set of systems for rote learning We have a natural, spatial memory system that does not need rehearsal and allows for instant memory of experiences. Facts and skills that are dealt with in isolation are organized differently by the brain and need much more practice and rehearsal. BB learning ties together these natural and rote systems. 45

46 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall We understand and remember best when facts and skills are embedded in natural, spatial memory Our native language, for example is learned through multiple interactive experiences involving vocabulary/grammar as well as by internal and social interactions. Methods such as experiential learning are helpful in typing together natural/spatial memory with learning tasks. 46

47 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat The brain downshifts under perceived threat and learns optimally when appropriately challenged. The central feature of “downshifting” is helplessness. A relaxed, but alert psychological and physiological system reducing threat in a challenging learning environment is optimal. 47

48 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Each brain is unique Although brain functions and structures are similar, experiences which shape the neural makeup and interactions within the brain bring about individual “unique” qualities reflected in our predispositions, personality, perceptions, etc. Each brain is different, and processes content of learning differently. 48

49 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Indicators of BB Learning-Caine & Caine (1994) Involvement/challenge? Creativity/enjoyment? Link content to life? Life themes & metaphors challenged? Hooks & big picture? Continuity over time with “themes” Interest to subject beyond classroom? Use of physical space? Richness of the learning environment? Use of physical setting? Group atmosphere? Positive collaboration? Opportunities to reorganize & integrate in personaly meaningful ways? Time for “reflection”. Students have time to apply? Do students apply to their own strengths & weaknesses? 49

50 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Constructivisim and Learning Many of concepts of cognititive neuroscience, brain-compatible learning closely resemble those of “constructivist” principles. Constructivism from a brain-compatible perspective considers the role of “meaningfulness”, “self-generation”; “active integration”--all concepts which imply the optimal engagement of brain processes... 50

51 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Metaphors and Concepts of How Our Brains Learn 51

52 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 Ecologically Oriented Learning and the Brain (Commoner, 1974) ¶Everything is connected to everything else. ·Everything must go somewhere. ¸Nature knows best. ¹There is no free lunch 52

53 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Everything is Connected to everything else... Brain is a dense web of interconnected neurons. Each neuron is only a few neurons away to other neurons. Engaging the brain involves engaging many related areas that give meaning/interpretation. Thematic approaches for example capture this interconnectedness of brain functioning 53

54 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Everything must go somewhere. Everything we do in an environment leaves a trace… Even though we aren’t aware of it at the time, brain activity leaves a trace, memory, interconnections. The brain is a dynamic organ that responds to these traces, altering in subtle ways. 54

55 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall Nature knows best. Our brains have evolved over millions of years and function in natural ways to preserve, understand, and effectively interact with our environments. Ignoring the brains way of functioning is to risk losing the potentials that students possess (see Caine & Caine) 55

56 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Educational policies & practices should work to capitalize upon the brain’s strengths Educators that seek to understand the new cognitive neuroscience and experiment with it’s applications in the classroom will be innovators, or we will remain essentially the same. 56

57 Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP: SCPY 661 Techniques...Fall 2009 References 1 Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain by Caine & Caine 2 A Celebration of Neurons: An Educators’s Guide to the Human Brain by Robert Sylwester 3 Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create our Conscious Lives by Michael S. Gazzaniga 4 The Human Brain: A Guided Tour by Susan A. Greenfield 5 Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It by Jane M. Healy. 6 Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by Antonio R. Damasio 7 Human Brain and Human Learning by Leslie A. Hart 8 The Growth of the Mind: An the Endangered Origins of Intelligence by Stanley I. Greenspan Ò In Search of Understanding: The Case for constructivist Classrooms by Jacqueline Brrooks and martin Brooks. 57


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