Presentation on theme: "THE BRAIN AND LEARNING. OBJECTIVES With support of notes, participants will be able to: describe how learning is related to brain structure and functions."— Presentation transcript:
OBJECTIVES With support of notes, participants will be able to: describe how learning is related to brain structure and functions offer hypotheses about effective teaching practices based on information about the brain identify misconceptions she/he held and/or the beginnings of new information/knowledge
KEY QUESTIONS What is learning? How does the brain “learn”? How might teachers use information about the brain to support learning for themselves, for children, and for youth?
HOW DOES THE BRAIN “LEARN”? Cells Types of cells Structure of Neurons Learning and neurons Brain Components Hemispheres & Lobes Interior of brain Cortex Relationship to learning
EXPLORING BRAIN COMPONENTS, TEACHING, AND LEARNING Metaphors old and new
HEMISPHERES Two cerebral hemispheres - left and right Connected by corpus callosum Left hemisphere generally processes information more in parts and sequentially; recognizes positive emotions faster than right hemisphere Right hemisphere controls gross motor functions but not fine motor functions for right-handers; recognizes negative emotions faster than left hemisphere Music and arts as right-brain activities OUTDATED!
INTERIOR STRUCTURES AND THEIR FUNCTIONS Thalamus: key sensory relay station; part of body’s reward system Hypothalamus: Like a thermostat - regulates and influences appetite, hormone secretion, digestion, sexuality, circulation, emotions, sleep
INTERIOR STRUCTURES AND THEIR FUNCTIONS Hippocampus : In temporal lobe, strongly involved in learning and memory formation Amygdala : Critical processor for senses. Plays a role in emotionally laden memories. Contains huge number of opiate receptor sites implicated in rage, fear, and sexual feelings
TYPES OF CELLS GLIAL CELLS Greek for “glue” Most numerous of brain’s cells - 90% 1,000 billion; no cell body Role Role - formation of blood- brain barrier, transport of nutrients, regulation of immune system, remove dead cells, structural support NEURONS Adults - 100 billion, half of a two year old Areas of brain grow new neurons Healthy neurons continuously firing Neurons can move Role Role - Responsible for information processing and converting chemical and electrical signals back and forth
STRUCTURE OF NEURONS Cell body,axon, dendrites Myelin sheath, neurotransmitters Number of combinations est. as a 1 followed by 6.5 million MILES of 0’s Earth to Moon and back more than 13 times
IMPLICATIONS OF BRAIN STRUCTURE/FUNCTIONS FOR LEARNING PROCESS TRANSFORMATION AND JUSTICE Information/experience understanding Past future Outside inside Power of other Power of learner
PURPOSE OF THE BRAIN The purpose of the brain is to ensure survival Survival is ensured through learning Learning occurs through the electrical and chemical processing of new, coherent experiences, not through repeating old experiences That is, people get “smarter,” or “learn,” by growing more synaptic connections and increasing dendritic branching - INCREMENTAL NOT FIXED! Dendritic connections, not brain size, allow us to solve problems Learning DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean a change in behavior Genetic inheritance, damage to the brain, and adverse experiences can interfere with the neurological process of learning Teaching, learning, and parenting choices can improve learning and capacity
ONE MORE TIME :) learning changes the brain learning occurs through trying out new things, not through getting the “right” answer - preventing mistakes is not healthy for a growing, adaptive brain repeated electrical stimulation, along with increased input of nutrients, fosters cell growth through dendritic branching and formation of new synapses new synapses usually appear after learning occurs memory is enhanced through relevant, varied, engaging repetition and through applying complex thinking strategies
IDEAS TO CONSIDER ENRICHED ENVIRONMENTS GROW BETTER BRAINS : integrate stories, reading, conversation, movement, music, arts into experiences, provide challenging problem solving, provide opportunities for choice CHALLENGE : The single best way to grow a better brain is through challenging problem solving, critical thinking, relevant projects, complex activities. FEEDBACK : specific, not general; multi-modal
THE ART OF CHANGING THE BRAIN - ZULL Nutrition Exercise Genes Challenge,language development, and arts Love Feedback