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LEARNING AND THE BRAIN Teaching that Works: Issues in Vocational & Technical Education Instruction Central Carolina Community College November 17, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "LEARNING AND THE BRAIN Teaching that Works: Issues in Vocational & Technical Education Instruction Central Carolina Community College November 17, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 LEARNING AND THE BRAIN Teaching that Works: Issues in Vocational & Technical Education Instruction Central Carolina Community College November 17, 2005

2 Primary Sources Caine, Caine, McClintic and Klimek (2004) Leamnson (1999) Zull (2002)

3 THE BRAINS ABILITY TO VISUALIZE IS ARGUABLY THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ASPECT OF COGNITION. WHEN WE WANT PEOPLE TO LEARN, WE WANT THEM TO GET THE PICTURE. James Zull (2002). The Art of Changing the Brain, P. 138. Comprehension often requires us to make images out of language. This is possibly the ultimate in integration by the human brain. Zull, P. 171

4 Draw a picture of your typical student(s). Then…add some descriptive language.

5 POWERFUL LEARNING 1.Use note cards 2.Reflect about a powerful learning experience 3.On the card: Briefly describe the experience. What did you do that was powerful? Others do? Leader or teacher do? 4.What was the ESSENCE of the experience? 5.In groups at your tables: Consolidate the qualities and characteristics of your experiences onto the large sheet of paper. 6.Put the sheet on the wall. Strategy: Museum Walk What do you notice?

6 Powerful Learning What you learn… How you learn… Where you learn… NATURAL LEARNING

7 What are powerful learning experiences for your students? What... Personally meaningful Challenging (and they accept the challenge) Appropriate for developmental level How… In their own way, with choices and in control Use what they already know…construct Social interaction Get helpful feedback Acquire and use strategies Where… Positive emotional climate Environment supports the intended learning PROCESSING… Brandt, R. (1998). Powerful Learning.


9 How well prepared are students to learn the content in your class? What are their interests? What are their learning profiles? What is their typical physical/emotional state when learning? How do they feel about themselves and their work? DIFFERENTIATION…

10 What do we know about how the brain learns and processes information? Strategies: Note Cards Think/Pair/Share

11 VIDEO: DISCOVERY CHANNEL The Brain/Our Universe Within Evolution and Perception 1997, Discovery Communication, Inc. At your tables: What did you already know? What did you learn? What surprised you? Listen for key ideas and words…. PROCESSING…

12 THINKING MEANS CONNECTING THINGS, AND STOPS IF THEY CANNOT BE CONNECTED. Gilbert Keith Chesterton So what? Says who? What if…? What does this remind me of? Four Powerful Questions The brain searches for connections. Adam Robinson (1993) What Smart Students Know.

13 What is brain-based learning? Expanded notion of what learning is that has been reframed by neuroscience research. Maximizes everything that is natural about learning. Involves acknowledging the brains rules for meaningful learning and organizing teaching with those rules in mind. Caine & Caine, 2004

14 Zull, J. (2002). The Art of Changing the Brain

15 Teaching/Learning Academy: Valencia Community College Kolb: The Learning Cycle Ideas for learning from the structure of the brain

16 Cant Separate Emotion and Cognition Emotion and Thought Shape Each Other Cannot be Separated Teaching/Learning Academy Valencia Community College

17 Creative Sources

18 THE 12 PRINCIPLES OF BRAIN/MIND LEARNING Geoffrey and Renate Nummela-Caine The principles provide a framework for …selecting the methodologies that will maximize learning and make teaching more effective and fulfilling. Caine & Caine

19 Three Interactive Teaching Elements Relaxed Alertness Orchestrated Immersion Active Processing

20 Relaxed Alertness (Emotional Climate) The learner is experiencing low threat and high challenge The learner is both relaxed and emotionally engaged Is a psychopysiological state…can be temporary Optimal climate and state of mind for learner and teacher Once the physical patterns have been set by previous experiences, only new experiences can alter them. Principles #2, 3,5, & 11

21 Creative Sources Orchestrated Immersion in Complex Experience (Instruction) Key…to have the learners immersed in rich and complex environments as a way of life… Principles #1, 4, 6, & 10

22 ACTIVE PROCESSING (Consolidation) Principles #7, 8, 9 & 12. Digesting… Thinking about… Reflecting on… Making sense of experience… And consolidating learning.

23 Brain imaging technology allows us to see knowledgeBrain imaging technology allows us to see knowledge Connections we make through our own experienceConnections we make through our own experience Experiences mapped in unique waysExperiences mapped in unique ways Complicated connectionsComplicated connections Networks unique to each learner and teacherNetworks unique to each learner and teacher What is Knowledge? Zull, James. League for Innovations Conference. March, 2005 From: Teaching/Learning Academy, Valencia Community College

24 Relaxed-Alert State * Immersion in Complex Experience * Active Processing Best Practices: Student-Centered Experiential Holistic Authentic Expressive Reflective Social Collaborative Democratic Cognitive Developmental Constructivist Challenging Executive Functions The ability to: reason assess risk make sense of ideas and behavior moderate their emotions make a plan and develop a timeline know when to ask for help and know how to use resources adapt their goals based upon new info or understandings along their journey think critically and creatively reflect and be self-critical understand their own approaches to learning take other peoples points of view anticipate potential problems and opportunities that effect the outcome of their goals access their working memory to lead their thinking and next steps in planning Learning Capacities Engage: Social Interactions The physiology Their search for meaning Capacity to master essential patterns Emotional connections Ability to perceive parts and wholes Focus attention/learn from peripheral content Conscious and unconscious processing Capacity to learn from memorizing isolated facts and bio events Developmental steps and shifts Reduce threat, enhance self-efficacy Individual styles and uniqueness James Zull: Sensory/Experience Integration Developing Abstraction/Exec Functions Active Testing of Abstractions/Application

25 Leamnson… Learning: Stabilizing, through repeated use, certain appropriate and desirable synapses in the brain. Building new brain connections. Leamnson, R. (1999). Thinking About Teaching and Learning. PROCESSING…

26 Energizers: Get up from the chair often. Honor diversity: Use both variety and choice. Use peripherals. Set goals. Provide a topic template or model (patterns). Use positive suggestion. Absence of threat is critical. Smile. Get global. Engage emotions. Build relationships. IDEAS


28 Creative Sources Fundamentals: Relaxed alert state Experience Reflection/Consolidation Developing abstractions Active testing of abstractions A context rich in resources of all kinds Modeling and guidance, coupled with examples of expert work Complexity that exposes students to both basic and sophisticated performance

29 Its a powerful experience!

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