Learning and the Brain (ShiftEd21: #10)

May 6th, 2011

John Medina writes in Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School that

Our schools are designed so that most real learning has to occur at home. This would be funny if it weren’t so harmful. Blame it on the fact that brain scientists rarely have a conversation with teachers and business professionals, education majors and accountants, superintendents and CEOs. Unless you have the Journal of Neuroscience sitting on your coffee table, you’re out of the loop.”

In Shift Ed, we make the argument that a deeper understanding of brain-based education – and what really works – is essential for transforming education.  As logical as this idea sounds, it’s not an easy one to put into practice.

Medina himself is emphatic that all brains are wired differently, and University of Virginia professor Daniel Willingham makes a convincing case that “brain rules” do not translate easily into classroom rules. Even so, it seems clear that this is an area in which we need to forge ahead rapidly with continuous, disciplined research.

We like the video below from Edutopia, Building a Better School with Brain-Based Learning because it incorporates a focus on brain-based learning (and technology) into a broader, more holistic view of how kids learn.  Have a watch and let us know what you think about brain-based education.