Learning and the Brain

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Information about Learning and the Brain
Education

Published on November 23, 2008

Author: pgow3

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A very brief workshop in learning theory, from brain function to multiple intelligences.

LEARNING and THE BRAIN Taking our science lesson forward Peter Gow BCDS 2006

ABSOLUTE BASICS I We know that each person’s “cognitive system” is different—all of us come hard-wired with different learning styles . AND, each individual’s “cognitive system” is also shaped by experience —individual and cultural. (It’s Nature AND Nurture) = NO TWO PEOPLE LEARN THE SAME WAY (and, learning is social)

We know that each person’s “cognitive system” is different—all of us come hard-wired with different learning styles .

AND, each individual’s “cognitive system” is also shaped by experience —individual and cultural.

(It’s Nature AND Nurture)

= NO TWO PEOPLE LEARN THE SAME WAY

(and, learning is social)

ABSOLUTE BASICS II The brain NEEDS water, energy, oxygen, rest, sensory input ( = “stimulation”) The brain LIKES repetition, strong emotional or sensory associations, patterns, connection, uncluttered input, positive reinforcement

The brain NEEDS water, energy, oxygen, rest, sensory input ( = “stimulation”)

The brain LIKES repetition, strong emotional or sensory associations, patterns, connection, uncluttered input, positive reinforcement

IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATORS Build learning environments and promote expectations that are physically, psychologically, and socially humane; pleasant is good Establish personal (emotional) connections with students Shape learning experiences to respond to a variety of learning styles

Build learning environments and promote expectations that are physically, psychologically, and socially humane; pleasant is good

Establish personal (emotional) connections with students

Shape learning experiences to respond to a variety of learning styles

MORE IMPLICATIONS Be flexible and inclusive in the design of curriculum, assessment, classroom activities Be open to student responses that you have not anticipated BUT MOST OF ALL: be thoughtful about learning styles, pedagogy, curriculum design, and assessment strategies

Be flexible and inclusive in the design of curriculum, assessment, classroom activities

Be open to student responses that you have not anticipated

BUT MOST OF ALL: be thoughtful about learning styles, pedagogy, curriculum design, and assessment strategies

INTELLIGENCE What the heck is that? One of the early 20 th century’s most entertaining psychological questions A measure of “brain capacity” for predictive purposes; some early theorists literally measured brain size An idea with incredible (and horrific) potential for the sorting and eugenic development of humanity (White guys in tweeds at the top!)

One of the early 20 th century’s most entertaining psychological questions

A measure of “brain capacity” for predictive purposes; some early theorists literally measured brain size

An idea with incredible (and horrific) potential for the sorting and eugenic development of humanity

(White guys in tweeds at the top!)

Let’s explore g ( g is the old-time psychologist’s designation for a kind of intelligence that is general and above all measurable--the all-encompassing, one-stop shopping idea of smarts)

( g is the old-time psychologist’s designation for a kind of intelligence that is general and above all measurable--the all-encompassing, one-stop shopping idea of smarts)

What did we learn?

WHO WAS THE SMARTEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER KNOWN? How did you know s/he was so smart? What kind of smart was this person? What did being so smart “get” this person? What was this person not so smart about?

How did you know s/he was so smart?

What kind of smart was this person?

What did being so smart “get” this person?

What was this person not so smart about?

What did we learn?

Contemporary ideas about “intelligence” The notion of a unified or singular “intelligence,” measurable by some sort of simple instrument—whether a caliper or an “IQ test”—has become less prevalent New thinking focuses on the functional aspects of cognition and on the way “intelligence” makes itself apparent in the context of experience

The notion of a unified or singular “intelligence,” measurable by some sort of simple instrument—whether a caliper or an “IQ test”—has become less prevalent

New thinking focuses on the functional aspects of cognition and on the way “intelligence” makes itself apparent in the context of experience

Multiple-Intelligence Theory Howard Gardner, 1983 “ Intelligence” a constellation of capacities. Everybody possesses each, but some of us are stronger in certain ones: Verbal/linguistic (good for traditional schooling) Mathematical/logical (also a traditional winner) Bodily/kinesthetic (athletes and dancers) Musical/rhythmic (musicians and dancers) Interpersonal (“people skills”) Intrapersonal (self-knowledge and reflection) Visual/spatial (artists, athletes, architects, pilots) “ The Naturalist” (a later addition; observes, collects) Existential (another later addition; seeks meaning)

“ Intelligence” a constellation of capacities. Everybody possesses each, but some of us are stronger in certain ones:

Verbal/linguistic (good for traditional schooling)

Mathematical/logical (also a traditional winner)

Bodily/kinesthetic (athletes and dancers)

Musical/rhythmic (musicians and dancers)

Interpersonal (“people skills”)

Intrapersonal (self-knowledge and reflection)

Visual/spatial (artists, athletes, architects, pilots)

“ The Naturalist” (a later addition; observes, collects)

Existential (another later addition; seeks meaning)

The Triarchic Theory Robert Sternberg, 1988 Intelligence exists only as a functional capacity in three general areas: Analytical: the capacity for figuring out what’s going on Creative: the capacity for figuring out how to respond to what’s going on Practical: the capacity for seeing oneself and one’s own situation/needs in the context of what’s going on

Intelligence exists only as a functional capacity in three general areas:

Analytical: the capacity for figuring out what’s going on

Creative: the capacity for figuring out how to respond to what’s going on

Practical: the capacity for seeing oneself and one’s own situation/needs in the context of what’s going on

“ Dispositional Intelligence” Perkins, Ritchhart, and others, 1998 “ Intelligence” is fully contextualized; it is the sum of an individual’s “dispositions” to respond in particular ways when confronted with a novel intellectual or cognitive situation. ≈ what educators have been calling “habits of mind”

“ Intelligence” is fully contextualized; it is the sum of an individual’s “dispositions” to respond in particular ways when confronted with a novel intellectual or cognitive situation.

≈ what educators have been calling “habits of mind”

RETRO BUT USEFUL: TAXONOMY OF EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES Benjamin Bloom, 1956 A hierarchy to describe the increasing complexity of cognitive tasks and capacities Knowledge —has mastered the fundamental facts and skills Comprehension —understands it Application —can use it Analysis —can use it to break a problem down Synthesis —can put it together with other ideas to generate new ideas Evaluation —can use it as a basis for judgment

A hierarchy to describe the increasing complexity of cognitive tasks and capacities

Knowledge —has mastered the fundamental facts and skills

Comprehension —understands it

Application —can use it

Analysis —can use it to break a problem down

Synthesis —can put it together with other ideas to generate new ideas

Evaluation —can use it as a basis for judgment

And this hierarchy, useful for thinking about curriculum Grant Wiggins et al., 1994 SKILLS —things you must know how to do to achieve other goals UNDERSTANDINGS —things requiring (deep) conceptual awareness; describable by degree HABITS OF MIND —internalized dispositions to respond in certain ways to cognitive stimuli

SKILLS —things you must know how to do to achieve other goals

UNDERSTANDINGS —things requiring (deep) conceptual awareness; describable by degree

HABITS OF MIND —internalized dispositions to respond in certain ways to cognitive stimuli

Turbo-Bloom: Six Facets of Understanding Wiggins and Tighe, 1998 EXPLANATION: Sophisticated and apt explanations and theories, which provide knowledgeable and justified accounts of events, actions, and ideas· INTERPRETATION : Interpretations, narratives, and translations that provide meaning APPLICATION : Ability to use knowledge effectively in new situations and diverse contexts PERSPECTIVE : Critical and insightful points of view EMPATHY : The ability to get inside another person’s feelings and worldview SELF-KNOWLEDGE : The wisdom to know one’s ignorance and how one’s patterns of thought and action inform as well as prejudice understanding

EXPLANATION: Sophisticated and apt explanations and theories, which provide knowledgeable and justified accounts of events, actions, and ideas·

INTERPRETATION : Interpretations, narratives, and translations that provide meaning

APPLICATION : Ability to use knowledge effectively in new situations and diverse contexts

PERSPECTIVE : Critical and insightful points of view

EMPATHY : The ability to get inside another person’s feelings and worldview

SELF-KNOWLEDGE : The wisdom to know one’s ignorance and how one’s patterns of thought and action inform as well as prejudice understanding

At BCDS . . . At BCDS, all this has meant a trend toward learning experiences that are Collaborative: kids work together Connected: kids communicate often and directly with classmates and with teachers Experiential: kids do it, try it, talk about it, feel it, go out to see it Responsive: learning resonates with a multiplicity of learning and cultural styles Reflective: kids have the chance to think about their learning

At BCDS, all this has meant a trend toward learning experiences that are

Collaborative: kids work together

Connected: kids communicate often and directly with classmates and with teachers

Experiential: kids do it, try it, talk about it, feel it, go out to see it

Responsive: learning resonates with a multiplicity of learning and cultural styles

Reflective: kids have the chance to think about their learning

Hence: (You’ve read this before; it’s our “definition” of Progressive Education at BCDS) Progressive education at BCDS puts the student at the center. We believe that every child can meet the highest standard. Responsive, pragmatic teaching honors and challenges the unique experience, creativity, and capacity of each student. The curriculum is designed to deepen understanding and to inspire students, working individually and collaboratively, to make connections across disciplines, culture, and time.

Progressive education at BCDS puts the student at the center.

We believe that every child can meet the highest standard.

Responsive, pragmatic teaching honors and challenges the unique experience, creativity, and capacity of each student.

The curriculum is designed to deepen understanding and to inspire students, working individually and collaboratively, to make connections across disciplines, culture, and time.

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