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Brain-based education is best understood in three words: engagement, strategies, and principles.

Brain-based education is the "engagement of strategies based on principles derived from an understanding of the brain."

Brain-Based Learning
Taking what we know about the brain, about

development and about learning and combining those factors in intelligent ways to connect and excite students desire to learn. Combining emotional, factual and skill knowledge into a cognitive tool.

We have at least two ways of organizing

memory. Learning means that information is related and connected to the learner. If it's not, you have memorization, but you don't have learning. There are still things we have to memorize, things that need to be repeated.

Spatial Memory
The spatial memory system (or autobiographical

system) does not need rehearsal and allows for instant memory of experiences. We understand and remember best when facts and skills are embedded in natural, spatial memory. Spatial memory is generally best invoked through experiential learning.

Rote Memory
The counterpart of the spatial memory system

is a set of systems designed for storing relatively unrelated information. This is the model schools are based on. We have limited education to "programming" these systems and "teaching to the test." Can you see why people would say that our educational system is based on teaching to the test (and forgetting it afterwards) is not very successful?

Short-term memory
TO HELP: Combine or chunk Recognition

Long-term memory
Declarative - Factual Episodic - Events or experiences

Semantic - Words
Procedural - Step by step

When objects and events are registered by several

senses, they can be stored in several interrelated memory networks. This type of memory becomes more accessible and powerful. Conversation helps us link ideas/thoughts to our own related memories. Students need time for this to happen!!

What You See is What You Get!

Learning is developmental.

Depending upon the topic some students can think

abstractly, while others have a limited background and are still thinking on a concrete level. Building the necessary neural connections by exposure, repetition, and practice is important to the student.

Learning Is Developmental
Our experiences stimulate neural development,

creating a thick forest of branch-like neural connections.

Because of our experiences, our brains actually

become denser providing greater capacity for new and deeper understanding.

Learning Process

Learning Strategies
The solution is to embed learning by immersing

learners in well-orchestrated, life-like, lowthreat, high-challenge learning environments. We need to take the information off the blackboard, to make it come alive in the minds of learners, and to help them to make connections through:
* Storytelling *Conversations * Debates *Role playing *Simulations * Songs *Games * Films

Show them the BIG picture. Provide challenging assignments that really

matter. Balance clearly delegated assignments with some freedom and flexibility or choice in assignments.

The brain develops better in concert with others.
When students have to talk to others about

information, they retain the information longer and more efficiently!

pairings, and question and answer situations.

Make use of small groups, discussions, teams,

Learning Styles
Take a looks at learning styles and unique ways

of patterning. We have many things in common, but we also are very, very different. We need to understand how we learn and how we perceive the world and to know that we see the world differently.

Complex learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat.

Tie learning to prior knowledge. Use Know - Want to know - Learned cycle. (What the Best College Teachers Do) suggests

working from big questions to be answered.

The brains priority is always survival - at the

expense of higher order thinking. Stress should be kept to a manageable level Provide opportunities to grow and to make changes. Have high, but reasonable expectations.

In the classroom, "downshifting" is seen as

threat related to a sense of helplessness. It has implications for testing and for grading, for the notion of the teacher as the controller, for empowerment, for performance objectives.

Uniquely Organized
Every brain is uniquely organized. We all have the same set of systems, but they

are integrated differently in every brain.

Our Unique Brain

We are products of genetics and

experience. The brain works better when facts and skills are embedded in real experiences.

The Brain