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View everything you want to know and learn about Laurie Kimbrel superintendent at Tamalpais Union High School. Dr. Laurie Kimbrel observes every student preparation step to ensure that students are ready for the next stage.

 

Brain­based learning helps the brain remain intimately involved in, and connected with all teachers and students learn and do in school. Brain­based learning is best understood in three ways; engagement, principles and strategies.

Teachers are asked to engage their students and engage them in strategies that are real science based.

How Reputable Is Brain Based Learning?

Harvard University believes that brain­based learning is an excellent course and now runs master’s and doctorate degrees programs in this niche. Play for students which translates to physical education, recess and movement are all vital steps of learning.

Scientists remind us that we grow new neurons all through our lives that correlate highly with memory, mood, and learning. Growing new neurons is a process that gets regulates by our daily activity and behaviors that also include exercise. Educators are well aware that early childhood movement keeps the brain wired up to make efficient connections. To better students, schools should use brain­based learning for the purpose of influencing these variables.

Practical school applications such as classroom movement and recess help raise the right thinking chemicals, learning, and memory, and focus on students. It’s proven that students need about 30 to 60 minutes every day to lower stress response, boost learning and promote neurogenesis. When students enrol in school for the first few weeks, it’s important that they get exposure to several types of physical activities.

Afterwards, they are offered a choice; this is critical as a voluntary activity is more efficient than a forced activity that can lead to cortisol overproduction!

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What are some examples of “transfer of learning” and how might a teacher go about practicing this with her students?

Follow up Teachers can provide opportunities for practicing transfer without explicitly letting students know what is happening.  For example, they may ask a student to write an essay after having studied and practiced several essay writing techniques and use of graphic organizers.  The teacher makes no mention of techniques at the time of assigning.  Afterwards, the teacher can ask students what techniques they used (if any) and why they chose them.  This moves students towards the ability to judge and make decisions about what knowledge and experiences to transfer and when.

Make it their own By rephrasing, recreating or somehow re-presenting information, students are able to memorize and use the knowledge more flexibly.  This means they have a better chance at transferring the information.

Transferring knowledge should be the goal of every teacher and educator.  It should be something very much a part of lesson planning and prioritized in class time.  Students are benefited greatly by learning how to manipulate and use the knowledge they work so hard to attain in new and different situations.

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Learning has little value if the knowledge obtained doesn’t become useful for the student later in life.  Although the belief that children are empty vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge isn’t quite the reality of most educators today, some believe that they are being pushed in that direction with standardized testing.  Unfortunately, this attitude of teaching to attain knowledge, and stopping there, doesn’t benefit students very much.  Alternatively, by focusing on teaching “transfer of learning”, teachers could give students much more than knowledge.

With a goal of teaching only knowledge, the result is students who can only recall and perhaps plug in information in previously seen scenarios.  However, when students are able to utilize information or experiences to solve new and unique problems, knowledge has a much greater usefulness.  When facing a new problem, students feel prepared with an arsenal of tools and knowledge to solve it – rather than feeling stuck.  However, this ability or “transfer of learning” is also a skill that must be coaxed out of students and practiced.

What are some examples of “transfer of learning” and how might a teacher go about practicing this with her students?

Near Transfer Simple or short transfers of concepts from one situation to another similar situation may include using essay-writing skills learned in English class for writing an essay for a history class.  Students may also find equations used in geometry useful for calculating the sides of a triangle when building a bridge.  These are relatively easy for teachers to encourage and plan to include in their curriculum.  For example, using a high-level goal on Bloom’s Taxonomy as an end of unit project such as creating or evaluating can encourage use of course-content in a unique context.  For example after learning about the scientific method and completing experiments provided by the teacher, students may be required to invent their own experiment and carry it out. Teachers may even collaborate to ask students to complete projects that integrate several subject areas and thus encourage transfer of learning.

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Pros

In addition, the minds of the children will have a chance to develop in ways parents or teachers never dreamed of. What better way to get a child out of his/her shell than to give them an opportunity to express themselves creatively. The project allows the child to learn about things in a different way. Reading will now become a project in disguise. Many schools use help children learn about books by getting them involved in reading fairs. They develop their own storyboards to express their ideas and views about the books they have read. When a child is given the task of molding a dinosaur out of clay, he/she is given the chance to learn about dinosaur facts. These and other projects are just the beginning of how our children learn. Teachers have better tools to reach young minds by using these hands on approaches to learning. When teachers are better equipped to teach, our children are the winners.

The Finale

Our children are the future for this world. When they learn new things it gives them the chance to create newer and better things. It is important for our children to have the best learning experiences of their lives. Children are at their best when they are being creative. Schools that adopt the project based learning concept can be proud that they have shaped these young minds of our future. An innovative world starts with a creative mind.

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