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Teaching kids how the brain learns can lead to higher grades

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Old 23-02-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
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Teaching kids how the brain learns can lead to higher grades

A new study published in the scientific journal Child Development shows that teaching children how the brain learns can support a growth mindset that boosts grades:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...6521 &sc=emaf

Christina Hinton
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Old 23-02-2007, 11:04 PM   #2
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Knowledge of the Brain: Power or Pacifier

Just being exposed to the simple idea that their brains can grow empowers kids. It's as if they become privy to a trade secret. Being in on the secret has a significant impact on kids’ self-concepts and motivation to learn. The result is that kids perform with more intent and self-direction than those who don't know the 'brain secret'.

Let's consider the issue of the 'brain at play' in light of the potential benefits of the above research. In learning environments, the impact of play, when channeled into communication using puppet media, is demonstrably much greater than the impact of the 'brain secret' given children in the above mentioned research. I have loads of anecdotal evidence to back up that assertion, which I will be happy to share upon request..

However, the above 'brain secret' research is important. It helps to make teachers and kids aware of how important this knowledge really is. Brain Science could actually be a thematic mainspring for going into the wider world of learning. Knowledge of the brain, and how it evolved in human beings from the smallest one-celled creatures, opens an incredible vista that we are all part of---evolution on earth. Yes, students study biology and body functions, and neurology, but play is humanity's foundational learning and intelligence system. Isn't it time, we began to actually apply this knowledge rather than deny it to the young?

But the NPR feature shows how the research world works at trickle down speed--feed the kids bits of information about their brains in increments and they'll do better. What teacher in today's academic gulag, where Testing is all-powerful, could actually take that research and apply it creatively?

The elephant sitting in the classroom--along with the kids-- is Play. What if researchers leaked the secret that kids actually learn better when playing with information instead of having it taught or trickled down to them--and that their learning culture has begun to actually bar them from play--in the name of education--what might that little bit of knowledge do to raise children's voices in school?
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