Teach-the-Brain
   

FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   Teach-the-Brain > Teach-the-Brain > How the Brain Learns
Home Forums Info
Follow TeachtheBrain on Twitter  

Educators must be experts in teaching learning


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 13-05-2005, 08:31 PM   #1
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Post Educators must be the experts in teaching learning.

If we are educators, you would think that we must be the experts in learning and indeed we must.

The other day I gave my graduate education students an assessment on some materials discussed in our class titled Discover Learning in the Mind, Brain and Body. There were only six questions but I will use two of the questions to help make my point. Question 1: Piaget's cognitive constructivist theory is ensconced in knowledge and tradition. Please explain the salient aspects of this theory and how it can best be applied to instruction.

Question 2: I [student] find it difficult to answer question number ____ due to the fact that I have not developed the ... (please answer thoroughly; it is a legitimate question).

The emphasis on question 2, is indeed metacognitive and would require a knowledge of 'prior learning' both biologically [physically in brain] and developmentally. I will have some students who will answer question one without any difficulty, yet some students have developmentally not arrived at the point where they can make sense of their own answer. They may say the corrent words but the understanding will not be there.

If I am correct and know my students, those that cannot answer question one will indeed know the answer to question two with great understanding, and eventually apply it to the Piaget question with skill.

The question is how do we really know if we understand; and not just physiologically through our senses?
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2005, 05:36 PM   #2
4th grade teacher
Member
 
4th grade teacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington (Wallingford)
Posts: 34
QUOTE=segarama]If we are educators, you would think that we must be the experts in learning and indeed we must. The question is how do we really know if we understand; and not just physiologically through our senses?


You pose an interesting question. Another way of looking at this may be, when do we need to make the distinction between these two levels of understanding?
I was involved in the initial stages of developing the state wide science test for the WASL (criterion based assessment in Washington state). There was a lot of discussion on what understanding looked like. When you look at nine, twelve, and fifteen year olds, certainly this understanding looks different, because of stages of development.
Some of the difficulties I've encountered as an elementary teacher have been how to facilitate the different stages of constructivism in each child and not go completely crazy. Usually, those students who accel in "higher level thinking" need more perameters and freedom to choose. Those that don't (your number two question students) may or may not be expected to go further through these neurological pathways, but do need to grow further and not be deemed remedial.
My Mexican American students in my 4th grade class have been struggling all year with the standards I teach in English. It wasn't until I went to a dual language workshop that I began to understand why they were always behind. Now I know that they aren't really behind because they can't process information like my other students. They are behind because they have been expected to keep up with my other students without having the advantage of coming into Kindergarten having the preliteracy skills they ended up learning while others advanced.
So, yes, I do think we should be aware of the different levels of understanding, and knowing something about the functioning of the brain increases my awareness of that. But, we also need to know what to do with that information, as you illustrated in your two types of questions.If we are going to increase our understanding of other cultures around the world, for example, we as educators need to allow for these different levels.
4th grade teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Educators must be the experts in teaching learning.

[Quote: 4th grade teacher] So, yes, I do think we should be aware of the different levels of understanding, and knowing something about the functioning of the brain increases my awareness of that. But, we also need to know what to do with that information, as you illustrated in your two types of questions. If we are going to increase our understanding of other cultures around the world, for example, we as educators need to allow for these different levels.


Thank you for your reply. I also believe that we need to increase our understanding of other cultures around the world. It is also highly important that we allow for many different levels of understanding.

The purpose of having question 2 on the test, is actually calling to the attention of the students that questions that they cannot answer [at this time] are purely the need for 'an increase in the students' biological neuronal network development of correct prior learning'. In other words prior learning or prior knowledge are neuronal networks that physically grow in the brain and can be seen with noninvasive technology.

Essentially this fits in very well with constructivist learning. I think of it as everyone is included and those that learn indepth will more easily transfer their knowledge from one area to another.

As far a cultures are concerned. It is my opinion that the existence of many many cultures enrich the lives of all of us. Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences calls for acceptance not exclusion. This has a great deal of merit. Education must be inclusive. It is our responsibility to be resolute about inclusion.
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2005, 08:02 AM   #4
tjlise
Junior Member
 
tjlise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 4
Learning is....

Is there a simple definition of learning? If teachers are to be the experts - what are they to be the experts of? Knowledge in the subject they are teaching or having a deep understanding and working knowledge of learning in general? Are they given either in university teacher training programs today?
tjlise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2005, 06:07 PM   #5
4th grade teacher
Member
 
4th grade teacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington (Wallingford)
Posts: 34
[quote=segarama]
...the need for 'an increase in the students' biological neuronal network development of correct prior learning'. In other words prior learning or prior knowledge are neuronal networks that physically grow in the brain and can be seen with noninvasive technology.

Essentially this fits in very well with constructivist learning. I think of it as everyone is included and those that learn indepth will more easily transfer their knowledge from one area to another.


The correct prior learning that you speak of relates to my mention of preliteracy skills learned before Kindergarten, or when children in the US start their education of the English language. In order for them to be successful in the current educational system, children do need the correct prior learning, or neuronal networks, to be successful.Many children are treated as remedial because they do not have this prior knowledge.
As an educator, I believe it's important to understand the development of these networks, and how responsive networks are to increasing connections, and that the physiological occurance of pruning takes effect around the age of 10. Pruning doesn't mean a stop in learning, nor does it mean a slow down, but it does help create our personalities and this effects our motivation to keep learning.
I also believe that educators have a lot of control in making sure all students have the same opportunities to create the indepth thinking that you speak of so that all students will learn more easily. There is a huge discreptancy in assessment scores between certain populations of students - namely, African American and Hispanic and those of white European decent. Teachers are continually being pressured to resolve those differences. Instead of creating environments for learning that increase neural networks, teachers are being asked to please just make everyone pass the state standards. These are very different tasks. At least, they are when push comes to shove and there is no money to teach in a way that facilitates both. (Thus the thread in this forum regarding the mental health of teachers.)
4th grade teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2005, 08:28 PM   #6
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Teachers must be the expert in teaching learning

[quote=tjlise]Is there a simple definition of learning? If teachers are to be the experts - what are they to be the experts of? Knowledge in the subject they are teaching or having a deep understanding and working knowledge of learning in general? Are they given either in university teacher training programs today?
Hi Tjlise, There is not a simple definition of learning...other than maybe each learner feeling more comfortable with their most developed sensory process or style. There are many models of learning that have been put forth throughout the decades; yet when the better models are looked at closely, they all contain the need for prior learning/prior knowledge; there is a need for healthy experiences and especially reflection on those experiences. The models many times do not contain these exact words but the dispute is not the creation of prior learning/neuronal networks, or experience or reflection. The dispute is the demand of mandates and politics that pull us here and there.

I keep reminding myself as educators,we are charged with [teaching, helping, facilitating] students from very early in life to mature adulthood.

The emphasis on this thread is that educators must be the expert teachers of learning. When it come to subject matter, this may be another thread. We most likely will never be the experts in the total field of an academic subject ie. math, science etc. yet this does not preclude us from the requisite subject matter [cognitive level] acumen in applying of our expertise of teaching learning. If educators are not the experts in teaching learning; who is?
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2005, 05:39 PM   #7
Christina
Junior Member
 
Christina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 3
Post Neurobiologically-informed definition of learning

Tjlise highlighted a critical point: If teachers are suppose to be experts in learning, then we must know what learning is. A definition that encompasses a neurobiological understanding of learning could be developed. From a neuroscience perspective, learning involves cascading molecular events that culminate in functionally-significant structural modifications of the brain. This conception could be linked with the prevalent educational framework of learning as a socially-culturally embedded process of active construction. Learning, then, could be described as a series of socio-culturally-mediated adaptations of brain structure with functional consequence. As educators, do you feel that this type of integrated, brain-based definition would be functional for your work?
Christina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2005, 07:10 PM   #8
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Neurobiologically-informed definition of learning

Good morning. This may be a simple definition of learning for many, but in my case, I do not have the prior knowledge [neurobiologically] to build a cogent construct of this particular integrated, brain-based definition for it to be functional at this time. However that does not mean that prospectively with some work on the part of the learner (me) that I could not bridge the gap and obtain the prior knowledge. This could come together and that is what we are really excited about.
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2005, 10:43 PM   #9
4th grade teacher
Member
 
4th grade teacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington (Wallingford)
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by OECD expert
As educators, do you feel that this type of integrated, brain-based definition would be functional for your work?


I think so, but I don’t have much of a working vocabulary in neurobiology, either. Sounds like this definition of learning would incorporate more of the emotional dimensions of a student’s life, though, which I like. If more people considered learning as a socially and culturally embedded process, then it would make students, and educators, more socially and culturally responsible. Not a bad deal.
4th grade teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2005, 05:24 PM   #10
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Educators must be the experts in teaching learning.

Good Morning, We have discussed some thoughts about learning; please let me put this out for us to think about. Staying with the same thread, we seem to be searching for better delivery services to the learner and scaffolding the learner if needed whether it be using Piaget, Vygotsky's ZPD and now the ZCD etc. My questions is this: If the learner learns correct knowledge and forms biological neuronal networds based on good information how does the learner "undo" incorrect knowledge with a incorrect neuronal network built on top (so to speak) of this correct neuronal network?

We know that is more difficult to teach a student who has unfortuately learned incorrect knowledge. How do we go about ameliorating this incorrect knowledge and what is happening to the incorrect biological neuronl network that is already formed?
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2005, 04:49 AM   #11
Karldw
Great thinker
 
Karldw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: a modern Walden Pond
Posts: 67
This has been a very interesting thread and I am happy to see the degree of interaction. I feel that the brain is one of the most, if not the most intellectually, complicated mechanisms that we have ever attempted to understand and we are all pioneers in this process. We like to find “the” answer to questions and often there is not a single correct answer. For example we like to discuss the validity of Piaget, Vygotsky, etc. There are at least 50 learning theories. Is only one correct? Are all correct? See the site

Theory Into Practice (TIP) http://tip.psychology.org/

“TIP is a tool intended to make learning and instructional theory more accessible to educators. The database contains brief summaries of 50 major theories of learning and instruction. These theories can also be accessed by learning domains and concepts.”

With all 50 there is no discussion of the ideas that have been expressed here.

The excitement to come here is the expansion of ideas about the brain and learning. The discussion has touched on the neural net concepts where there is a saying “Neurons that fire together wire together.” This can be a basis for constructivist learning. But it also appears that brain chemicals can affect the “wiring together.” This is likely how the emotions enter into learning. I think emotions cause the release of these chemicals and likely in a spatial manner within the brain.

But then there is the question “how does the learner 'undo' incorrect knowledge?” I am not sure. There may be many processes for this. For example, if connections are not reinforced they wither and die. Another process is that there are both positive and negative connections. Some synapses can inhibit the firing of neurons. This means that there could be at least two or three approaches to this problem of learning (or unlearning). One builds connects, the second unbuilds connections, and the third works through other brain functions such as emotions. All of this and more goes on at the same time.

I think I once had an opportunity to use these ideas where we had to develop a procedure to extinguish one behavior and emotion in order to permit learning. It worked.

But that is not all. Is part of our knowledge and understanding caused by the structure and function of the brain? This question is raised in a few of Dr. Dehaene's papers.

A cognitive characterization of dyscalculia in Turner syndrome
http://www.unicog.org/publications/B...ologia2003.pdf


“Current theories of number processing postulate that the human abilities for arithmetic are based on cerebral circuits that are partially laid down under genetic control and later modified by schooling and education.”

and

[PDF] Mind and Language Précis of “ The number sense ” Stanislas Dehaene ...
http://www.unicog.org/publications/D...berSense .pdf


“My hypothesis is that number sense rests on cerebral circuits that have evolved specifically for the purpose of representing basic arithmetic knowledge.”

I have felt that this is true and the more I pursue the issue the more convinced I am. I have used the subject of numbers and arithmetic for exploration. At this time I believe that there are two types of mental logic. One is what I call sensory logic. I believe that this type of logic is related to that which Dr. Dehaene speaks. I am not sure that it is exactly the same, but there is a relation.

The second type of logic is what I call “intellectual” logic. This is the kind of logic that this thread has discussed in its questions of learning.

There is also the question of consciousness. If we can not bring something into consciousness can we “learn” it? If we learn something without consciousness is that intuition? Is the problem of learning that or making the unconscious conscious? I recently spoke with a jazz musician and teacher in England who said that some things have to remain unconscious because it they are conscious it destroys the ability to “groove”. Is that the same as the athlete? I once sailed and raced sailboats with a doctor of nautical engineering who was unbelievable at the cognition of sailing. He had a lot of trouble with “feeling” the boat and the wind and the sea. I think he analyzed the situation to much and couldn't “groove”.
Karldw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2005, 04:58 AM   #12
Christina
Junior Member
 
Christina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 3
Re: Neurobiologically-informed definition of learning

Thanks very much for your thoughtful replies.

In response to the comments concerning a current knowledge gap, I would like to recommend Squire and Kandels’ (1999) Memory: From Mind to Molecules. This is an excellent book for educators who are interested in expanding their understanding of learning through neuroscience, because it is based soundly upon research results and does not assume prior neurobiological knowledge.

This is a very interesting question concerning undoing neuronal networks. In order for me to address your question from a neuroscientific perspective, I must slightly alter your description from “incorrect” to “non-adapted” networks, by which I mean networks that are inappropriate in a given situation. The brain does, in fact, eliminate non-adapted connections. Sensory input elicits molecular activity in the brain, which has sometimes been described as “protecting” active connections from elimination. The basic principle is that more active connections are strengthened, while less active connections are weakened (and eventually eliminated). When a network response is no longer adaptive, it is not used and this inactivity drives the reconstruction of the network. In this way, we could think of inactivity as a neurobiological-manifestation of Piaget’s cognitive dissonance.

~Christina
Christina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2005, 01:02 PM   #13
geodob
Junior Member
 
geodob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
In regard to this discussion, I just read an article by Ulrich Kraft : Unleashing Creativity in the current Scientific American-Mind.
Where he cites a model of the human intellect defined by J.P.Guilford back in the 1940's. Where the crucial variable is the difference between "convergent" and "divergent" thinking.
"Convergent thinking aims for a single, correct solution to a problem. When presented with a situation, we use logic to find an orthodox solution and to determine if it is unambiguously right or wrong. IQ tests primarily involve Convergent thinking. But creative people can free themselves from conventional thought patterns and follow new pathways to unusual or distantly associated answers. This ability is known as Divergent thinking, which generates many possible solutions."
Education has an overwhelming emphasis on convergent thinking, where the focus is on demonstrating a memorisation of information recieved.
Which can be quantitatively measured.
Whereas divergent thinking is qualitative and not so amenable to measurement.
In relation to our brains white matter Network, it is divergent thinking that stimulates the growth and revision of this Network.
Whereas convergent thinking is restricted to an increasingly outdated neural Network.
In our current age of an ever more rapidly changing world, with immediate access to information globally.
I would suggest that education needs to be focussed on developing Students white matter neural network, so as to be able to effectively apply divergent thinking to the expanding array of information available.

I will conclude by suggesting that education's focus should be with enabling Students to; Learn how to Learn. As a life long activity.

Geoff.



















geodob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2005, 02:58 PM   #14
OECD
Member
 
OECD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 63
Unconscious/conscious - the athlete

I am interested in the comment by Karldw on the jazz artist needing to keep the groove and whether the same holds true for the athlete. I am not sure about this. As an athlete myself, I only discovered my "unconscious" talent in my early twenties for running. After this, once I started becoming a serious athlete, training and racing international competitions, it became a totally conscious skill, including practising mental skills for concentration etc. I think at that point a lot of the pleasure and feeling the "groove" was lost.

We have heard in our emotions network that it is important for learners to experience a "passion" for learning something to get motivated, I wonder if this correlates to the "unconscious feeling", and if you can actually teach someone to discover a/their "passion"?
OECD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2005, 05:19 PM   #15
Karldw
Great thinker
 
Karldw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: a modern Walden Pond
Posts: 67
I am about to go out of town in an hour but your comment was so interesting I had to make a quick response. The comments with different perspectives and conclusions are important. I take the position that all opinions and subjective statements made in honesty are correct unless they can be conclusively pr oven wrong ( and then they may be only tentatively wrong). My responsibility is to find an explanation that makes all statements consistent. Conflicting statements make the mind active.

In this case I am now wondering if we are not looking at the nature of parallel processing in the brain and the ability of the mind to control the body. A musician and a helmsman do not have the physical pain of a distance runner. The musician in particular has great enjoyment from the performance.

The runner reaches a point where the brain is telling the body to stop. If this matter is not made conscious the runner would not be able to be competitive. The runner would yield to these brain signals and not perform in an optimum manner. It now requires conscious brain manipulation and certain skills to compete. This is similar to the yogie controlling pain, breathing, metabolism, etc.

I have also observed that there is a small group of intellectual people who are also competitive athletes. Examples are world class athletes that go on to become doctors or Rhodes scholars that then go into professional sports. I am not sure what this means but it is a fact to think about.
Another facet to your comments is that other modules of parallel brain processing are the values, goals, and beliefs modules. I think that maybe competitive distance runners do not get their primary reward from running but from competition. If running were the objective then the pain signals would be responded to.

This is all an analogy for the learning process. The “passion” and the “motivation” have to come from somewhere and if it does not come from the subject matter itself then it has to come from something like the values, goals, and beliefs in the mind. This provides another way to look at curricula and teaching. If the student does not respond to the subject then how do you change the values, goals, and beliefs about the subject. You may have to look at other values, goals, and beliefs to see how you substitute “competion” for “running”.

I once ran a tutoring program whose success came not from the subject but from the fact that the principle person was a counselor. The problems the children faced were so great that there would be no learning until the parallel processes were at least controlled.

Thanks for broadening my thinking on these matters. This type of exchange will make this forum a model for communication across professions.
Karldw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2005, 10:24 AM   #16
OECD
Member
 
OECD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 63
More on the athlete, the brain and motivation

Hi Karldw,
Thanks for interesting reflections.
You are right that it is the brain that tells the athlete or rather his/her muscles to slow down or stop. I was surprised that you phrased it this way as most people think it is the opposite. Recent brain studies on athletes have shown that in fact the brain using a mis of physiological, subconscious and conscious cues, paces the muscles and to keep them well back from exhaustion. These studies have shown that by blocking these impulses from the brain the athlete can continue to compete without flagging much longer.
Your comment on competitive athletes often being high achievers in other fields is also very true, one good example is the world's fastest distance runner Paula Radcliffe who also holds a first class honours degree, but there are many other examples. Personally I think athletes have a natural ability to motivate themselves. Competition is certainly a high motivation factor and different from the "runners high" that is experience by recreational joggers which comes from the effect it has on stilmulating endorphin secretion in the brain. So, from my experience and contacts with many other world class athletes, I believe that top athletes have some sort of innate motivation, which together with their physical talent makes them into champions. I have seen other athletes that have the physical talent but not the head for it, and they never make it to the top. I am sure the same holds true for other walks of life. What I wonder is if there is a genetic explanation for innate motivation, or if it is something that can be learnt and mastered?
OECD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2005, 07:54 PM   #17
segarama
Senior Member
 
segarama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 125
Educators must be experts in teaching learning

The other evening in my graduate masters class for teachers and psychologists we were, of all things, 'thinking about how we learn." The discussion was as lively as it could possibly be since it is held from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

We were discussing [reviewing]that we learn through our senses and began the short review of naming them. But we only got to five and since we have more,we briefly reviewed them. Then we discussed that the incoming senses to the brain are called 'afferent' and the outgoing are called 'efferent'. That was all fine and good...but guess what? How many of our students really address that we learn through our senses and how many teachers teach that we learn through our senses and that we must be aware of them and keep them healthy and sharp so that we can fully interact with our healthy enriched environment. Sound corny...maybe so, but not all of our students use or can use all of their biological senses...and maybe, just maybe we need to spend more time arranging our learning environment to make the most of learning. http://www.sedl.org/scimath/pasopart...s/welcome.html

This was a fun evening since senses led to discussions of neurons,axons, dendrites, synapses and myelin etc. etc. Now my students are really questioning their own approaches to enhance student learning with visual aides, recordings, taste, etc. that are commensurate with how they learn.They have some objectives in their environmental sensory enhancement. We love it. Of course this is just the beginning...
segarama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2005, 09:57 PM   #18
4th grade teacher
Member
 
4th grade teacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington (Wallingford)
Posts: 34
Corny teacher passionate about undoing incorrect knowledge

I shared this thread with my student teacher’s supervisor from her college. I had to fill out a form seeing if my student teacher is meeting all of the requirements. The form is from the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The requirements include:
1. Addressing the Essential Academic Learning Requirements
2. Knowledge of the characteristics of students and their communities
3. Effective interactions with families to support student learning and well being
4. Assessment strategies that measure student learning
5. Instruction based on research and principles of effective practice
6. Accurate content knowledge
7. Participate in a learning community that supports student learning and well-being
8. Engage in activities that are based on research and principles of effective practice
9. Effective classroom management and discipline
10. Engage in activities that assess student learning.

Filling this out took me a long time because I have to include evidence of performance. But, when I was asked if the form was appropriate, I decided that it was. Besides having what I consider the obvious teaching skills (management, content knowledge, and Essential Academic Learning Requirements) it also includes the affective parts of the student – communities, families and student well being. I thought this related to our discussion of including “socio-culturally-mediated adaptations of brain structure” as a definition of learning.
So, it seems our state is attempting to broaden our definition of teaching, and therefore, learning.
In trying to keep up with the sophistication of this dialog, I printed it out and made lots of notes while reading. I’ll highlight what I related to:
[b]Undoing incorrect knowledge and competition- Students do indeed shut down when they perceive themselves as losing. And, students perceive themselves as losers because of incorrect knowledge, or non-adapted networks, as defined by Christina.
Incorrect knowledge, knowledge that teachers would like students to delete, is usually not conducive to learning what the teacher is trying to teach. But, it is learned because the student is motivated to learn it. Negative reinforcement is one way students learn inappropriate behavior which is incorrect knowledge. Some students have parents that only give them attention when they are mad at them, for example. This brings them into the classroom acting badly to get attention. Trying to undo this cycle is one of the hardest things a teacher has to do, and sometimes students end up behaviorally disturbed becasue it becomes out of their control.
On passion – Yes, you can teach all student to discover their passion(s). And, that is why I teach. You can get students motivated through competition, but to truly get them in touch with their passion, they need to get beyond the competition motivation. When students work on projects just to find out about things, that’s very cool. Innate motivation does not just appear in champions, unless you broaden your definition of champions. (I also have to say that I believe a lot of motivation for athletes is the amount of money they make. Agents are very good at nurturing passion in athletes.)
On corny teachers – I am one corny teacher that does teach learning through the senses and how to keep bodies healthy. In fact, How to Keep My Body Healthy was the title of my students’ first expository paper this year. I know I am not the only corny teacher out there. I'm glad you're producing more. Maybe if we had good agents we wouldn’t be corny, and we could make more money.
Question – “My hypothesis that number sense rests on cerebral circuits that have evolved specifically for the purpose of representing basic arithmetic knowledge. “ This is counter to what I was thinking about the brain evolving. I thought we were trying to adapt our brains to doing reading, writing, and arithmetic with parts that hadn’t changed. How recently has this evolution occurred?
4th grade teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2005, 01:34 PM   #19
geodob
Junior Member
 
geodob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Hi Sega/ Rob,
You raise a most essential issue in regard to the senses and how we learn.
Yet, it is really a bit odd, that the senses and the brain/mind are generally thought of as different entities?
In relation to Education, the senses are given very little real consideration as to their critical role.
Yet, this reflects the continuance of the old approach to education, where the mind is seen as an empty vessel into which information is simply poured?
As opposed to a focus on cognitive and meta-cognitive development.
Where meta-cognition utilises all senses to access all of our brain's regions.
In an age where the world's information can be accessed at the touch of a fingertip.
Surely the focus needs to be on meta-cognitive development, so as to be able to effectively utilise this resource?
I was glad to see that you had extended beyond the 5 senses, no doubt to the Proprioceptive, kinesthetic, vestibular sense/s.
Which are critical to engaging the world, yet given little attention in education.
Though you also raised a most important issue in regard to creating an educational environment which recognises learning as a sensory activity.
As a simple extension of this, is the fact that the basic task of thinking, where we use what is termed our Working Memory. Is carried out in different ways in people? Where some people are primarily Visual Thinkers, others are Audio Thinkers. Yet others are Combinatorial Thinkers, where thought is for example, perhaps a Visual/Tactile activity.
To complicate matters further, a notable proportion of people have a Hyper-sensitivity in a particular sense.
Whilst equally others have a notable developmental difficulty with a particular sense.
Therefore effective education, needs to recognise learning and thinking as a multi-sensory developmental activity.
With an overarching focus on the myelination development of Networked Brains.

Myelinator?
geodob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2005, 04:15 AM   #20
Karldw
Great thinker
 
Karldw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: a modern Walden Pond
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4th grade teacher
Question – “My hypothesis that number sense rests on cerebral circuits that have evolved specifically for the purpose of representing basic arithmetic knowledge. “ This is counter to what I was thinking about the brain evolving. I thought we were trying to adapt our brains to doing reading, writing, and arithmetic with parts that hadn’t changed. How recently has this evolution occurred?

The quote that you are asking about came from the abstract in Dr. Dehaene's paper

[PDF] Mind and Language Précis of “ The number sense ” Stanislas Dehaene ...
http://www.unicog.org/publications/D...berSense .pdf


I believe that Dr. Dehaene is basically a cognitive psychologist who also works with brain scans. From my scheme of thinking he is a mind-brain person and not a historian. This means that his thinking comes from contemporary findings. I believe that he is referring to concepts such as subitizing in the brain.

I have recently been trying to find some of the foundations of mathematics in brain considerations. Mathematics is an abstraction of thousands of years of human experience. There is evidence as old as 37,000 years that shows clear indication that man at that time fully understood cardinal number concepts. It may also imply that man understood the concepts of the mathematical property of association.

There is also evidence from 20,000 years ago that man understood grouping. There is evidence from about 10,000 years ago that man had knowledge of the smaller prime numbers. This implies that man was at that time looking at the concepts of division.

It is my feeling at this time that as far back as we have historical evidence man was working with number and arithmetic. I believe that some of this evidence shows evolution, however, we can not as yet see a beginning to number concepts in the mind. This means that as far as I know there is not evidence to contradict Dr. Dehaene's strong evidence that supports his hypothesis.

One of the primary reasons I am looking as these issues is that I believe that there are errors in how we introduce maths concepts to children and this is the reason we are having the problems in scores in mathematics. I believe that if educators considers these indications about the brain and mathematics we may be able to have greater teaching success.
Karldw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2005, 04:25 AM   #21
Bea Esser
Brain Start
 
Bea Esser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10
Senses

Quote:
Originally Posted by segarama
But we only got to five and since we have more,we briefly reviewed them. .

I remember learning about the five basic senses but I was always confused about the other senses. Could you please share with us what they are?
Bea Esser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2005, 12:10 PM   #22
geodob
Junior Member
 
geodob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Senses

Hi Bea,
In regard to the senses, we also have a Kinesthetic sense, which is an internal sense throughout the body. That enables us to be aware of what precise angle every single joint in our body is at.
Then we have our Proprioceptive sense, which to demonstrate; close your eyes and touch your nose with your fingertip. Proprioception keeps us informed about the overall spatial positioning of our whole body.
You may also include our Vestibular sense/mechanism, which is a gravity level mechanism in our ears for maintaining balance. Whilst we may use visual cues for balance, our vestibular sense is far more reliable and important. [Unless one is an Astronaut?]

These senses are increasingly being identified through research as a major factor in cognitive and meta-cognitive development.
Whilst curriculums usually have Physical Education, unfortunately they are focussed on identifying athletes, instead of on the development of these senses.
Which is an issue of far greater concern than is generally recognised.
Physical Education needs to be recognised as foundation to Academic development, not as a diversion from!
Geoff.

geodob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2005, 01:41 PM   #23
Bea Esser
Brain Start
 
Bea Esser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10
sport

Thank you Geoff for your response. I was hoping that others would also respond.

I believe that there is a lot of truth in what you say. I have been thinking about your implications for physical education and I think that there are some real lessons for physics and maybe maths. Have you pursued this and developed any lesson plans or learning objectives?

Could this be related to Montessori? Does anyone out there have ideas on this? I used to know a lot of Australian rugby players and I felt that Australia is much more aware of physical education than countries such as the U S.
Bea Esser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2005, 04:16 PM   #24
Karldw
Great thinker
 
Karldw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: a modern Walden Pond
Posts: 67
psychology - education

I have been reading a paper with the following.

“From Ebbinghaus onward psychology has seen an enormous amount of research invested in the study of learning and memory. This research has produced a steady stream of results and, with a few "mini-revolutions" along the way, a steady increase in our understanding of how knowledge is acquired, retained, retrieved, and utilized. Throughout this history there has been a concern with the relationship of this research to its obvious application to education. The first author has written two textbooks (Anderson, 1995a, 1995b) summarizing some of this research. In both textbooks he has made efforts to identify the implications of this research for education. However, he left both textbooks feeling very dissatisfied -- that the intricacy of research and theory on the psychological side was not showing through in the intricacy of educational application. One finds in psychology many claims of relevance of cognitive psychology research for education.”

I would like to know how others feel about this. Do you feel that the working level of education has been slow to respond to developments in cognitive science? Why? How could this be overcome if it is a problem? Do you see a forum like this being able to help?
Karldw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2005, 04:12 PM   #25
geodob
Junior Member
 
geodob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Education-Psychology

Hi Karl,
In response to your quote:"However, he left both textbooks feeling very dissatisfied -- that the intricacy of research and theory on the psychological side was not showing through in the intricacy of educational application. One finds in psychology many claims of relevance of cognitive psychology research for education.”
I would suggest that psychology is still predominantly coming from a "Theory of Mind" module attitude. Where the brain is viewed as comprising of regions which operate predominantly as autonomous, insular functional regions.
Where cognition is an isolated regional activity.
Whereas recent research in Neuro-Psychology highlights cognition as globalised networking of regions. Where the Network development is being identified as having ever increasing importance. Whilst the brain regions are seen as simple information storage points. [Databases].
Though neuro-science has identified a rather surprising factor about cognition? In that it develops as a 'Physical' presence in the brain.
This cognitive part of the brain, is the "White Matter" cabling that networks our Grey Matter databases.
But the crucial issue in regard to Education, is that we are born with no white matter network, just a mass of Grey Matter 'over-connected' data storage space.
As the Grey Matter accumulates data, and in turn, makes links between different data, such as a 'sound' and a 'visual image', along with a 'taste' and 'texture'.
It is the development of the white matter Network that connects all of this data together to enable you to think of an Apple.
The most important point, is that this white matter network doesn't grow automatically. But purely as a reponse to repeated attempted connections between data in various Grey Cells.
Repeated connections also needs to highlighted, as the brain naturally carries out what is termed as "pruning", as an efficiency. Where if connections are not regularly utilised, then they are removed. Which is why you cant remember most of what you were taught at school.
Therefore, I would suggest that rather than a "Theory of Mind" approach to education. With a focus on inputing information into our brain regions.
That education should be focussed on the development of a Networked Brain.
On lateral rather than vertical thinking.
Cognitive and Meta-cognitive development should be the focus?
Geoff.
































geodob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back  Teach-the-Brain > Teach-the-Brain > How the Brain Learns


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2008 - 2015 Teach-the-Brain All Rights Reserved