BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR INSTITUTE, 1997
QUESTIONS ... TOPICS FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION
- Can one know things without knowing one knows them?
- Yes, see Blindsight: Seeing what you don't see
- Can one know things without learning them from experience or culture?
- Yes, see From Genomes to Dreams
- Can one do things without knowing one is doing them?
- Yes ... lots of actions are taken without involvement of the "I-function"
- Testing and standards - what is implied by considerations of how the brain works?
- Ritalin, drug use?
- Twins, twin studies?
- Left brain/right brain?
- ADD, learning disabilities, career choices?
TACTICS FOR IMPROVING THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
- Listen more to teachers, plan using their experience
- Educate/involve parents more
- Create sense of parent/teacher partnership in dealing with problems no one knows exactly how to solve
- Provide more prenatal education to parents
- Provide new education for teachers
- Provide teachers with current information about, usable resources for dealing with various forms of "learning disabilities"
INSIGHTS FROM THE BRAIN ABOUT EDUCATION
- Brains are not passive receptors of information
- Brains are doing things even when they don't seem to be
- Behavior can be "released", rather than only "caused"
- Acting ("output") changes experience ("input")
- The same input can result in different experiences
- Effective systems can be distributed rather than hierarchical
- Such systems depend on effective communication, both talking and listening
- Expect changes to take time/persistance
- Knowledge is NOT dangerous, but it does not guarantee security and is always incomplete
- What one sees is not necessarily what's out there
- Reality is an hypothesis; the brain is designed to continually check and revise it by looking at things from additional perspectives
- The brain is organized to learn by observing changes in inputs which result from outputs. Teachers who attempt to get students to learn by simply giving them inputs ("passive learning") will not only be less effective at producing learning (changes in the brain), but will also contribute to a lack of appreciation of students for "consequences" (the reality of outputs as an important determinant of inputs, to oneself and others). "Active learning" may, but does not necessarily, require "hands on" activities. It can go on if students are allowed/encouraged to constantly be themselves questioning what they are hearing. For this to occur, it is essential that the teacher regard his or herself not as a definitive authority but rather as also in part a student. This posture is desireable as well to encourage students to recognize that sharing of different perspectives is an essential component of any understanding of either "truth" or "reality", and that they themselves are important contributors of the needed perspectives.
- U.S. Department of Education information on grants
- Internet As a Research Tool, from Workshop in Educational Administration, Illinois State University
- For Science Teachers and Students, an extensive and expanding set of resources both for students and for thinking about teaching, from New South Wales, Australia
- Children, Stress, and Natural Disasters, a resource collection from the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service
- The Brain Lab, writings and resources on brain and education
- IllusionWorks, has "the most
extensive collection of optical and sensory illusions on the planet".
- Twinless Twins, a support group for twinless twins, and resource introduction for twins in general
- 4-MAT System for Teaching and Learning, "a transforming process for managing human diversity and growth".
- Attention Deficit Disorder, a useful gathering in one place of a number of general articles (check "credits" for sources) from KidSource On Line.
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