K-16 Collaborations: Brain and Behavior

Welcome to the home page of the Brain and Behavior Institute at Bryn Mawr College for the year 2007.

This Institute (like others in the series) is designed to bring together college faculty and K-12 teachers to discuss current understandings of brain function in relation to behavior ... and the implications of those understandings for classroom teaching and education generally. The Institute, which runs from 9 July to 20 July, is supported by a grant to Bryn Mawr College from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and by the College's Center for Science in Society and the Bryn Mawr/Haverford K-16 Collaborations in Science and Mathematics Education.

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Victoria Brown's picture

Victoria's Blog

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/local/suminst/bbi07/photos/DSCN3190.jpg
joycetheriot's picture

Brain Chemistry

Brain Chemistry is both fascinating and frightening. Human behavior as reported on the nightly news drives us to invest in security systems. We can’t imagine how a person can torture a child for his own pleasure but his brain accommodates that act. We must learn more about the brain so as to prevent the horrific and/or ease the pain. As a scientist with a lab full of human subjects; I hope and pray that none there are or will become those reported on the news. Brain behavior is fascinating. I observe so MUCH each day and try to make sense of it all. I conduct experiments on a constant basis. I observe when students are trying to logically reason through a problem and analyze the variables that either help or hinder. I endeavor to note that information. I observe when I speak a certain way it has a dramatic effect on some and none on others. I am driven t explore and find out more. I record my observations and find that each class takes on a unique character and may respond very differently to the same stimulus. I am ecstatic when a pattern emerges and my practice becomes my life.
Tammi Jordan's picture

The game of life

The game is both random and cohesive simultaneously. It is random in that you cannot predict the order yet the survival of others is dependent upon their neighbors. This is an essential component in creating an effective classroom environment. In addition to a community that is dependent on the survival of one another. In the classroom I would possibly place a name or address to each dot and see how it affects the students.
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

Please copy and repost at bottom of http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/bbi07/session2. Leave me a note here by replying so I know you've done it and can remove this version.
William Sgrillo's picture

Session 2

W. Keith Sgrillo I have had my students use these 2 games in the classroom before. I was trying to get the students to view them as models for exploration. One of the things I found interesting was when the students were done playing the games, the majority of the students ended up on the page that showed diagrams and explantions of how the eye is designed. I never really made any sort of connection to it. But today, when we were talking about random resulting in continuity, I thought it was interesting that random exploration of the site ended up with some level of organization. I specifically gave no instruction to the students other than "explore the serendip site only." Even though they got there at different times, most of the students were on that page by the end of their computer session. Next time, I think I will question the students independently as to why they stopped at this specific page on the site.
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

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Diane OFee-Powers's picture

games

I like the idea of using the games in the classroom, especially to teach the students to think through all of the possibilities. I especially like using the picture to teach the students the importance of their observations. This is a good introduction to making observations and to storytelling!
Paul Grobstein's picture

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Donna Morris's picture

science as storytelling

I think using science as storytelling is a good way to engage students in the classroom who may not really like having science
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost

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Donna Morris's picture

repost

done
Angela Morris's picture

science is story telling

I feel that we tell stories all the time through our observations and how we evaluate what we have seen through others observations. We are constanly making observations that give us new stories. We use the stories that seem to make the most sense to us. As we make up our stories we try to gather as many observations as we can to make our story "less wrong".
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost

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William Sgrillo's picture

Science as Story Telling

W. Keith Sgrillo I like the "science as story telling" idea for several reasons. It gives me a tool to help accept changes in the world and in life. It also allows me to take parts of different people's stories that work for me and then to add my own observations to change the story to fit my needs. I feel that many of the stories that we accept as truth that come from others, we accept because of the convenience even when they make us uncomfortable. But having the conscious ability to recognize that we can change these stories using our own observations is extremely helpful. Stories are the mechanism of human culture. It is important that science be taught in this light because it is a "universal language" that can help us encourage students to explore and challenge their world.
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

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joycetheriot's picture

Science teaching Stories

In my opinion, science is a search for reasonable explanations to observable phenomena. Best explanations are founded on sound bodies of evidence and logical process. Others constantly test the explanations and may deliver one better. We use the best at the time for practical purposes. I tell my students that any one of them has the ability to find a better explanation as long as the evidence can be tested and survive. I would resist using the word “story” to my students. The word gives some suggestion of a lie. “This is my story and I’m sticking to it” is a favorite reason given by my students for some aberrant behavior. “Explanation” is a better word that I like to use because it conveys the idea that science is never finished and that we are all responsible for working at it. “Explanations” can be considered without first immediately thinking that this probably is a lie. Stories are often embellished to make them interesting. Though enjoyable, it’s not good science. Interesting stories are remembered over generations however whereas few people enjoy reading science. The merger of the two in education would be to wrap science content around an interesting story and have the students investigate to find the evidence and the embellishments.
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

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Bruce Williamson's picture

Since I work in education I

Since I work in education I am similar to all of you other fine folks. I am different in that I never planned to teach so I was not watching my teachers with any attention to how they taught or what they did while teaching. Instead I was learning the material that was taught. Only later when I realized that I was teaching classmates in college, and being teaching assistant in grad school with office hours, did I finally start trying to recall what my excellent teachers did. I tried thinking of teachers who were not so excellent, but could not. Either I was really lucky in school or just oblivious. I am science oriented and often bother my family and friends in a science way when I ask for evidence or for "How do you know that to be so?" in most situations. I am skeptical of things instead of accepting without question, especially when I do not see a coherence or causal relationship. What makes me curious? I was lucky enough that the elementary school science curiosity that is so prevalent stuck with me. Those little kids are all scientists. Being a scientist now seems odd to some of my acquaintances and perhaps it is because they stopped their own science thinking some time ago. Regards,
Bruce
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost

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Bruce Williamson's picture

repost done

Regards,
Bruce
Dalia Gorham's picture

I understand the basis for

I understand the basis for "loopy story telling" to be a better way to think about science. While I can comprehend how things can never be proven true, I'm not sure that it is a concept my 3rd graders would understand. I would however, explain to them the idea that something needs to be tested and retested several times and many, many observations must occur. Also, I would explain that the students that the experiments we conduct in class are only small samples. I really like the idea of explaining hypothyesis as a summary of prior observations.
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

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Dalia Gorham's picture

Paul, I reposted. Thank

Paul,

I reposted. Thank you.

Dalia

Angela Bryant's picture

Introduction

My name is Angela Bryant. I have been a teacher for 10 years. I enjoy teaching High School students. I teach at Randolph Skill Center. I teach Computer Science and Math. I also teach at Community College of Philadelphia part time. I teach The Cisco Networking Academy. The Cisco Networking Acedemy is were students learn how to build and design Cisco networks. I have my CCNA (Cisco Certification Networking Asscoiate).
Paul Grobstein's picture

repost?

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