Looking inside the student brain to enhance learning
Understanding how a student’s brain works is vital to teaching and learning, says Kenneth Wesson, a neuroscience education consultant and vice president, international and western divisions, for Delta Education/School Specialty Science, during his featured presentation on how people learn and how their brains work. Students’ developing brains need a safe, supportive learning environment, he explains, because fear draws blood away from the brain, making it difficult to remember what has been taught.
Touch is also important in learning because humans’ “skin is literally the other half of the brain,” so hands-on activities should be part of lessons. And never underestimate the power of your smile for your students: “When kids feel you know their name, they’re ready to learn,” he contends.
I spoke with chemistry teacher Seema Ahuja from Houston, Texas, who attended this session. “I think it’s an excellent, excellent workshop. I really got some good ideas [on] how the brain actually works and how it helps to help my students in understanding how the brain actually considers learning. I learned, for example, how patterns are so important because the brain looks for patterns. So that’s what I’m planning to use in my classroom.”
The audience was surprised to learn from Dr. Wesson that larger brains have been proven to be less efficient than smaller-sized brains.
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