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Linking Standards for the 21 st Century Learner & Brain Research:. Dr. Betty J. Morris AASL Exploratorium Charlotte, NC November 25, 2009. Understanding Brain Research Matters. The more we understand the brain, the better we’ll be able to design instruction to match how it learns best.

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Linking standards for the 21 st century learner brain research l.jpg
Linking Standards for the 21st Century Learner & Brain Research:

Dr. Betty J. Morris

AASL Exploratorium

Charlotte, NC

November 25, 2009


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Understanding Brain Research Matters

  • The more we understand the brain, the better we’ll be able to design instruction to match how it learns best.

    (P. Wolfe (2001)


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Brain Research Components

  • Learn from past knowledge

  • Safe & secure learning environment

  • Emotions used to retain information


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21st Century Learner Skills

  • Inquire, think critically & gain knowledge

  • Draw conclusions, make informed decisions

  • Apply knowledge to new situations & create new knowledge


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221st Century Learning Skills

  • Share knowledge & participate ethically & productively.

  • Pursue personal & aesthetic growth


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Teach skills by learning from past knowledge

  • Build on what taught in past & create new knowledge based on new situations & draw conclusions.

  • Brain is able to transfer information.

  • Meaning given to new information allowing new knowledge.


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Safe and secure learning environment.

  • Warm and welcoming atmosphere

  • Low in threat and high in challenge

  • Can make mistakes without ridicule


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Safe and secure learning environment.

  • Feeling of belonging,

    nurtured and supported

  • Knowledge of brain and how it learns

  • Share knowledge & participate ethically, safely & productively.


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Emotions used to retain information

  • Use attention-getting devices to hold attention

    • New information must make sense to brain

  • Stories provide context for learning

    • Humor, sadness or empathy make dry facts palatable

    • Story, facts, story, facts, story, facts

  • Novelty captures attention

    • Brain will tolerate 4-8 minutes


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Emotions used to retain information(2)

  • Underpinning of emotion as tool

    for retention and learning

  • Emotion fosters attention which fosters retention & learning

  • Allows personal & aesthetic growth


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21st Century Learning Skills & Prior Knowledge

  • Review what students know

  • Add new information

  • Provide concrete examples

  • Inquire & think

  • Make connection between past knowledge & new info


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21st Century Learning Skills and Environment

  • Select appropriate web sites in advance.

  • Develop research topics list

  • Allow student choices on how they do research

  • Provide pathfinders to guide research

  • Provide immediate feedback

  • Model collaboration with teachers


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21st Century Skills & Emotions

  • Read a story or do a book talk as an introduction

  • Use humor, as a memory device

  • Give facts, then tell a story, give more facts

  • Make research a fun activity

  • Decorate media center

    with 21st century skills


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21st Century Skills & Emotions (2)

  • Begin teaching skills at early age

  • Make 21st century skill instruction fun & rewarding

  • Media specialist & teacher must model enthusiasm for research.

  • Prime students to pay attention.


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Conclusion 1

  • Students need to synthesize, evaluate information & draw conclusions

  • Solve real world problems

  • Think independently about info


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Conclusion 2

  • Students need to be guided through emotional experiences that excite and motivate them.

  • Students need to learn how brain works to understand who they are.

  • Use novelty-seeking and emotional brain function to facilitate learning.


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Conclusion 3

  • Students need to think independently & create new knowledge

  • Students need to be responsible for their own learning & assess themselvesStudent


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Conclusion 4

  • Read books with an emotional twist.

  • Understand why brain finds reading a book stimulating


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Conclusion 5

  • Students need to display dispositions that show emotional stability.

  • Students assess their own learning to determine their own gaps in knowledge.Student


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Conclusion 6

  • 21st Century Skills taught using brain research components have the potential to make student learning more meaningful.


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Contact information

  • [email protected]

  • Dr. Betty J. Morris

    Houston Cole Library, 5th Floor

    Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville, AL



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