Neuroscience learning
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Neuroscience & Learning. Year 1 Semester 2 Lead Lecture Week 10 Chris Jenkins. WELL DONE TO YOU ALL!. SEN Personalised Learning Task. http://education.exeter.ac.uk/projects.php?id=159#task http://education.exeter.ac.uk/projects.php?id=165. The Brain & Learning:. Key Question:.

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Neuroscience learning

Neuroscience & Learning

Year 1 Semester 2

Lead Lecture

Week 10

Chris Jenkins


Well done to you all

WELL DONE TO YOU ALL!


Sen personalised learning task

SEN Personalised Learning Task

http://education.exeter.ac.uk/projects.php?id=159#task

http://education.exeter.ac.uk/projects.php?id=165


Neuroscience learning

The Brain & Learning:


Key question

Key Question:

Do you think that knowledge about how the brain works is important in designing approaches to learning / education?


Facts about your brain

Facts about your brain:

  • An adult human brain is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs about1300-1400g.

  • It is 78% water, 10% fat and 8% protein.

  • It weighs about 2% of your body weight but uses about 20% of your energy and your oxygen.


Neuroscience learning

Neo-cortex Mammalian brain

Reptilian brain


Neuroscience

Neuroscience

  • Education is about enhancing learning

  • Neuroscience aims to provide understanding of the mental processes involved in learning


Functional magnetic resonance imaging fmri

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI):

FMRI is an MRI procedure that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow.


Electroencephalography eeg eeg is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp

Electroencephalography (EEG)EEG is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp.


Neuromyths

Neuromyths

A neuromyth is…

“a misconception generated by a misunderstanding, a misreading or a misquoting of facts scientifically established…”

(OECD, 2002, p111)


Neuromyths1

Neuromyths

Neuromytholgies of quantity:

“If we can get more of the brain to ‘light up’ then learning will improve ...”

Neuromytholgies of quality:

“If we concentrate teaching on the ‘lit-up’ brain areas then learning will improve ...”


So what do we know

So what do we know?

Brain Care:

  • Omega-3 (fish oils)

  • Caffeine

  • Sleep

  • Water


Omega 3 fish oils

Omega-3 (fish oils)

  • Good regular diet probably most important nutritional issue influencing educational performance and achievement

  • Proven importance / impact of having breakfast

  • NO published evidence to demonstrate Omega-3 supplements enhance school performance in the general population of children

  • Growing evidence for reduced risk of dementia in later life and fish consumption in pregnancy may relate to infant IQ

  • Such oils do work in certain context for children with ADHD – findings as yet unclear


Caffeine

Caffeine

  • A 500ml bottle of cola has same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee

  • Children commonly experience caffeine withdrawal

  • Withdrawal - children aged 9-10 drinking no more than 2 cans a day demonstrate reduced alertness compared with non-users

  • Caffeine raises alertness only to baseline levels and only temporarily – implications?


Sleep

Sleep

  • Sleep is an important part of learning

  • Helps us to ‘lay down’ and consolidate memories so we can draw on them later

  • Sleeping brain shown to reproduce neural activity characterising preceding state of wakefulness

  • Helps us prepare to learn more and use what we know to generate insights (‘sleeping on it’)


Water

Water

  • Very few studies investigating effects of dehydration on children

  • Confirm deleterious effect of even mild dehydration on ability to think

  • BUT recent adult study shows drinking water when NOT thirsty has the same effect

  • Encourage children to drink WHEN THIRSTY

  • Exercise & exceptionally hot weather: children’s monitoring systems are less reliable – need encouraging


Developmental disorders

Developmental Disorders

  • Dyslexia / Dyscalculia

  • ADHD


Dyslexia dyscalculia

Dyslexia / Dyscalculia

  • Brain imaging techniques show differences in brain function of those with these conditions and those without

  • Imaging techniques can potentially be used to identify:

    • those at risk

    • the effectiveness of interventions designed to help

  • Demonstrates brain’s plasticity – education can critically affect how the brain operates


Adhd attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADHD – Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Research suggests:

    • Some children are much more impulsive, restless and disorganised than others

    • Strongest influence is genes that affect brain chemistry and neuropsychological functioning

    • Not a moral failing – children can’t choose to have ADHD

    • Some ways of teaching & managing classrooms suit these children better - schools need to be aware

    • At the extreme – some receive a medical diagnosis and medication (Ritalin)


Brain based learning

Brain-Based Learning?

  • Brain Gym

  • Learning Styles

  • Multiple Intelligences

  • Right Brain / Left Brain


Brain gym

Brain Gym

‘ The pseudo-scientific terms that are used to explain how this works, let alone the concepts they express, are unrecognisable within the domains of neuroscience.’

Teaching & Learning Research Programme (2005) Neuroscience & Education


Ben goldacre author of bad science the guardian saturday february 16 2008

Ben Goldacre (author of Bad Science)The Guardian,Saturday February 16 2008

  • http://www.badscience.net/2008/02/banging-your-head-repeatedly-against-the-brick-wall-of-teachers-stupidity-helps-to-co-ordinate-your-left-and-right-cerebral-hemispheres/#more-613


Neuroscience learning

  • Vigorous exercise DOES improve mental function

  • It also provides a ‘brain-break’

  • There is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to support the idea that co-ordination exercises integrate the functions of the right and left brain hemisphere


Neuroscience learning

Close

Exercise that increases blood flow anywhere,

increases blood flow everywhere.

(Geake, 2009)


Learning styles

Learning Styles


Brain interconnectivity includes the senses

Brain interconnectivity includes the senses

  • All primates are V A K

    • including humans

  • Congenitally blind children using Braille do so through the parts of their visual cortex sighted children use to learning written language

  • Unsighted people create the same mental spatial maps of their physical reality as sighted people do – information is auditory / tactile but used as if it is visual.


Neuroscience learning

5 year olds can reliably distinguish different sized groups (V x V)

?

vs


Neuroscience learning

5 year olds can reliably distinguish different sized groups (V x V)

?

vs

What happens when one group is replaced by as many sounds (V x A)?

?

vs


Neuroscience learning

5 year olds can reliably distinguish different sized groups (V x V)

?

vs

What happens when one group is replaced by as many sounds (V x A)?

?

vs

No change in accuracy!


Vak not learning styles but pre learning perceptual acuities

VAK not learning styles but pre-learning perceptual acuities

  • Input modalities in the brain are inter-linked

    visual auditory

    visual motor

    motorauditory

    visualtaste

  • Input information is abstracted to be processed and learnt, mostly unconsciously, through the brain’s interconnectivity


Vak classroom paradoxes

VAK classroom paradoxes

  • The V and K ‘learners’ at a concert

  • The A and K ‘learners’ at an art gallery

  • The V and A ‘learners’ in a craft practical lesson

VAK research

  • 121 different learning style inventories

  • Commercially available

  • Independent research: no learning benefit from any

  • No improvement of learning outcomes with V, A, K above teacher enthusiasm

  • “attempts to focus on learning styles were wasted effort” Kratzig & Arbuthnott (2006)


Multiple intelligences nothing new here

Plato (500 BC)

logic

rhetoric

arithmetic

geometry-astronomy

music

dance-physical

meditation

Gardner (1980 AD)

logic-mathematics

verbal

interpersonal

spatial

music

movement

intrapersonal

Multiple Intelligences - nothing new here ...


Multiple intelligences nothing new here1

Plato (500 BC)

logic

rhetoric

arithmetic

geometry-astronomy

music

dance-physical

meditation

Gardner (1980 AD)

logic-mathematics

verbal

interpersonal

spatial

music

movement

intrapersonal

Multiple Intelligences - nothing new here ...


Common brain functions for all acts of intelligence nb school learning

Common brain functions for all acts of intelligence: NB school learning

Working memory <= lateral frontal cortex

Long term memory <= hippocampus + …

Decision making <= orbitofrontal cortex

Emotional mediation <= limbic subcortex + ofc

Sequencing of symbolic representation <= fusiform gyrus + temporal lobe

Conceptual inter-relationships <= parietal lobe

Conceptual rehearsal <= cerebellum

Geake (2009)


Neuroscience learning

In other words, there are no Multiple Intelligences, but rather, it is argued, multiple applications of the same multifaceted intelligence

(Geake, 2008 p126)


Left right brain

Left & Right Brain;

  • The brain has 2 halves or hemispheres.

  • They process information differently

  • The left brain is more concerned with logic.

  • The right brain is more concerned with creativity.

  • But it’s far more complex than that. The two halves work together, balancing the abstract, holistic picture with the concrete, logical messages.


The quiz

The Quiz

Any aspects not covered / unclear?

How did you do?


Bibliography

Bibliography :

  • Blakemore, S-J. & Frith, U. (2005) The Learning Brian: Lessons for Education. Oxford: Blackwell

  • Geake, J. (2008) Neuromythologies in Education Journal of Educational Research Vol. 50, No. 2, June 2008, 123-133

  • Geake, J. (2009) The Brain at School: Educational Neuroscience in the classroom. Maidenhead: OUP

  • Goswami, U. (2006) Neuroscience and education: from research to practice, Nature Reviews: Neuroscience

    www.nature.com/nrn/journal

  • Greenfield, S. The Human Brain. London: Phoenix

  • Teaching & Learning Research Programme (2005) Neuroscience & Education

    http://www.tlrp.org/pub/documents/Neuroscience%20Commentary%20FINAL.pdf


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