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COLL 1000 College Success and Survival Skills 2/6/14 Learning Principles How the Brain works—or doesn't?. Mike “Wheels” Breakey , MA. Quote of the Day. We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves . ~Buddha

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COLL 1000College Success and Survival Skills2/6/14Learning PrinciplesHow the Brain works—or doesn't?

Mike “Wheels” Breakey, MA

quote of the day
Quote of the Day
  • We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. ~Buddha
  • If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~Jim Rohn
words of the day
Words of the Day
  • Optimism
  • A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation
  • Does this play into learning?
  • Epistemology
  • The branch of philosophy that studies the origin, nature, methods, validity, and limits of human knowledge
  • Philosophy
  • Literally means—Philos-Love Sophia-Knowledge
  • How does it happen?
  • How did you learn to drive?
the big ten
  • Interest
  • Intent ( I want to remember)
  • Basic Background (Constructivism)
  • Selectivity (importance—to you)
  • Organize (ever had too many ideas)
  • Recite (book says verbal—any other ways?)
  • Visualize (mental picture) (Ever close your eyes when trying to remember something on a quiz?)
  • Associate (Constructivism again) (string on finger?)
  • Consolidate (STM, WM, and LTM)
  • Practice (study, review)

Immediate Memory

  • Lasts only seconds
  • Provides a sense of continuity
  • Short Term Memory
  • Lasts up to several minutes
  • 7 +/- 2components
  • AKA Working Memory
  • Scratch Pad
  • Transfers to Long Term with Effort
  • Long Term Memory
  • Lasts a lifetime*
  • Different types

Declarative Memory

Non-Declarative Memory

  • Procedural
  • Skills and habits
  • Emotional responses
  • Priming
  • Semantic
  • Facts
  • Figures
  • Episodic
  • Events
  • Times
  • Long term memories are changes in the brain
  • Recalling memories changes the content of the memory
    • Family vacation example
  • Memories are, literally, structures in the brain
something you memorized years ago but still remember
Something you memorized years ago but still remember
  • Boy Scout Oath
  • A saying
  • An old phone number or address
a few myths
A Few Myths
  • We only use 10% of our brains
    • No, we use 100%, just not all at once. The brain is always active.
  • You can learn through subliminal messages
    • No conclusive evidence yet
  • Brain damage is permanent
    • The brain can re-wire itself
  • Alcohol kills brain cells
    • It can damage the dendrites causing less communication between neurons and other disorders, but not kill the cells
    • Freeman (2008)


New Memories

  • How do we perceive information from our world?
  • Which of the 5 senses is dominant?

This image “The Enigma” is by IsiaLeviant (1984).


White's effect

Contrast of lightness

what does all this have with learning
What does all this have with learning?
  • Changing perceptions changes beliefs (learning).
    • Why?
  • Learning is constructive—it build upon past experiences
  • If those experiences are biased (or ignored) it affects learning
    • It’s only OR Adrift on the ocean of life
  • Mental maturity and learning
    • I can learn from others not I KNOW IT ALL
    • Others can learn from me not I HAVE NOTHING TO ADD
four principle areas of personal epistemology
Four principle areas of personal epistemology
  • Simplicity of knowledge
  • Fixed nature of knowledge
  • Quickness of knowing
  • Certainty of knowledge
simple knowledge
Simple Knowledge
  • Immature
    • Contents are complete, cannot look outside the box for answers
    • What is learned in one class cannot be applied to other courses
  • Mature
    • Knowledge is made up of discrete parts that can be mixed and matched to make up more complex bits of knowledge
fixed knowledge
Fixed Knowledge
  • Immature
    • “I was born dumb, and dumb I’ll stay!”
  • Mature
    • Genetics make up only some of my abilities, I can do this and I can get smarter.
quick knowledge
Quick Knowledge
  • Immature
    • “If I don’t get it the first time, I just won’t get it.”
  • Mature
    • Learning is hard work and persistence pays off!
    • It is possible to learn to learn
certain knowledge
Certain Knowledge
  • Immature
    • There is one truth
    • We can find that truth
  • Mature
    • Truth is sometimes ambiguous
    • Things change
    • Truth is complex
how mature is your personal epistemology
How mature is your personal epistemology?
  • Just remember
    • Knowledge is complex
    • Your intelligence is malleable
    • Study pays off
    • There is often more than one right answer
  • Can understanding how the brain works help explain bias or prejudicial thinking?
next tuesday
Next Tuesday
  • Multitasking Worksheet
  • Chapter 6: Processing Information from Lectures
  • Communication discussion
  • NOT in the syllabus but think about what tips and techniques work for you—school, work, family.