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Is The Wyche Curriculum Brain Compatible?. 6 th September 2011. Contents. The Triune Brain Templates The Synaptic Gap Myelin and Deep Practice Nature or Nurture The Outliers Principle Glutamate and Dopamine The Role of Emotions in Learning. Brain Knowledge.

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Is The Wyche Curriculum Brain Compatible?


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    1. Is The Wyche Curriculum Brain Compatible? 6thSeptember2011

    2. Contents • The Triune Brain • Templates • The Synaptic Gap • Myelin and Deep Practice • Nature or Nurture • The Outliers Principle • Glutamate and Dopamine • The Role of Emotions in Learning

    3. Brain Knowledge 95% of what we now know about the brain has been found out in the past 10 years

    4. The Brain has three parts • Dr P D MacLean (1990) The triune Brain

    5. Mexican Green Lizard • The Mexican Green Lizard has 27 different behaviours and is believed to be one of the most highly evolved animals • These hinge around the principles of survival

    6. The Survival Principle • The brain is designed for survival not for academic study • Where survival and study coalesce then learning will be enhanced • Reticular Activation System – cuts out when we cannot see the point • The power of “Real Life Learning” – How do we motivate a child on a wet Friday afternoon

    7. Limbic Brain The Limbic Brain deals with survival in a social context

    8. Neo Cortex The neo-cortex (Lit. “New Brain”) or the neo-mammalian brain

    9. The Brain has three parts • Dr P D MacLean (1990) The triune Brain

    10. Brain Cells • The Reptilian Brain: 2,000,000 cells • The Limbic Brain: 20,000,000 cells • The Neo Cortex: 150 billion cells

    11. How does the brain function? How does the brain pull together 150 billion cells and allow the right ones to make the right decision? Templates

    12. The Use of Templates • Donald Hebb was the first to explore the brain and its use of templates • He stated that we learn because nerve endings fire together • Nerve cells that fire together wire together

    13. Templates • Templates are wired learnt experiences • They are laid down through experience • Playing the guitar – Subconsciously. • Table tennis – Getting shots back • Tennis – Time to play shots • Driving the car – How did I get here

    14. Template Building • In the neo cortex is the Dorso-Lateral Pre Frontal cortex • This uploads the templates from all over the brain so the information arrives synchronously and in harmonic resonance allowing the brain to process the information

    15. The Hippocampus The hippocampus adds information from the short term memory

    16. The use of Templates • The brain does not compartmentalise info This is why didactic 2D teaching is flawed • The capital of France is Paris There is not a capital cities compartment The multiple firing of the brain “In one ear and out the other”

    17. Thunks • Which is the happiest colour? • Which is the biggest colour? • Is black a colour? • Is White? Thunks – Ian Gilbert

    18. Chess Templates • De Groot (Dutch psychologist) challenged the notion that chess players have photographic memories • He set up a chess board and gave chess players and non-chess players 5 seconds to scan the board and replicate it. Many of the top players scored 100%

    19. Chess Templates He then repeated it with random pieces there was no difference in the scores between the chess and non-chess players. The Chess Template

    20. Quick Chess in Bristol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69D-IIsEBY

    21. Templates are complex • The templates are complex • The child bitten by a dog • But not all dogs bite • What do I look for in a dog when I meet it? • Posture • Facial expression • How it is moving towards me? • Is my mum near me? • Is she frightened?

    22. No template, No learning • “Everything in your brain is stored in the form of templates” (A Curran) • Slowly the boy looked nonchalantly across the busy, crowded street • All teaching must be context based so that the templates are built correctly • The brain is not a jigsaw puzzle that puts bits together out of context

    23. No template, No learning Action could be spelt… • Aktion The “tion” is a template • Akshun The shun is possible • Akjvtpp There is no possibility of this • These are templates not recognising a series of unrelated letters

    24. Emotional Triggers • A smell, a picture, a dream can trigger memories because they activate these templates • Emotions are a powerful trigger for templates • Learning must have an emotional attachment for the child

    25. Synaptic Gap • Templates are fused together by the connection of nerves which form a synapse together • The two synapses don’t touch but form the “Synaptic gap”

    26. The Synaptic Gap • The synaptic gap is the place where two synapse meet (without touching) and chemicals are fired across

    27. The Synaptic Gap • The synapse is at the end of the axon and sends out signals • The dendrite receives the signal

    28. Myelin Sheath • Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. • The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination.

    29. Myelination • Myelination begins in the fourteenth week of foetal development • During infancy myelination occurs quickly and continues through the adolescent stages of life • All learning involves the firing of nerve cells and the laying down of templates

    30. Myelin “Myelin’s vital role is to wrap the nerve fibres the same way that rubber insulation wraps a copper wire making the signal stronger and faster by preventing the electrical impulses from leaking out” Daniel Coyle p5

    31. In the Right Way “When we fire our circuits in the right way our myelin responds by wrapping layers of insulation around that neural circuit, each layer adding a bit more skill and speed” Daniel Coyle p5

    32. “… in the right way” • Coyle defines “Deep Practice” as the practice of areas that create myelin in the right way • Practicing a poor golf swing will develop a strong template for a poor golf swing

    33. Deep Practice of… • Poor spelling from a child is e.g. “wos” is mylienated if allowed to continue unchecked throughout a piece of writing • Letter reversals • The feedback loop is the key

    34. Is talent nurture or nature? Is talent a symptom of nature or can it be nurtured?

    35. Anders Ercisson • Anders Ericsson, a psychologist at Florida State University undertook a seminal study in outstanding performance in 1991 • He studied violinists at the Musical Academy in West Berlin

    36. The Three Groups • They were placed into three groups: • Exceptional, those who would be world soloists • Very Good, those who would play in the world’s top orchestras but not as soloists • Good, those who would become music teachers • Anders then looked for the key ingredient that made the difference

    37. Deep Practice Their profiles were virtually identical except in the area of … Practice By the age of 20 The Exceptional had spent 10,000 hours The Very Good had spent 8,000 hours The Good had spent 4,000 hours

    38. Deep Practice David Beckham/Johnny Wilkinson – Both known for the additional practice they put in after each training session

    39. “The more I practice the luckier I get” (Gary Player, Golfer)

    40. Chess Prodigies • Laszlo Polgar was a Hungarian psychologist who believed talent could be created • He advertised for a wife to conduct an experiment on creating talent • They had a daughter Susan and decided to make her a grand master

    41. Chess Prodigies • They gave up their jobs ands home schooled the children teaching them mainly chess • They had a library of 10,000 chess books • At the age of 21 Susan became the first woman to be named a grand master • Her sister Judit became a grand master at the age of 15, the youngest of either sex, and remains the world’s number 1 at present

    42. There have of course been others… The William’s sisters – Venus being named after the Wimbledon trophy Tiger Woods

    43. Matthew Syed • Matthew Syed was three times commonwealth champion • His parents dispute his whole thesis which rests on talent being nurture not nature

    44. Hall of Fame In his road lived: • Karen Witt – Commonwealth champion • Andy Wellman – Top UK doubles player Around the corner lived • Jimmy Stokes – English Junior Champion • Paul Savins – Junior international • Alison Gordon – English Senior Champion • Sue Collier – English Schools Champion etc. etc. etc.

    45. Bounce “For a period on the 1980’s, this one street, and the surrounding vicinity produced more outstanding table tennis players than the rest of the nation combined” Bounce p7 He outlines the key factors