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Turning Research into Practice Pam Schiller, Ph.D. Ram Sam Sam A ram sam sam A ram sam sam Goolie, goolie, goolie, goolie Ram sam sam A-raffey! A-raffey! Goolie, goolie, goolie, goolie Ram sam sam. Research to Practice: Singing. Research Finding: Singing enhances learning.

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Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d
Turning Research into PracticePam Schiller, Ph.D.

Ram Sam Sam

A ram sam sam

A ram sam sam

Goolie, goolie, goolie, goolie

Ram sam sam

A-raffey! A-raffey!

Goolie, goolie, goolie, goolie

Ram sam sam

Research to practice singing
Research to Practice: Singing

  • Research Finding:

    • Singing enhances learning.

      • Increases alertness (oxygen)

      • Enhances memories (endorphins)

      • Energizes thinking (cross-lateral movements)

      • Encourages pattern processing

  • Practice:

    • Sing several times a day

    • Use singing as a delivery strategy

  • Research to practice intentional instruction
    Research to Practice: Intentional Instruction

    • Research Finding:

      • Intentional instruction optimizes learning.

  • Practices:

    • Act with specific outcomes or goals in mind.

      • Academic (literacy, mathematics, science)

      • Domains (cognitive, social-emotional, motor…)

  • Possess a wide-range of knowledge.

    (content, instructional strategies, research)

  • Balance instruction between teacher guided and student guided experiences.

  • Use developmental continuums.

  • Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Research to Practice: The Environment

    • Research Findings:

      • Safety and well-being must be assured in order for learning to take place.

      • Threats and emotions inhibit cognitive processing. Strong emotions (negative or positive) can shut down learning.

  • Practices:

    • Make safety rituals routine.

    • Eliminate threats of any kind.

    • Use positive effectively.

    • Keep classroom space cozy.

    • Give conscious effort to “not overprotecting.”

  • Research to practice the environment
    Research to Practice: The Environment

    • Research Findings:

      • Over-stimulating classrooms inhibit cognitive functioning.

      • Student’s do not make thoughtful choices when given more than three options.

  • Practices:

    • Be thoughtful when choosing classroom décor.

    • Limit and rotate environmental print.

    • Rotate art work.

    • Provide a place for the eye to rest.

    • Rotate instructional materials.

    • Limit the number of choices offered to students.

  • More environmental findings
    More Environmental Findings

    • Aromas

    • Colors

    • Senses

    • Nutrition and Hydration

    • Rest

    • Choices

    • Novelty

    • Space

    • Exercise (Brain Gym)

    Research to practice wiring
    Research to Practice: Wiring

    • Research Findings:

      • Brain structure and capacity are the result of a complex interplay between genes and the environment.

        • Experience wires the brain.

        • Repetition strengthens brain connection.

  • Practices:

    • Make instruction intentional and purposeful.

    • Base instruction on the “Windows of Opportunity.”

      • Offer positive experiences at fertile times.

      • Schedule repetition within two days of the initial instruction and make sure it occurs six times within 30 days.

  • Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Research to Practice: Learning

    • Research Finding:

      • Learning engages the entire person (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains).

  • Practices:

    • Adapt curriculum so that it addresses each domain with the greatest amount of time spent on areas that are at the most fertile time for wiring during the preschool years.

    • Individualize instruction is meet the needs of diverse learning styles, personality types, MI profiles, temperaments and past experiences.

  • Research to practice learning
    Research to Practice: Learning

    • Research Finding:

      • There is a predictable process for assisting the brain in channeling stimuli into long term learning.

  • Practices:

    • Focus.

    • Engage multiple senses.

    • Follow the interest of the learner.

    • Help learners make sense of and establish meaning for information.

    • Use emotions as a tool.

    • Provide repetition of experiences

    • Provide hands-on practice after all learning episodes.

    • Provide time for reflection.

    • Keep learning space uncluttered.

    • Make sure learners feel safe.

    • Keep lessons short.

  • Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Brain Based Lesson Cycle

    • Focus

      • Questions

      • Interesting statements

      • Photos

  • Develop

    • Tap into prior knowledge

    • Point out likenesses and differences

    • Identify patterns

  • Practice

    • Hands-on

    • Follows as the lesson as closely as possible

  • Reflect

    • How will I use this information?

    • How has my thinking changed?

  • Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Average Retention Rate after 24 Hours

    5% Lecture

    10% Reading

    20% Audio-Visual

    30% Demonstration

    50% Group Discussion

    75% Practice by Doing

    90% Teach Others/Quick Use of Learning

    Sousa, David A., How the Brain Learns. Virginia: NASSP, 2005

    Research to practice the teacher
    Research to Practice: The Teacher

    • Research Findings:

      • Early interactions affect brain structure and capacity.

      • The quality of learning rarely exceeds the quality of teaching.

      • External reward inhibits internal motivation.

  • Practices:

    • Teachers are nurturing permanent, and knowledgeable.

    • Teachers are models of appropriate behaviors.

      “Children have more need of models than critics”

      Carolyn Coates

    • Teachers use encouragement as opposed to praise or tangible rewards.

  • Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Encouragement Instead of Praise

    • Findings:

      Extrinsic reward inhibits intrinsic motivation.

      The brain functions optimally when stress is low and safe challenges are high.

    • Eliminate the use of stickers and privilege rewards.

    • Be honest and sincere with compliments.

    • Encourage students to critique themselves.

    • Avoid comparisons.

    • Focus on process instead of product.

    Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Negative Impacts of Praise

    • Too much praise burdens—it pressures students to live up to your expectations.

    • Value driven praise result in students equating good with pleasing others and bad with displeasing others. We raise people-pleasers instead of thinkers.

    • If you praise for only completed tasks you send a message that effort doesn’t matter.

    • Bottom line: You can’t build confidence from the outside.

    Turning research into practice pam schiller ph d

    Encouragement StrategiesNotice, Acknowledge and Appreciate

    • Notice and describe behavior

      “Look at you. You finished the puzzle. That took determination.”

      “You did it. You came down the slide feet first and landed right in my arms.”

    • Link actions to enjoyment and satisfaction instead of a tangible reward.

    • Use encouragement especially when someone makes a poor choice.

      “I feel confident that you will find a better way.”

      “Children need love especially when they don’t deserve it.”

      Harold Hulbert


    • Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (Eds.) (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

    • Goleman, Daniel. (2007) Social Intelligence: The New Science of HumanRelationships. New York, NY: Bantam.

    • Hannaford, Carla. (1995) Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head. Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, VA.

    • Jensen, Eric (1997) Brain Compatible Strategies. Delmar, CA: Turning Point Publishing.

    • Jensen, Eric (1998) Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    • Morrison, R.G. (2005). “Thinking in Working Memory.” In K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), CambridgeHandbook of Thinking and Reasoning (pp. 457-473). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    • National Research Council. (2006). Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    • National Center on Education and the Economy. (2007). Tough Choices or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons.

    • Ramey, Craig T. and Sharon L. (1999) Right from Birth. Goddard Press, NY, 1999.

    • Schiller, Pam (1999) Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House.

    • Sousa, David (2005) How the Brain Learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.