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Brain-Based Approach. Dr. Gazit. Emotion and attention are the PRINCIPAL processes of the brain. Students need to talk about their emotions (Games, cooperative learning, field trips, interactive projects, use of humor)

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Brain based approach

  • Emotion and attention are the PRINCIPAL processes of the brain. Students need to talk about their emotions (Games, cooperative learning, field trips, interactive projects, use of humor)

  • Taking what we know about the brain, about development and about learning and combining those factors in intelligent ways to connect and excite students’ desire to learn.

  • Combining emotional, factual and skill knowledge into a cognitive tool.

  • Limiting emotional stress

Principals of Brain-Based Learning

Brain based approach

Brain is a parallel processor (Both hemispheres work together. Many functions occur simultaneously)

Learning engages the entire physiology (nutrition)

Learning is developmental (exposure, repetition, and practice)

Each brain is unique (genetics and experience)

Every brain perceives and creates parts and wholes simultaneously (telling stories)

Learning always involves conscious and unconscious processes (brain and body learn physically, mentally, and emotionally)

The search for meaning is innate (making sense)

Emotions are critical to learning (Emotions trigger the chemicals active in the dendrite reaction).

Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat

The search for meaning occurs through patterning (prior knowledge)

We can organize memory in different ways (relevancy and interests)

The brain is a social brain (cooperative learning)

Twelve Basic Principles Related to Learning

Brain based approach

STAGE 1: together. Many functions occur simultaneously)Motivation/watch, , shown, interest

STAGE 2: Start to Practice/practice, trial & error, ask ?’s

STAGE 3: Advanced Practice/practice, lessons, read, confidence

STAGE 4: Skillfulness/practice, some success, enjoyment, sharing

STAGE 5: Refinement/improvement, natural, pleasure, creative

STAGE 6: Mastery/teach, recognition, higher challenges


More than 8,000 people—from 2nd graders to graduate students to educators—have reported how they learned to be good at something outside school.

Brain based approach

  • We have about 100 billion brain nerve cells ( together. Many functions occur simultaneously)neurons).

  • Each neuron has one axon with many tails (terminals). These axon terminals send electrochemical messages to other neurons across tiny spaces called synapses.

  • Learning creates the synaptic connections. The result is knowledge and skill constructed in our brain.


Brain based approach

  • When learners feel unconfident or anxious, certain chemicals flow into the synapses to shut them down: “Danger! No time to think! Just run away!” This is the flight reaction. Students mistakenly think they have a poor memory, but it is their emotions that are sabotaging them.

  • When learners feel confident, different chemicals flow into the synapses that make them work quickly and well: “I can handle this.” This is thefight reaction


Brain based approach

  • Each neuron has thousands of flow into the dendrites (like tree branches and twigs--“dendrite” means “tree-like”) which receive chemical-electrical messages from other neurons’ axons across the synapses.

  • Like twigs on a tree that can grow only from a twig or branch that is already there, so dendrites can grow only from a dendrite that is already there--from something the learner already knows.

  • Then, like twigs growing on a tree, learning is constructed, higher and higher, skill and understanding increasing.


Brain based approach

  • As a learner goes through the stages of this natural learning process, the learner’s brain constructs its neural networks from the lowest twig up.

  • Thus, the first lesson must be a no-fail activity to which every student can make a personal connection to a twig already there, to something already known.

  • You are a college student. You find out that the head of the mafia in your city has killed your father and married your mother. But you have no proof. What will you feel? What will you do? You now read Hamlet and can personally connect to it. You can think and talk about it with understanding


Brain based approach

A girl with difficulty reading is in first grade. Her teacher thought she had ADHD and wanted her to take ritalin. The mother said no and began to tutor her. She quickly saw that she couldn’t remember a word from one minute to the next. She was dyslexic. She seemed to have ADHD because, as she said, whenever she would have to show she couldn’t read, she got up and ran around; it was better to be bad than stupid. With appropriate help she became an excellent reader.

Only 5% of students have ADD, but more than 25% are given ritalin, which stifles normal brain growth. These students say they are so bored they can't sit still, be quiet, listen and obey; they want to think, figure things out themselves, and be creative.

A Girl with Dyslexia

Brain based approach

In schools today, countless class clowns are sitting down and shutting up. In chemistry labs, students who used to mix chemicals haphazardly, out of an insatiable curiosity, now focus on their textbooks. In English classes, kids who once stared out the windows, concocting crazy life stories about passersby, now face the blackboard.Ritalin and other drugs for ADHD have helped many children improve their focus and behavior -- to the great relief of parents and teachers. Classic ADHD traits such as impulsivity, a penchant for day-dreaming, and disorganized lives are thought to belong to Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill.

What About Today’s Einstiens?

Brain based approach

The question is whether the Ritalin Revolution will sap tomorrow's work force of some of its potential genius. What will be the repercussions in corporations, comedy clubs, and research labs?Some researchers now wonder if would-be Einsteins and Edisons will choose different career paths because their creativity and drive are dulled by ADHD drugs. They also worry that the stigma of being labeled with ADHD could lead some kids to lose confidence, and dream smaller dreams.

What About Today’s Einstiens?

Brain based approach

What do you think? tomorrow's work force of some of its potential genius. What will be the repercussions in corporations, comedy clubs, and research labs?

How will this information change the way you teach?