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Teach Like the Brain Learns

Posted by on March 31st, 2014 Posted in: Training Tips


A recent post from the blog Teacher Thought wrote about using what we know about how the brain thinks to create a more productive learning environment. Here are just a few of the ideas from the post.

1) Learning doesn’t happen in a bubble.

 “Learning only occurs when the student can connect new information to old information. Teaching someone how a car works is pointless if they don’t know what a car is.”

From the NTC: This comes out in many of the PubMed core competency discussions we have during PubMed for Trainers. Trainers often include a What is PubMed section in their classes. It’s one thing to know how to use PubMed, but knowing why and when to use PubMed can help students choose the best database to start their research.

2) Create a friendly learning environment

Neuroscience: The brain feels before it thinks. The amygdala (think fight/flight) receives stimuli 40 milliseconds before the cortex (thinking).
Usable classroom translation: stress impedes learning. Try to connect with your students when they come into your class by making eye contact, greetings, and taking a moment to chat before diving into the lesson.”

From the NTC: If you teach online, there are a few things you can try to create a comfortable environment. 1) Create a discussion forum where students introduce themselves. 2) If you teach a live/synchronous online class, consider using a web cam and use people’s names when they enter the online classroom.

3) Teaching for mastery

“Neuroscience behind it: In order for information to be retained it must make its way from short-term to long-term memory.
Usable classroom translation: Use the arts as a tool to enhance and reinforce learning.”

From the NTC: One trainer recently sang a song in class to help students see the difference between two concepts. Later we overheard a student refer to the song as a way to remember the new concepts.

Read the full post at: http://ow.ly/vdK2g

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