Teaching With the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen

Embed Size (px)

Text of Teaching With the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen

Teaching with

Eric Jensen

Teaching with

Eric Jensen

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Alexandria, Virginia USA

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 1703 N. Beauregard St. Alexandria, VA 22311-1714 USA Telephone: 1-800-933-2723 or 703-578-9600 Fax: 703-575-5400 Web site: http://www.ascd.org E-mail: member@ascd.org Gene R. Carter, Executive Director Michelle Terry, Assistant Executive Director, Program Development Nancy Modrak, Director, Publishing John ONeil, Acquisitions Editor Mark Goldberg, Development Editor Julie Houtz, Managing Editor of Books Jo Ann Irick Jones, Senior Associate Editor Ren Bahrenfuss, Copy Editor Stephanie Justen, Proofreader Charles D. Halverson, Project Assistant Gary Bloom, Director, Editorial, Design, and Production Services Karen Monaco, Senior Designer Tracey A. Smith, Production Manager Dina Murray, Production Coordinator John Franklin, Production Coordinator Barton, Matheson, Willse & Worthington, Desktop Publisher Copyright 1998 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from ASCD. Figures 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, and 2.4 are LifeArt Images copyrighted 198997 by Techpool Studios, Inc., USA (in Cleveland, Ohio). Figures 2.6, 3.1, 6.1, 8.4, 9.2, and 11.1 are LifeArt Images adapted by Eric Jensen. These 10 figures may not be reproduced in any form without the consent of LifeArt Images. All other figures are by Eric Jensen. Readers who wish to duplicate material copyrighted by ASCD may do so for a small fee by contacting the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA 01923, USA (telephone: 978-750-8400; fax: 978-750-4470). ASCD has authorized the CCC to collect such fees on its behalf. Requests to reprint rather than photocopy should be directed to ASCDs permissions office at 703-578-9600. ASCD publications present a variety of viewpoints. The views expressed or implied in this book should not be interpreted as official positions of the Association. netLibrary E-Book: ISBN: 0-87120-772-9 Price $21.95 Quality Paperback: ISBN: 0-87120-299-9 ASCD Product No. 198019 ASCD Member Price: $17.95 nonmember Price: $21.95 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data (for paperback book) Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the brain in mind / Eric Jensen. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-87120-299-9 (pbk.) 1. Learning, Psychology of. 2. TeachingPsychological aspects. 3. Brain. I. Title. LB1060.J46 1998 370.15823dc21

97-45424 CIP

iii

Dedication

To my colleagues in the brain-compatible movement: Renate and Geoffrey Caine, Jane Healy, Leslie Hart, Susan Kovalik, David Sousa, Robert Sylwester, and Pat Wolfe. Also thank-yous to William Greenough, Dolly Lambdin, Larry Squire, Pamela Moses, Katherine Roe, and Norman Weinberger for their technical review. Much gratitude to Ron Brandt for his commitment to this topic. Appreciation to Karen Markowitz for her research and editorial contributions and to Mark Goldberg for his support and editing. And many thanks to my wife Diane for her priceless support.

Teaching with the Brain in Mind

Dedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

iii vii

1. The New Winds of Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Background and theory update on brain research. The state and direction of research today. Tools for learning about the brain. How to interpret the new brain research. 2. The Learning Brain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brain basics: size, content, lobes, and basic operations. Key vocabulary. What is built in and whats not? How we actually learn and remember. 3. Getting Students Ready to Learn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . The developing brain. Getting students ready for school. Emotional readiness. Motor skill readiness. The role of threat, sleep, and nutrition. How we can influence parents. 4. Enriched Environments and the Brain . . . . . . . . . . How enrichment affects the brain. Two conditions for enrichment: challenge and feedback. The role of language, motor activity, music, and the arts. What really builds better brains? 5. Getting the Brains Attention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The biology of attention. Getting attention but not keeping it. The brains high- and low-attention cycles. An ADD/ADHD update. Implications for classroom discipline. 6. How Threats and Stress Affect Learning . . . . . . . . What is stressful to the brain? How does stress affect students? How threats affect learning. What is learned helplessness? Reducing the impact of stress and threat. 7

7. Motivation and Rewards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whats the new research on motivation? What causes temporary demotivation? What does brain research tell us about rewards? How can we boost intrinsic motivation? 8. Emotions and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The role of emotions in the thinking and learning process. Why use the more emotionally laced learning? Differences between emotions and feelings. Specific strategies for emotional engagement. 9. Movement and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The mind-body link. What does research say about the links between movement and cognition? Physical states; how does our body actually learn? The specific roles for movement, the arts, and physical education. Why movement makes sense. 10. The Brain as a Meaning-Maker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The natural mechanisms of making meaning. Three ingredients for optimal learning. How to encourage these ingredients. 11. Memory and Recall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Why dont students remember more? Exploding the memory myths. How to use the brains best systems for retrieval. Making learning last. Postscript . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glossary of Brain Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Follow-Up Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

62

71

82

17

29

90

99

41

52

. . 113 . . 115 . . 119 . . 126 . . 127 . . 133

vii

Introduction

I first discovered the concept of brain-compatible learning during a business development workshop facilitated by Marshall Thurber, a futurist and entrepreneur, in June 1980. The impact was so powerful that even today, almost two decades later, I can fill the page of a flip chart with ideas I remember (and still use!). Without a doubt, both the content and process of that day were deeply embedded in my brain. The presenters clearly understoodand knew how to useimportant principles about learning and the brain. After that day, I became so enthusiastic (some would say a zealot) that I decided to share my excitement with others. Because I was teaching, my first response was, Why dont my own students have this kind of learning experience every day? The question was both humbling and promising. I decided to use this newfound brain/learning connection. I cofounded an experimental, cuttingedge academic program in San Diego, California, called SuperCamp. Our purpose was to use the latest research on the brain to empower teens with life skills and learning tools. We held our first session in August 1982. It was an immediate success, and we offered it in other states and countries. We

Teaching with the Brain in Mind

viiiwere flooded with media attention and soon found ourselves in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Later, we appeared on CNN and Good Morning America. Long-term follow-up research validated that the benefits of our program lasted years after the 10-day program itself (DePorter and Hernacki 1992, p. 19). Students grades and school participation went up, and the students reported greater self-confidence. The experiment we began years ago is now an international fixture with more than 20,000 graduates. Today its still growing and based in Oceanside, California. I have seen, felt, and heard firsthand the difference brain-compatible learning makes. Students of all backgrounds and ages, with every imaginable history of failure, and with lifelong discouraged attitudes can and have succeeded with this approach. While brain-compatible learning is not a panacea, it does provide some important guidance as we move into the 21st century. Programs that are compatible with the way humans naturally learn will stand the test of time. The principles of brain-compatible learning will flourish when many other fad-like educational programs have long faded from memory.

1

1

The New Winds of Change

KEY CONCEPTS Background and theory update on brain research

e are on the verge of a revolution: the application of important new brain research to teaching and learning. This revolution will change school start times, discipline policies, assessment methods, teaching strategies, budget priorities, classroom environments, use of technology, and even the way we think of the arts and physical education. But before we consider the practical applications of this research, we must have a useful model for deciphering it.

W

The state and direction of research today Tools for learning about the brain How to interpret the new brain research

Models of EducationThe educational model that dominated much of human histo