Brain based teaching and learning is a new paradigm of learning.  "The result is a learning approach that is more aligned with how the brain naturally learns best."  Provide a summary that...

Brain based teaching and learning is a new paradigm of learning.  "The result is a learning approach that is more aligned with how the brain naturally learns best."  Provide a summary that investigates research in brain development and its relation to learning and literacy.

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Scientists and physicians have struggled for literally thousands of years to understand the human brain and how it functions.  Unsurprisingly, the development of advanced imaging technology, along with more sophisticated testing methodologies, has enabled those professionals to gain a far better understanding than previously thought possible.  Among the discoveries that occurred during the late 20th Century were the myriad of ways the brain responds to different external stimuli, and the importance of recognizing the individuality of human brain functions.  In other words, no two brains are exactly alike in how they process information.  These revelations have been especially important in the realm of mental dysfunction, with greater understanding of how autistic children process information and the distinctions between the genders with respect to learning abilities.  Once thought entirely environmental, the latest research indicates that boys process information differently than girls for physiological reasons and not solely as a product of traditional definitions of gender roles.  To put it simply, boys are wired different than girls.  The thalamus, which sits at the center of the human brain, and which is integral to how people respond to external stimuli and how their bodies are controlled, differs among individuals, and the corpus callosum, which provides the connection between the right and left sides of the brain, has been discovered to differ significantly between the genders. [See http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/how-male-female-brains-differ]  This distinction is crucial in terms of how the respective genders process information and learn.

It is with this background in mind that one can best approach the issue of brain-based teaching and learning.  While daunting in terms of the resources required to address the individual needs of students as opposed to one blanket methodology applied to entire classrooms or schools, the development of brain-based teaching and learning has proven enormously beneficial to many children previously written-off as intellectually disadvantaged.  For example, recognizing that boys have a far more difficult time sitting still in class has resulted in more flexible teaching methods that allow for far greater latitude in how boys are permitted to learn.  Rather than expecting them to sit quietly and attentively like their female counterparts, teachers receptive to newly-discovered findings regarding the brain and learning are more likely to allow boys to fidget and move about more frequently.  There’s no question that this methodology places additional stress on teachers and on girls, but the fundamental distinctions between the genders are increasingly acknowledged and addressed through adaptive techniques.  Similarly, discoveries into how the brains of autistic children function has enabled teaching methodologies to be developed that address the special needs of such students.  The benefit to individual students, families and society as a whole are enormous when students are provided the tools they need to learn and to learn how to function among their peers.

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