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Universithy of South Carolina

Universithy of South Carolina

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Published by Terry Doyle
Presentation on the brain and leanring
Presentation on the brain and leanring

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Categories:Types, Presentations
Published by: Terry Doyle on Oct 15, 2013
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02/17/2015

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•Neuroscientists have a saying: Emotion drives attention and
attention drives learning—this makes Attention the next
pathway. Educators sometimes mistakenly think that
attention means taking in as much as possible around you

so we say, “Pay attention!” But the brain’s processing

abilities in a given moment are limited, and attention is the
way the brain allocates its resources. It is helpful if you
specifically direct the student toward the desired object of
attention. We know that some students are impaired in
their attentional abilities, but these can be improved
through activities that require sustained attention. The
emotional engagement pathway is effective in capturing
and sustaining attention.

•o you ever complain that your students can’t think

critically? Some recent research indicates that frontal lobes
don’t fully develop until around ages 18-25. Just like other
brain processes, however, experience is necessary to
develop this region. Instead of expecting your students to
just have this ability, help them develop it through
scaffolding and explicit instruction. Also keep in mind that
many of the activities we give students are actually
activities involving working memory (what can be held

“online” for a short period of time). If students fail to

comprehend lengthy directions or long sentences or
passages, it may not be a reading or language
comprehension problem, but a working memory problem.
Shorter sentences can be helpful.

•Next is the Language pathway. Of
course we are using it in our language
classrooms! Neuroscientists are
convinced that the earlier a second
language is learned in school the
better, and express concern that the
field of education has not changed
significantly in response to this
information. We know that becoming
fluent enough in a second language
to perform academic tasks in that

language actually enhances one’s

overall thinking, with improved
cognition in classification skills,
concept formation, analogical
reasoning, visual-spatial skills, and
creativity (Baker, 2001).

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