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International Journal of Exclusive Global Research - Vol 3 Issue 2 February

Improved Achievement – The Brain Based Learning Strategies

Dr V.P.Alexander

Assistant Professor, Government College of Education, Vellore-6

Brain Based Education is the purposeful engagement of strategies that apply to how our brain
works in the context of education. In recent years, more and more teachers have been employing
brain based learning strategies in their classrooms. In other words, teachers are using
information on the neuroscience of the brain and how the brain learns to guide their teaching
strategies. The good news is that these brain-based teaching strategies are effective for all
students, regardless of their learning challenges. Renate and Geoffrey Caine, founders of the
Caine Learning Institute, suggests several principles to be considered by teachers.
The biggest challenge before the country today in the field of education is not only education
expansion and universalisation of education but to improve the overall quality of education.
Quality of education is possible only if students remain active in classroom throughout the
teaching process. For this, teacher should apply those techniques in the teaching process
which should be according to the interests of the pupils. It means that teaching learning
process should be pupil centered rather than teacher centered. To many, the term “Brain
Based Learning” sounds redundant. Isn’t all learning and teaching brain based? Advocates of
Brain Based teaching insist that there is a difference between “Brain Compatible” education
and “Brain Antagonistic” teaching practices and methods which can actually prevent learning.
The Brain is capable of multitasking, and it “assembles, patterns, composes meaning, and
sorts daily life experiences from an extraordinary number of clues” (Jensen, 2000).
Brain Based Learning
Brain Based Learning is the techniques extracted from the research in neurology and cognitive
science which is used to enhance teacher instruction. These strategies can also be used to
enhance students’ ability to learn using ways in which they feel most comfortable. Jensen
(2000) defines BBL as “learning in accordance with the way the brain is naturally designed to
learn”. The most important aspect of BBL is that it includes and combines specific types of
research-based academic intervention as well as applied aspects of emotional learning. Brain
Based Learning research affirms that although all students can learn, each brain is unique
and each student has his or her own preferred learning style (Armstrong, 2009). The art of
teaching must be the art of changing the brain. Teaching should start with the exploration of
the brain (Zull, 2002). Brain Based Learning is interested in knowledge how the brain works
and in discovering the ways of maximum learning (Carolyn, 1997).
How do we learn?
Learning is built on the process of detecting and making patterns. It is necessary to link new
knowledge to existing patterns in our brains. New learning must be connected to what the
learner already knows. To learn, we first need a stimulus to the brain. This stimulus is then
stored and processed at several levels. The information of memory potential is created
knowledge; Pieces are in place, so memory can be activated again. Once activated the
connection pattern becomes stronger. Each repetition, or recall of that knowledge, not only
strengthens the pattern but makes it more efficient (Damasio, 1989).
Techniques of Brain Based Learning
There are three brains friendly techniques associated in brain based learning, which are based
on ability and limitations of brain.

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International Journal of Exclusive Global Research - Vol 3 Issue 2 February

Relaxed Alertness: One can concentrate why they are relaxed so to maximize the potential.
Alertness can be enhanced by eliminating fear but maintaining a challenging environment.
Orchestrated Immersion: Creating a learning environment that will completely involve the
learner in the subject. For example: To experience the weightlessness in space, experience
weightlessness by Scuba diving.
Active Processing: Allowing the students to process the information to remember according
to their ability. This is accomplished by teaching the same material with several approaches.
Safe Climate for Learning
When students are feeling anxious or fearful, they aren’t in the mood to learn. That’s because
one part of the brain that processes emotions the amygdale responds to the perceived threats
by blocking information flow to the learning centers of the brain. Hence learning
environments should keep students highly engaged, foster community and family connections
(Lantieri, 2014). Positive feedback builds learners’ confidence (Caine, 1994).
Video games, games with competition, small-group discussion, use audio or video
feedback, student presentation, hypothesis building and testing, brain-storming, compare and
contrast work etc., can be adopted to create a brain compatible classroom strategies.
Brain Based Learning Strategies
i. Talking: The talking internalizes what they’ve learned. Give the children a few tidbits of
information, and then they have “turn and talk” time, where they discuss what they’ve
learning. They love this, and it works.
ii. Visuals: Vision is the strongest of the senses. Use posters, drawings, videos, pictures,
and even some guided imagery with the children to help them learn. 50% are visual learners
and prefer pictures, charts, and written text over lectures. 30%are kinaesthetic learners and
need more tactile (hands-on) and movement-based activities. 20% are auditory learners and
do best when they talk about what they are learning.
iii. Chunking: That means they need a chunk of information, then an opportunity to process
that in some way. Here’s where “turn and talk” works, as well as an opportunity to write,
draw, or even move. The brain learns new information in chunks. Brain research states that
children between the ages of and 13 learn best when given chunks of 2 to 4 pieces of
information. Children ages 14 and older can learn up to 7 chunks at a time. Teachers should
plan for these limits and teach material in small chunks.
iv. The brain needs oxygen: 20% of all the oxygen used in the body is used by the brain.
That means teachers need to get the students up out of their seats regularly and moving.
Students need a moment to “rest their brain” from a task. Allowing off-task time between
segments often increase a student’s focus. For example, allow students to take time to stand
up and stretch, provide a 2-minute talk break, Brain Gym exercises etc. By providing these
moments, the brain will be more ready to stay on task and store information.
v. Brain Breaks: The brain can only take in so much information at a time. Think of the
brain as a cup, once it is full, nothing else can fit and just runs down the side. Man has to
empty the cup to allow it to be filled again. The brain is similar. Students need to have time
to process new learning in order to make room for more. Be sure to give your students a brain
break every five to 10 minutes. This could be in the form of a think-share-pair, a movement
activity, a well-placed joke … the possibilities are endless. Be creative.
vi. Embrace the Power of Novelty: When we encounter new information, the brain quickly
goes into pattern-recognition mode. That’s when the brain really gets excited. The brain
doesn’t just detect new information it desires novelty. That changing routines, asking
students to consider similarities and differences, field trips, and guest visitors all help to keep
better learning. If the teacher is not providing that novelty, the brain will go elsewhere (Bruce,
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International Journal of Exclusive Global Research - Vol 3 Issue 2 February

vii. Music: Sousa, (1995) viewed that music can be used by the brain for arousal, as a carrier,
or as a primer.
 Use uplifting songs to spark enthusiasm and energy.
 Play classical music or instrumental music in the background to promote a calming,
thinking environment.
 When students are having trouble memorizing information, have them create a song to
help remember the information.
viii. Problem Solving: Jensen (1998) asserts that challenging problem solving is the single
best way to enrich the brain. Problem solving develops reasoning, critical thinking, and other
high-level thinking skills (Sylwester, 1995).
ix. Time for reflection: The brain also works on a time schedule. Children of ages 5 to 13
learn best in 5 – 10 minute increments. Children 14 and older learn in increments upto 10 –
20 minutes. Sometimes, teachers may extend time limits through positive reinforcement.
Provide time at the end of a lesson to think about and discuss the topic.
x. Positive Environment: First, it is imperative to set a positive and supportive classroom
environment. The brain cannot learn well under stress. Higher-level thinking functions are
rerouted to basic survival needs. Mirror neurons in our brains cause us to feel similar stress
to those around us, causing the learning ability of the entire class to drop. Be sure to
maintain a positive learning environment.
Better achievement of Brain Based Learning
Learning (or content) standards are intended to set the bar for student achievement.
They can help create equity among learners by ensuring that all children are prepared to meet
the challenges of an increasingly complex, demanding world. Although standards vary state by
state, they generally have similar broad goals for children in the primary grades. As they
mature and develop from ages 5 to 8, young children are expected to achieve the following:
1. They develop as effective readers;
2. They expand their abilities to use complex mathematical applications;
3. They deepen their understandings of science concepts; and
4. They broaden their social studies skills and learn the concepts necessary to be responsible
Many learning standards also address a wider range of skills children can master in
technology, art, music, theater, health education, and physical education. The Early
Childhood Education Assessment Consortium of the Council of Chief State School Officers
defines early learning standards as Statements that describe expectations for the learning and
development of young children across the domains of: health and physical well-being; social
and emotional well-being; approaches to learning; language development and symbol systems;
and general knowledge about the world around them.
To sum up
Brain based learning can become second nature to you. With careful planning, knowledge of
brain research findings, and a little creativity, teachers can offer engaging, brain based
activities that encourage exploration and learning and support learning standards. Teachers
and students can build a strong community of learners who see learning as an opportunity to
be successful problem solvers and better achievement while anticipating each new challenge
as another exciting adventure.

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International Journal of Exclusive Global Research - Vol 3 Issue 2 February

Bruce, P. (2014). Howthe Brain Learns Best. Retrieved from http://teacher/
Carolyn, R. P. (1977). Brain Based Learning and Students. The Education Digest Anarbor,
63(3) 10
Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexendria, VA: ASCD.
Jensen, E. (2000). Brain-based Learning. San Diego, CA: The Brain Store.
Lantieri, L. (2014). Building Emotional Intelligence: Practices to Cultivate Inner Resilience in
Children, Electronic University.
Sylwester, R. (1995). A Celebration of neurons: An Educator’s Guide to the Human Brain.
Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Zull, J. E. (2002). The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of
Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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