Accelerated (Brain-Based) Learning

What is Accelerated (Brain–based) Learning?
Brain-based learning is a comprehensive approach to instruction based on how current research in neuroscience suggests the brain learns naturally. The theory is based on what we currently know about the actual structure and function of the human brain at varying developmental stages.
(Wilson & Spears,

What have you heard of / used? Learning styles  Multiple intelligences  Emotional Intelligence  Water in the classroom  Left brain / right brain  Brain gym  Mind mapping  .

10% fat and 8% protein.  It weighs about 2% of your body weight but uses about 20% of your energy and your oxygen. .Facts about your brain: A human brain is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs about 3 lbs.  It is 78% water.

 The learning brain or neo-cortex. .  The mammalian brain (limbic system): fits around reptilian brain. not one.Brain Theory: the 3-part brain Research in the 1970s proposed we had three brains.  The first and smallest is the reptilian or primitive brain (brain-stem). is shared with all mammals.


Always on the alert for life-threatening events We "downshift" when responding to lifethreatening conditions "Flight or Fight" action takes place without thinking Anything that is a threat .The reptilian brain (brain stem)         Oldest part of our brain. temperature control.real or perceived causes our brain to "downshift" When "downshifting" occurs. fight-or-flight fear responses. keeping safe. defending territory. learning cannot take place . Shared with birds and reptiles. Controls the basics: hunger.

Any threat to our wellbeing can cause downshifting. is associated with long-term memory. the hippocampus.The Limbic System     Home of the emotions Has visual memory.  . screams. expletives If we are not in an emotionally stable state we will not be able to learn efficiently as our brain "downshifts" from higher level activities. but language is limited to yells. but not to the "blanking out" stage of the brain stem (reptilian brain) A part of the limbic system.

 Processes thousands of bits of information per minute  Slowest of the three levels of the brain  Students must be operating in this level if learning is to take place  Therefore the learning environment must be absent of threats. so that the brain doesn't "downshift" into its more primitive parts. (from Evans.The Cerebral Cortex Used for higher level thinking.  This is the home of academic learning. 2003)  .

Neo-cortex Mammalian brain Reptilian brain .

The brain has 2 halves or hemispheres. logical messages. holistic picture with the concrete. The two halves work together.  The left brain is more concerned with logic.  But it’s far more complex than that.  The right brain is more concerned with creativity.Left & Right Brain. balancing the abstract.  .

Left Brain Dominance “LOGICAL” Prefers things in sequence  Starts from the parts first  Phonetic reading system  Likes words. letter  Rather read about it first  Unrelated factual information  Detailed orderly instructions  Prefers internal focus  Wants structure. symbols. predictability  Controls feelings  .

intuitive.Right Brain Dominance  Comfortable with randomness “CREATIVE”  Sees whole picture first Language comprehension  Wants pictures. surprises  Free with feelings (Cheshire County Council. charts  Rather see it or experience it  Sees relationships in learning  Spontaneous. 2006)  . flow  Likely to prefer external focus  Likes open-endedness. graphs.

The principles of brain-based learning are:    Create the right environment for learning Address children's physiological needs Build self-esteem in the child so that he or she wants to learn Work to help children develop what Daniel Goleman calls 'Emotional Intelligence' Add movement to learning and plan for regular brain breaks and Brain Gym®   .

auditory and kinaesthetic form Be aware of the different forms of intelligence as you plan for children's learning Use rhythm. Use VAK to present learning in visual. rhyme and music to enrich learning Use motivation systems such as RAP (Recognition. Affirmation and Praise) or The Three A's (Acknowledgement.  Use and teach mapping techniques. Approval and Affirmation)    .

 Minimise stress and teach relaxation techniques Teach children to be metacognitive – to understand how they learn Develop the New 3Rs Resourcefulness. Resilience and Responsibility Set clear and ambitious targets for groups and individuals    .

expect about six minutes before sustained concentration starts to decline.   . This is about the length of time that those children can maintain sustained concentration on a task. That is not to say that you need to take a break every six minutes. but it does mean that you need to make frequent opportunities for movement and refocusing activities.Brain Breaks  Regular brain breaks are a major feature of accelerated learning. As a crude rule. add one minute to the average age of the children in your class. So if you teach five-year-olds.

A l H l O t V t B t I r P t W l C r J t Q l X l D r K t R r Y l E t L r S t Z r F t M l T r G l N l U r .

hand-eye co-ordination and excite the neural pathways that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain.What is a brain break?  BRAIN GYM: these cross-lateral movements can improve motor control. you are giving maximum input at all levels. for example drawing letters or numbers in the air. If you sometimes also combine these movements with academic content. .

 Regular brain breaks give a moment for diffusion before returning to focus on the original task. . Pole-bridging. saying what you are doing as you do it. can make your brain breaks even more productive.  Physical movement also increases oxygen supply to the brain.

. N.Brain Gym  See: Smith. Examples:  Lazy 8s  Cross-crawl  Writing key words in the air etc. for lots of ideas. MPG books. (2001)The ALPS Approach Resource Book: Stafford. A. Call.. or look online.

. .cheshire.lineone. (2003)The ALPS* Approach: Call. (1999) Accelerated Learning in the Classroom: Stafford. /index.acceleratedlearning.htm www. read:    A. MPG books * Accelerated Learning in Primary Schools      http://website. MPG books www.salt. MPG books Smith. A.teachandlearn. Call.. (2001)The ALPS Approach Resource Book: Stafford.Bibliography / Essential Reading: For a clear. N. user-friendly introduction. HIAS INSET materials – thanks to Diane Lawry.

uk a critique of brain-based learning:  Guardian newspaper   National Educational Research Forum   Teacher Training Resource Bank.

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