Week 8 Reflection
This week was a wonderful week of learning. I learned that the brain is a very dynamic and multifaceted feature that affects the way we learn. In the past, I had known that the brain is the powerhouse of our learning, but I never knew to what extent and to how it was affected by events or how it processed information. These two phenomenons of the brain are very important to how we learn.
What really got to me this week was why did it take me so long to really focus on how we learn. Although it seems like the most effective way to teach, sometimes, I find it too easy to fall back on the traditional “one size fits all” approach. Throughout the blogs of others I found they also had similar experiences.
Before I get too far into discussion, I would also like to add that I found the material a bit overwhelming but very intriguing. I am very interested in learning about how we learn because, in my opinion, it is the key to our success as educators. However, there is so much to the brain that it was hard to keep the information straight. I had a hard time with this week’s information because I had a lot of information to apply to how I already teach. I was trying to assess what I was doing right and what I could do to improve my teaching based off of brain based research. In order to process all of the new information and organize it so that I could relate it to helping me in the classroom, I used what I learned this week from the reading which was to take in my learning in chunks. This also went along with the idea that “Less is More”. I loved this concept because more too often than not I find myself trying to cram more content into a lesson than is reasonably possibly. Usually I find the results are students who did not learn what I had covered. I had my “Ah Hah” moment this week when I learned that the brain can only process so much information without going into overload–much like my computer. This had me reflecting on why my particular class which is a remedial class does so well. I have lessons that are focused and we take are time. In some ways much of what I am doing follow the UbD design and follows researched based practices but I had not known that until this week.
Before this week, many of the strategies only intuitively made sense to me. Some strategies are new to me and I was able to add that my repertoire of tools. The idea of backing up your teaching principles with brain based learning is phenomenal to me. I love that there are a multitude of strategies out there to help students that are grounded in research.
It is almost mind boggling that brain based learning is not really at the forefront of educating students. It makes sense that we as educators should be teaching to how students learn. In my opinion, educators using brain based learning is a “no brainer” (No pun intended).
There are a plethora of strategies available for many different types of learning situations. The key word there is “different” because the brain is unique and brain based learning recognizes the need for differentiated instruction.
We are no longer able to approach education in the traditional way–modern research is saying otherwise. A lot of what we knew and thought about what affects students’ learning is a response to how the brain responds to things. One comment that I read which had really hit home to me
had to do with are behavioral responses to emotions. In the reading Eric Jenson pointed out how if we are in a life or death situation we are going to behave differently because of how the brain responds to situations. Although his statement is so simple and almost common sense, it is clear that the brain responds to our surroundings and in order to learn we have to be in the right mind frame. I really like how my research this week led to my own epiphanies as an educator. I had always known that students come with issues beyond our control, however, it was all too easy to act as if we can’t do something about it. However, the truth is that we can do something because there are strategies. It made me realize that the mindfulness training I had was important and that it was an important strategy that helps to ensure learning takes place. To further this topic, I decided to check out Jules page because she tends to talk about the social/emotional aspects of education and sure enough she did. I loved reading about what she had to say.
All in all this was a pretty successful week of learning about leaning. Yahoo! My final thought are we as educators should learn about learning so that we can teach to how students learn.