• What is happening in the brain when learning takes place?
• Why do some students find learning so hard?
• What can we do to improve their learning?
As teachers we are bombarded with claims for ways to improve learning. Ministers send directives, the Department of Education publishes strategies, publishers offer new resources, newspapers offer quick solutions, IT firms offer technical fixes. How can we make a choice?
Luckily for us two major sources of reliable information are now available to teachers. The first are the combined results of 1000s of classroom experiments which give us a clear picture of which classroom methods and changes to the curriculum work best. The second is neuroscience. New scanning techniques are revealing which parts of the brain are active when different types of thinking and learning take place.
A clear picture is emerging of the brain as having not one main processor (like a computer) where ‘intelligence’ resides. The brain is found to have dozens of specialist areas several of which work together to perform a thinking task.
When these two sources are combined a surprising picture emerges: there is little difference between the advice from classroom experiments and the brain-based studies. The neuroscience provides an explanation for why effective methods work and signposts for other potentially successful ideas.
How Brains Learn presents this material in a teacher-friendly and jargon-free style which gives helpful guidelines on how to apply these ideas in real classrooms.