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The Brain at School: Educational Neuroscience in the Classroom [Paperback]

John Geake
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2009 0335234216 978-0335234219
"At last, a book that meaningfully links the evidence that we have so far gained from cognitive neuroscience with an understanding of learning and education. This book avoids the usual pitfalls of over-stretched interpretations of the research findings and outdated assumptions about teaching and learning. It is a catalyst for bringing together the expertise and experience of professional educators with that of professional scientists in which Geake has expertly balanced accessibility and rigour."
Professor Martin Westwell, Director, Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century, Flinders University, Australia

Within education there is a growing interest in neuroscience research and what it can teach us. This book focuses on what neuroscience means for education professionals - in key areas such as learning, memory, intelligence and motivation - and addresses questions such as:

  • How does the brain enable us to learn?
  • Why do some children have learning difficulties, such as ADHD or dyslexia?
  • How can actual scientific research be applied to pedagogy and curriculum design
Furthermore, the book explores common 'brain based' learning schemes and exposes the misunderstandings on which these are often based. The author, both an experienced teacher and cognitive neuroscientist, offers teachers advice on how neuroscience can help them in their own teaching. Each chapter includes practical classroom examples and case studies based on real life teaching experiences.

This friendly book is jargon-free and no prior scientific knowledge is assumed of the reader. It is thought-provoking reading for practising teachers across all age ranges, trainee teachers, parents, head teachers, educational policymakers, academics and educational psychologists.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press (1 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335234216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335234219
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

John G. Geake is Professor of Learning and Teaching in the School of Education, The University of New England, Australia. John co-founded the Oxford Cognitive Neuroscience Education Forum and conducted research at the Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, Oxford, UK.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth a look 13 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Geake has written a valuable book. He claims that current knowledge in the neurosciences already gives us the outline of a science-based "theory of learning" which could transform teaching: "applying evidence from neuroscience to education could provide a means for teachers to reclaim eroded professional autonomy".

While there are already a range of books linking brain-science to teaching, Geake is writing from within the neuroscience profession, adding weight to the evidence already available.

The neuroscience should be read in conjunction with the evidence gained from classroom experiments such as: Geoff Petty: "Evidence based Teaching"; Robert Marzano: "Classroom Instruction that Works" and John Hattie: "Visible Learning". Taken together, they provide a way to move decision-making in education from fashion, guesswork and government-whim to reliable, professional practice.

Many teachers claim that they are not interested in theory, but, as Geake points out: "teachers use implicit models of brain functioning in their daily work with students in classrooms". These unstated folk-theories contain elements which are both provably correct and also provably incorrect. Educational practice cannot move forward until the profession adopts an evidence-based approach.

I have given only 4 stars because, while the material is excellent, Geake has failed to use the many proven methods of teaching to convey his argument in a more accessible way. There are few diagrams, pictures or other "non-linguistic representations" (as Marzano calls them). While some technical/jargon language has been removed, the sentence structure is complex and you have to dig for the conclusions in the text.

However, for those of us who sense the dawning of a new era in educational practice, this book is a must.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brain Based learning without the Quick Fixes or Gimmicks 31 May 2010
By PA McConnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a practising teacher for more than 35 years and having quite a long standing interest in brain-based learning I found this book valuable both for the implications for classroom practice and the explanations of the science. Quite technical in places for the layman but worth the effort. It is refreshing to have the bogus claims about MI and right and left brain thinking that fill the internet dismissed so effectively. John Geake was previously an educator himself so he fully understands the needs of teachers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 9 May 2014
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book explains what brain science is and what it is not. Brain myths such as Brain Gym, Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences are exposed for what they are - myths. This is not the main theme of the book. Rather a very clear and concise evidence based discussion of the brain and learning. The author is a pleasure to read. A great loss of a brilliant mind when he passed in 2009.
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