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on 6 April 2009
Anyone interested in learning will appreciate this excellent book but it is for teachers of the young that it is especially relevant. Curran explains the mechanisms whereby the brain develops and learns. In doing so he lends support to the tradition of humanistic educators such as Carl Rogers and Maslow. He describes how learning depends on changes in brain chemistry which originate in regions of the brain concerned with emotional rather than logical functions. Any method of teaching which fails to reach the students' emotions is therefore likely to be ineffective. Too often the emotion that teachers try to create is fear (of failure or punishment) - the dangers of this are clearly elaborated.

My past attempts to understand the architecture and functioning of the brain have floundered. This book has made me feel much happier with the subject - thanks mainly to the clarity of the writing but also to the dreadfulness of his many sketches! I'm sure that 'proper' scientific illustrations would have put me off by reminding me of my own ignorance- The author's (delightfully dreadful) artwork helped put this reader at his ease.
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on 22 April 2008
This is an excellent book that takes an extremely complex subject making it accessible and entertaining without over-simplification - a delicate balance but one the author has achieved.
Most importantly of all, Andrew Curran is able to offer more than science: in addition to sharing his wonder at what nature has evolved he offers an understanding of the effects of nuture (good and otherwise) and how this programming can be overwritten where it does not serve us.
As we learn we are laying down templates in the brain. This learning, its quality and consequences for our personal experience, is driven by our emotional or 'limbic' brain. Curran has a vitally important message for teachers, managers and leaders in all walks of life about how we learn and how to create the best possible conditions for learning. This book builds a fascinating bridge between neuroscience and human experience.
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on 11 June 2011
This book provides a good overview of a complex topic and is a useful tool for those seeking to learn how an understanding of the brain can enhance their teaching.

What ultimately lets it down (and other such books in same series that seem to be influenced by Ian Gilbert) is the embarrassing writing style. The attempt to be chummy with the reader has the opposite effect: to make you cringe at the attempted humour and feel resentful that you are being patronised.

A good book, but not when it is not trying to be 'funny' or your best friend.
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on 10 October 2016
Very early in this book Curran makes the statement 'you have to have a nervous system if you are going to do any of the most basic functions such as moving, eating, having babies, etc' which is typical of the many unscientific statements in the book. There are billions of single celled creatures who move perfectly well without a nervous system. I have a degree in science, and from this point on, I found the book to be the work of someone who has an interest in neurology, not a qualification (or for that matter, a science qualification of any kind). There is no entry in Wikipedia for him, and nothing to suggest he has any qualification in this area. Yes, he works in a privately funded clinic attached to a hospital, but that proves nothing. The book was highly recommended, so I must say, I am disappointed, it is simply woolly.
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on 11 March 2015
I loved this book. I started off like a blank canvas but by the time I finished it, I'd formed many new templates in my brain and as a result feel much more knowledgable on the subject. Thank you, Andrew!!!!
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on 6 November 2012
A really easy book to read if you want to know more about how the grey matter works. Yes, it is written in very simple language which some have found patronising, I would argue that I knew very little before, I know more now - it's done its job. My only minor complaint is some of the drawings are difficult to understand as they are hand drawn, but this ultimately makes the book more fun.
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on 19 October 2016
If you have any interest in how the brain works this book is a must. Once I started I couldn't put it down it's that good (a colleague of mine did the same). Written in an easy to understand style plus some quirky diagrams this book gives a great insight into brain development and how we think and behave.....brilliant!!!
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on 6 February 2014
Great book about the brain. Really enjoying reading it, not too technical but not too simple either. Would highly recommend if you are interested in finding out how your brain works.
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on 22 April 2013
I liked the raw drawings - almost childlike - as they helped me connect. I'd recommend this book to anyone seeking self awareness and anyone seeking to understand others.
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on 26 January 2014
great read easy to understand if looking for this sort of book arrived quickly and on time arrived in the condution stated(second hand)
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