This two-part assignment will provide the learner with an introduction to basic facts about the brain including brain function, anatomy, imaging, and stages of cognitive development.
Part 1: 10 Brain Facts
Based on your readings of Topic 1 resources, create an annotated list of 10 Things Every Educator Should Know about the Brain. Include 10 statements/brain facts followed by a brief paragraph describing how each fact affects learning or brain development. Provide at least one scholarly resource for each statement.
Fact: The amygdala is the brain’s emotional control center.
The amygdala regulates the brain’s response to emotions such as fear, excitement, and pleasure. As part of the brain’s limbic system, it is located next to the hippocampus – the part of the brain that plays a significant role in converting information from working memory to long-term memory. Exposure to long-term stress has been found to cause damage to the amygdala which may account for why some students, particularly those from poverty, struggle to regulate their emotions and behavior (Lau, et al., 2016).
Part 2: Essay
Refer to your list in Part 1 and select two of the facts from your Top 10 list. In an essay of 500-750 words, provide details about how those facts affect topics such as assessment, lesson design, classroom environment, motivation, or instructional methodologies. Cite a minimum of four academic sources to support your statements, in addition explain how you will use this in your future professional practice.
Submit your 10 Things Every Educator Should Know about the Brain and essay as one deliverable.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar I am required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. (This is very important as we are graded on similarity to other papers. Please limit the amount of citing.) I need less than 4% similarity.
Fact: The cerebrum is associated with the brains ability of pattern recognition
The brain seeks to find patterns through the network of neurons that map meaning to the identified patterns. It is perpetually alert for any patterns through the process of finding and storing new information. The brain must make sense of the learning experience, in order to store information from new patterns of knowledge. This gives students connection to new information from recalling previous learning experiences (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The connection network between neurons can physically change for efficiency
The brain contains a fixed number of neurons that modify themselves for efficiency. However, this occurs only through vigorous mental and physical engagement with an enriching environmental effect. This means that students need to constantly be engaged in physical exercise and active classwork to remain efficient (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The brainstem utilizes the limbic system to input information by the senses
The limbic system is responsible for the control of emotions in the brain. This means that teachers need to be attentive on the emotional needs of their students. An enabling learning environment recognizes the need for emotional attention. This explains why students do not concentrate as much when facing hostile teachers that do not appeal to their emotions (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The brain cognitively remains attentive to one thing at a time
The brain consciously focuses on one thing at a time, which means that teachers need to provide adequate training to their students focusing on the development of successful habits that retain their attention in learning activities (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The hippocampus converts short-term memory through time to more permanent memory
The brain requires time to process input and send information from short to long-term memory. This means that students need to rest through breaks in school to absorb information for the long-term (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: Brains are unique in that they are made of unique genetic compositions
This means that students are different and they should be given individual attention as part of the learning curriculum (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The tectum is associated with audio-visual reflexes
This gives students the ability to learn through auditory and visual capabilities. Teachers should focus on their communication and presentation skills in the process of learning (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The angular gyrus is responsible for number processing and language
The angular gyrus is part of the parietal lobe that processes numbers and language, as one of its functions. Due to the uniqueness of each brain students process numbers differently and learn languages at different paces (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The occipital lobe is responsible for processing visual information
The brain recognizes shapes and colors through the occipital lobe. Teachers need to focus on visual presentations, as most students retain images as opposed to textbook notes (Corballis, 2014).
Fact: The thalamus feeds the cerebral cortex with the sensory information that among other functions controls defensive behaviors
The thalamus coordinates muscle movements, which make an individual to react when faced with danger as part of being defensive. Teachers need to help students to practice self-control, as part of keeping up with other in the learning process (Corballis, 2014).
The selected facts are:
- Fact: The connection network between neurons can physically change for efficiency
- Fact: The occipital lobe is responsible for processing visual information
In terms of fact (a), the teachers can assess the progress of students through the examination of their physical activity in relation to its contribution for academic achievements. If the students prove to show good academic results when engaged in physical activities that rejuvenate their brains and make them achieve academically, the teachers need to focus on sporting breaks from classwork. For fact (b), the students that are engaged in the learning process through visual presentations are likely to perform well in their studies.
For fact (a), teachers could incorporate certain physical activities during the lessons. For instance, they could make the students stand up and do some stretches before commencement of teaching, especially in the afternoons. For fact (b), the teachers could get involved in the preparation of their lessons using power point presentations that incorporate many images for learning purposes.
For fact (a), the classroom environment could be affected in that if students are engaged in physical activities between their classes, they are able to concentrate more. This means that most students could show increased levels of study concentrations and reduced levels of certain disturbances such as noise (Darden, 2012). Moreover, the teacher could report increased levels of class participation, as students remain active throughout the class sessions. For fact (b), the students could give more attention towards certain visuals such as charts, which through the guidance of the teacher increase the class participation.
For fact (a), the students would be motivated to learn due to the ‘fresh’ feeling of their minds. This means that physical exercise before or during the class sessions helps students relieve their stress and increases the chances of looking forward for the lesson. Furthermore, the teachers are motivated to attend classes on time, as they find their class sessions interesting with the students ready to learn (Ehrlich & Josselyn, 2015). For fact (b), the students could be motivated to read on their examinations with the ability to create images in their heads that help them recall certain information. For instance, in the study of the human body, students could have that picture of the skeleton in their minds with all the labeled parts.
For fact (a), teachers might need to invest in teamwork activities. Students usually play or engage in physical sports through teams and they might get used to working in teams. Therefore, teacher might need to incorporate group work as part of their instructional methodologies. For fact (b), teachers could be required to take their students on several trips, in order to make them visualize on the real world facts of the lessons they learn in class (Grossberg, 2013). For instance, if a geography teacher requires students to understand better on rocks, it is critical for them to be taken for a field trip to actually visualize and identify the rocks on their own.
In conclusion, I will incorporate physical activities as part of my teaching methodology in future, in order to keep the minds of the students active for increased concentration levels. Moreover, I will ensure that I incorporate videos in my teaching methodology, in order for the students to understand and consciously retain most of the information I teach them in class
Corballis, M. (2014). Left Brain, Right Brain: Facts and Fantasies. Plos Biology, 12(1), e1001767. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001767
Darden, A. (2012). Understanding How the Brain Learns Should Inform Our Teaching Practices. Journal Of Microbiology & Biology Education, 13(2), 202-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.473
Ehrlich, D., & Josselyn, S. (2015). Plasticity-related genes in brain development and amygdala-dependent learning. Genes, Brain And Behavior, 15(1), 125-143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12255
Grossberg, S. (2013). Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world. Neural Networks, 37, 1-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2012.09.017