How Brain Research Impacts Instruction in Grades K-6and
How Brain Research Impacts Instruction in Grades 7-12
Why do some children who go to school eager to learn become disengaged once inside the classroom? What makes those young, naturally curious minds “tune out” after they pass through the schoolhouse door?
The answer lies in the reality that students learn differently, and schools do not have effective ways to tap the students’ inherent instinct to want to know and be able to do. Too many students are expected to learn in ways that are inconsistent with (and frequently oppose to) how they learn best. Students are, in fact, asked to learn in ways that are convenient for the institution and for the teacher, rather than in ways that are brain-compatible and consistent with all their “other” learning, which has taken place since birth.
Recent brain research findings have huge implications for effective instruction. Instructional efforts need to focus on brain-compatible education that results in mastery and responsible citizenship.
The kits are based in The Center for Effective Learning’s Highly Effective Teaching model, which starts with a three-dimensional approach for implementing brain research in the classroom: biology of learning, instructional strategies, and conceptual curriculum. Five Learning Principles and Nine Bodybrain-Compatible Elements are presented, which have been “field tested” for more than 25 years in classrooms throughout the United States and around the world. The result is always an astounding improvement in student engagement, motivation, and achievement.
Overview of Resource Kits
Chapters 1 – 5 describe in comprehensive detail the Five Learning Principles from brain research.
Chapter 7 focuses on establishing respectful relationships for a positive classroom culture, creating a sense of belonging, and participating in collaborative work through Learning Clubs. Managing classroom behaviors and developing organizational habits lead to responsible citizenship and ways to deal with challenging behaviors.
Chapter 8 describes the use of agendas and procedures for establishing an atmosphere focused on learning through CORE Instruction: Collaboration, Organization, Reflection, and Engagement with meaningful Instruction. Practical tips are offered for implementing bodybrain-compatible instruction in the classroom.
Chapter 9 delineates the organizational constructs of creating conceptual curriculum, incorporation of state standards and district proficiency requirements, integration of curriculum, mapping of a yearlong theme, and bodybrain teaching processes. This content provides educators with a thorough action plan for teaching students.
The Glossary and Bibliography provide definitions of terms as well as an extensive list of references. Appendix A — Brain Research Articles contains materials from several experts in the field, notably Daniel Amen, Robert Sylwester, and Eric P. Jensen. Appendix B — Bodybrain-Compatible Curriculum has lesson planning templates, topics for real writing experiences, a yearlong research project, and an example of Highly Effective Teaching curriculum. Appendix C — Professional Development offers resources for administrators to use in staff meetings. These items are also on the accompanying CD.
A DVD provides two presentations, recorded at the 2008 Model Schools Conference, by experts in bodybrain-compatible learning: Susan Kovalik, The Human Brain — Our Incredible Learning Machine, and Linda Jordan, Creating a Brain-Compatible Classroom.
The material in these resource kits draws connections between The Center for Effective Learning’s Highly Effective Teaching model and the International Center’s Rigor/Relevance Framework and Learning Criteria to Support 21st Century Learners — to illustrate the close alignment among all three.