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Lately, many media have been talking about the contributions that neuroscience is making to the field of education. But what are these contributions? Are they really relevant? Do they serve us, those of us who are inside the school every day or is it pure theory that is reflected in a book?
What does Neuroscience study in the educational field?
Neuroscience isthe science that studies the human brain and how learning occurs at. Therefore applied to education it is a basic tool to know and understand the mechanisms of learning and how to interact with it. That is, how to embrace learning without having to confront it or fight to want to fix it in the brain.
As a professional, or rather a teaching apprentice, this seems to mesomething totally revolutionary. What neuroscience poses is theevidence, not belief, scientific about how the brain works. Thanks to your study and knowledge we can knowwhat factors are determining so that what we want children to learn in school is doneeffectively and lastingly.
Anyone who works with children should be aware of this scientific evidence. So from here I doa claim to the universities so that please put this so indispensable subject in the teaching career.
Learning facilitating factors
I am going to comment (humbly as I am not an expert in the matter) some of these"facilitating learning" factors. All of them studied through training conducted with David Bueno i Torrens, a neuroscientist, whom I advise you to follow if you are interested in learning more.
As our brain matures, it has been discovered thatthere are periods in which certain learning is more sensitive to being acquired at one time than another.
This does not mean that after this period learning cannot be acquired, thanks to the plasticity of our brain it can be done but it will cost more.
For example withreading and writing.
The brain is not especially sensitive to acquire these learnings until 6/7 yearsHowever, in some schools medals are hung because there are children who from 3 years old already know how to write. It's true these kids They learn to write at 3 years of age, a non-sensitive moment for their learning. through exhausting insistence, which would not be necessary if you waited for the brain to be ready for it.
In adolescence the brain is basically emotional, it is logical that many adolescents find it difficult to focus on certain subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology ...
Emotion activates learning
If a learning has a high emotional content, is more likely to be acquired than another to which there is no emotion linked.
This has to do with ouramygdala. Information with emotional content passes through the limbic system where the amygdala is located. The amygdala is one of the most primitive parts of the brain and is activated by events that it considers important for survival, which favors a memory more efficiently. Also with emotion it is createdoxytocin, serotonin and adrenaline, neurotransmitters needed to perform new neural connections.
The surpriseFor example, it is another factor that activates the amygdala.
Practice in different contexts
Neuroscience also tells us that any content is assimilated much better when we canput it into practice in various situations.
This favors the myelination of theneural connections, making them faster and better accessible.
The influence of the adult
Another interesting factor isthe adult's attitude.
You can empathize much better with someone who has a“let's learn” attitude that with whom he has one of "I come to teach." Themirror neurons predispose to learn new things if one maintains aattitude of respect and empathy.
Our brain is unable to maintain attention continuously.
From3-6 years are capable of 5 to 8 minutes and that of adults is 15 to 18 minutes.
How can you expect to have groups of children sitting for hours, impassive, and that they attend?
I no longer comment on where the learning is ... They are neededtake breaks. It is true that there are contents that are so motivating for a child that he cannot detach from them for hours, but here other factors already intervene such as emotion, achievement, the desire to improve ...
When you leave a childthat really connects with your need you can tell when you have enough of one thing or when you need more of another. It is a real wonder to be able to observe it.
Many times, when a child has made a real cognitive effort, they go outside for a long time to run and jump on the trampoline.Our brain consumes oxygen and glucose when making this type of effort, in order to recover it it needs physical movement.
There are many schools that are already carrying out this type of success. Schools that carry outactive methodologies, which respect the periods and phases of development individually, in which learning takes place spontaneously, without external imposition, from the child's true desire for curiosity, granting the true role of education to whom it corresponds.