Why Neuroscience Matters In The Classroom

Paperback | March 29, 2016

byKathleen Scalise, Marie Felde

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This book provides the means for every teacher to build a base of understanding in three essential learning sciences—neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational research—as a foundation that they will use throughout their careers. By combining all three fields of the learning sciences, it puts the pieces together in one volume, makes them relevant to the work of every teacher and learner, and fills a gap in teacher education texts. The brain-based principles presented show how the brain and mind work in relation to what we know of behavior and learning in the classroom. The foundational information is presented in a series of key concepts the authors call The CORE. It’s based on research done expressly for this book by the University of Oregon, College of Education in collaboration with the Columbia University Department of Neuroscience. Using a technique called saturation evaluation to explore a wealth of research-based resources, these groups identified what could reasonably constitute essential understandings of brain science for teachers. The CORE fundamentals are summarized in a framework comprised of seven Guiding Principles, each amplified by a related set of Big Ideas. Concise, accessible, and structured especially for teacher education, Why Neuroscience Matters in the Classroom is understandable and relevant to all teachers, even those who say they are science shy. Learning points introduce the reader to what’s to come and Scenarios summarize the material that’s covered, including such topics as neural plasticity and the basics of physical change; how nutrition, exercise, and sleep may affect learning; the major roles that emotion, attitude, and stress play in brain function; and more.

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From the Publisher

This book provides the means for every teacher to build a base of understanding in three essential learning sciences—neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational research—as a foundation that they will use throughout their careers. By combining all three fields of the learning sciences, it puts the pieces together in one volume,...

From the Jacket

What every teacher should know to bring insights from three brain sciences–neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational research–into instructional practice. This text provides the means for every teacher to build a base of understanding in three essential learning sciences–neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational ...

Kathleen Scalise is an award-winning associate professor at the University of Oregon who has served nationally and internationally on numerous distinguished projects in science literacy for teachers and students. In 2013, she served a dual appointment as a visiting research scientist with Columbia University’s Department of Neuroscien...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.9 × 6.9 × 0.6 inPublished:March 29, 2016Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0132931818

ISBN - 13:9780132931816

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Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents 

Chapter 1. A CORE of Understanding - 2 

     Framework of the CORE: Seven Guiding Principles and Their Associated “Big Ideas” - 34

Chapter 2. Neural Plasticity - 36

Chapter 3. Cognition and Instructional Design - 62 

Chapter 4. Encoding Strategies and Memory - 90

Chapter 5. Elaborating on Instructional Design - 118

Chapter 6. Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition - 142

Chapter 7. Emotional Function and Attitude in the Brain - 166

Chapter 8. Stress - 192

Chapter 9. Feedback and Evidence in the Brain - 208

Chapter 10. Sensitive Periods - 232

Chapter 11. Insights across the Curriculum - 248

Chapter 12. Action Plan - 282

Appendix A Technical Report on Development of the CORE - 292

Appendix B Summary of Sampled Resources of the CORE - 308

Index - 315


Detailed Table of Contents 

Chapter 1. A CORE of Understanding - 2

The Power of Three: Three Learning Sciences Are Better Than One 4

The Power of Three: A Focus on Reading 6 

A Word about Neuromyths 7

Organization of This Book 8

Introducing Seven Guiding Principles 10

    Establishing a CORE 10

Laying Out the CORE 11 

Succeeding in the 21st Century 16

Bringing Cognitive Science into the Classroom 17

Going Beyond the CORE 20

Conclusion 21

Resources 22

References 22 

Framework of the CORE: Seven Guiding Principles and Their Associated “Big Ideas” - 34

Chapter 2. Neural Plasticity - 36

Plasticity Defined 39

Importance of Plasticity 39

Building on What is Useful 41

A Tale of Two Signaling Systems 42

Staying Thoroughly Modern 45

Exploring the Capacity to Change 47

Brain Growth Pioneer and Legendary Teacher 49

Pruning’s Surprising Role 51

Does the Brain Make Value Judgments? 55

To Reason Like Einstein 55

What Gets Fired Gets Wired 56

Conclusion 58

Closing Scenario 58 

Citations 59   

References 59

Chapter 3. Cognition and Instructional Design - 62

Approaching Instructional Design 64

    Priming, Elaboration, Extension, Knowledge Integration: An Example 66

    The Benefits of Using Your Own Experiences 68

Thinking about . . . Cognition 71

Who’s in Charge: The Mind or the Brain? 71

Executive Function: A CEO of the Brain 74

Brain Power to Spare? No Way 79

Environments in Which We Thrive 80

Allocating Attention: An Example 82

The Flynn Effect in Cognition 83

Patterns in the Brain 85

Conclusion 86   

Closing Scenario 87  

Citations 88    

References 88  

Chapter 4. Encoding Strategies and Memory - 90

Why Memory Matters 92

    Organization of Memory: Two Processes Defined 92

    Working Memory at Work 93

    Long-Term Memory Examples and Implications 94

Connecting Memory with Instructional Design 96

Are We Programmed to Forget? 97

Knowledge Integration 99

Memory as an Investment and Commitment of Resources 100

The Three Processes of Memory: Acquiring, Accessing, and Retaining 100

Luke Skywalker and Accessing Our Memories 103

Memory Retrieval and the Importance of Association 104

How Chunking Builds Useful Memory 105

Repeated Exposure Enhances Memory Making 106

Practice (of the Right Kind) Makes Perfect 108

Making Homework Memorable 109

Primacy, Timing, and Memory 110

How Much Can We Remember? 111

Managing Cognitive Load 112

A Word about Skill Acquisition and Memory 113

Reluctant to Give Up Our Associations 114

Conclusion 115  

Closing Scenario 116    

References 116

Chapter 5. Elaborating on Instructional Design - 118

Approaching Instructional Design 120

Approaches to Not Lose Learning 122

Our “Original” Thinking 123

Tapping into the Perceptual Field 124  

Seeing Patterns of Importance 125

Similarity and Difference: The SAD Effect 127  

A “Training Set” for the Brain 128

Putting Similarities and Differences to Work 129

How Representations Diagram Our Thinking 130

Making Connections “Conditionalizes” Knowledge 131  

Making It “Real” for the Brain 132

Transfer is Introduced 133

Scaffolding and Fading 134

The Social Nature of Cognitive Engagement 137

Conclusion 139

Closing Scenario 139

Citations 140

References 140

Chapter 6. Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition - 142

Sleep 144

    Sleep to Learn Better 144

    Research Moves Rapidly Ahead 146

    Say “Yes” to Naps 148

    The Curse of Too Little Sleep 149

    Not All Sleep Is the Same 149

    What Information Gets Remembered? 150

    Sleep and Brain Plasticity 151

Exercise 151

    More Than Child’s Play 151

    Fitness Matters to the Brain 152

    Run, Mice, Run 152

    Looking Specifically at Children 154

    How Much and What Kind? 155

    Walking to School Gets an A 156

    Elite Athletes Excel Off the Court, Too 157

Nutrition 157

    Food for Thought 157

    Powering the Brain for Learning 158

    Nutrition Early in Life Is Key 159

    Brain Drain: When You Eat Matters 160

    A Is for Apples 161

Conclusion 161

Closing Scenario 162

Citations 163

References 163

Chapter 7. Emotional Function and Attitude in the Brain - 166

The Brain Needs Emotional Input 167

Emotion and Feeling Differ 169

Neurotransmitters’ “All Alert” 171

How Emotion Works in the Brain 173

A Framework for Learning Resistance 177  

Resistance as Part of Our Fundamental Makeup 178  

    The First Plank: Survival of Body and Mind 179

    The Second Plank: Emotional Well-Being, the “Hot Button” Lens 180

    The Third Plank: The Emotional Impact of Relevance 182

The Telling Response to Challenge 185

Students Motivated by Their Own Brains 186

    Brain Awareness Motivates Her Students 187

Conclusion 188

Closing Scenario 189

Citations 190

References 190

Chapter 8. Stress - 192

Stress, Distress, and Anxiety 194

The Stress Response 198

Stress, Up to a Point, Has Benefits 201  

Brief Stress Primes Neuron Growth 202

Test-Taking Warriors and Worriers 203

Perception Matters . . . a Lot 205

Conclusion 205

Closing Scenario 206

Citations 206

References 207

Chapter 9. Feedback and Evidence in the Brain - 208

Feedback Abounds in the Classroom 210

Teaching Teachers about Feedback and Evidence as a Brain Concept 210

How Feedback and Evidence Work in the Brain 211

Feedback and Evidence from the View of Teachers 216

Feedback that Works: What Does the Evidence Say? 216

Feedback and Attention 220

Feedback or Instruction? 220

Making Formative Assessment Effective 221

    When Going Extinct Is Desirable 222

    Feedback and Evidence Traps to Avoid 222

Reflections on Goal Setting and Feedback 224

Prediction and Evidence

Accumulating Evidence to Mak225 e Decisions 226

Mindfully Filling Gaps 227

Conclusion 229

Closing Scenario 230

Citations 230

References 231

Chapter 10. Sensitive Periods - 232

Sensitive Periods or Critical Periods? 234

A Preferential Time of Brain Reorganization 236

The Role of Experience and Exposure 236

Early Musical Training and the Brain: An Example 240

Research Frontiers in Sensitive Periods 242

A Caution on Overinterpreting Findings 243

Sensitive or Deprived? 244

Conclusion 245

Closing Scenario 245

Citations 246

References 246

Chapter 11. Insights across the Curriculum - 248

Quantitative Thinking in the Brain 252

    Following Cognitive Hunches 253

    Our Mental Number Line 254

    Some Approaches to Support Mastery 257

Literacy, Reading, and the Representation of Language in the Brain 260

    Words and Parsing Language 261

    Moving on to Meaning 264

    Some Approaches to Support Mastery 266

Reasoning in the Brain 268

    The Brain as a Reason Machine 269

    Toward Intercultural Competence 272

    Some Approaches to Support Mastery 273

Conclusion 276

Closing Scenario 277

Citations 278

References 279

Chapter 12. Action Plan - 282

The Perspective from Scientists 283

The Perspective from Teachers 284

It Takes a Village: Actions That Schools and Educators Can Take 287

Moving Ahead in the 21st Century 289

Conclusion 290

Citations 290

References 291

Appendix A Technical Report on Development of the CORE - 292

Appendix B Summary of Sampled Resources of the CORE - 308

Index - 315