Online resources on brain research / learning theories

brainThis week, I have researched different resources discussing the link between brain research and the learning / teaching practices.  Below are three of those resources that I found relevant.

The first one is presenting Ten core principles for designing effective learning environments: Insights from brain research and pedagogical theory, an article from Innovate: Journal of Online Education.

This journal article reflects on traditional principles / ideas of the teaching / learning experience, and then studying them in today’s environment, and how to apply those principles concretely.

I particularly like the principle 5: “Learners Bring Their Own Personalized Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes to the Learning Experience,” where Boettcher (2007) explains the elaboration process of linking new knowledge to existing one, and stating “the more you know, the more you can know” (Boettcher, 2007, p. 4).

The article is clear and easy to link to the current environment in which our students evolve. It does allow us to link some traditional theories and researches to our reality.

The second article is Brain-Based Learning: A Reality Check from the academic journal Educational Leadership. This article is very different from the previous one. It actually presents reasons why learning out the brain might not be so useful for educators, and that those educators must be very cautious when trying to use brain research to enhance learning. I particularly appreciate the myths/realities section on page 78 & 79 were Jensen (2000) assesses some of the basic assumptions about educational practices based on brain research.

I really enjoyed reading this article as I believe that having a different vision on brain researches and their application in education will get use to reflect on those theories and be more cautious in their application.

The last article is contrasting Cognitive load theory vs. constructivist approaches: which best leads to efficient, deep learning? This article is part of the Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning.

In this article, Vogel-Walcutt, Gebrim, Bowers, Carper, & Nicholson (2011) compare the cognitive and constructivism approach, depending on the type of knowledge to learn.  We find a study of working memory and long-term memory, and the assessment of which learning theory will be the most efficient. In the middle part of the article, the authors present an actual study and the details of that study. It is actually intriguing to see how the study is organized, and getting into some more details about some measures that are used to assess the results of the study.

I hope you will enjoy those three resources (you do need a Walden University access to retrieve the articles) and find them as relevant as I did in the study of the brain functions to better understand our students and the impact of our teaching on them.

References

Boettcher, J. V. (2007). Ten core principles for designing effective learning environments: Insights from brain research and pedagogical theory. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 3(3), 1–8.

Jensen, E. (2000). Brain-Based Learning: A Reality Check. Educational Leadership, 57(7), 76.

Vogel-Walcutt, J. J., Gebrim, J. B., Bowers, C. C., Carper, T. M., & Nicholson, D. D. (2011). Cognitive load theory vs. constructivist approaches: which best leads to efficient, deep learning? Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 133-145.

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