There has been a lot of hype about brain-based education in recent years, and for a very good reason.
The concept of brain-based learning takes into account the latest scientific research about how the brain learns. Especially the inclusion of cognitive development and how students tend to learn differently as they age, grow, and mature in a social, emotional, and cognitive manner. In the private education world, many schools are on board with this brain-based learning approach as it is believed that learning can be accelerated and improved if teachers base what they're teaching on the science of learning rather than past educational experiences or assumptions.
To put this into better perspective, it was believed for many years that a person's intelligence and ability to learn was heavily based on genetics and was a characteristic that remained largely unchanged throughout life. However, new findings indicate that the human brain has the ability to physically change when it learns, and when practicing certain skills it can actually become easier to learn and improve those skills. Therefore, through brain-based learning, students can learn more effectively and improve brain functionality, resiliency, and working intelligence.
These findings are why so many private education institutions have decided to design their academic programs to accommodate the brain-based learning approach. Here are some ways that the brain-based learning style is being incorporated into the curriculum of some private education institutions:
Make physical education a priority.
It's been scientifically proven that physical education and movement play a critical role in the learning process. We now know that the brain has the ability to grow new neurons during our lifetime that are tied to memory, mood, and learning. By making exercise a daily behavior, this process can be regulated. The best types of exercise to help the brain make more efficient connections include voluntary gross motor activities such as running, team sports, games, aerobics, dancing, and swimming.
Use planned, targeted, and diverse social groupings.
Social conditions have a heavy influence on how the brain learns. The social scene during the school years will make a significant impact on how the brain defines sense of reward, acceptance, pain, pleasure, stress, and so on. Students that constantly find themselves in poor, isolated social conditions are more likely to have fewer brain cells.
To help students have more positive experiences in social settings, create opportunities for targeted, planned, and diverse social groupings. This works especially well with mentoring programs, buddy systems, and team-building. Understand that teacher-to-student relationships are just as important as student-to-student relationships.
Dedicate time to improving student skill sets.
We now know that the brain is malleable, which means that the right skill-building protocol can allow teachers to make significant improvements to a brain's functionality in a short period of time. Educators that find a way to teach attentional skills, memory skills, and processing skills for at least 30 minutes a day will be more likely to see results.
These are just a few of the ways that brain-based learning is being used in private education settings to help engage students and improve the learning process. If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about brain-based learning, please contact us at St. Barnabas Episcopal School.