Friday, May 31, 2013

Learning and the Emotional BRAIN by Marta Braylan

Learning and The Emotional Brain

When we read about the emotional brain, there are certain phrases we need to pay close attention to:
  • dopamine and serotonin are associated with positive emotions
  • behavioral interventions can produce more brain changes than any medicine and
    can affect specific brain circuits
  • social and emotional learning can change brain function and structure
  • students need to have the goal to achieve a positive outcome
  • when anxiety is reduced cognition improves
  • real thinking is never divorced from emotion
  • let your students discover for themselves
  • have faith in yourself and faith in your students
  • in a culture where emotions get somehow a low status, our goal is to
    get our students to be more personally connected.

I guess the emotional brain provides many of the answers to explain why a high challenge and high support classroom leads to important achievement and motivation.

These mentioned concepts underlay a range of principles that seem to be fundamental for meaningful learning such as the importance of:
  • non threatening-non violent classroom atmosphere
  • appropriate teacher interventions (both in the social and the learning domains)
  • highly motivational didactic units or projects that consider group and individual achievement
  • highly involved teachers that believe their students have the potential to learn and that help stimulate confidence, involvement and curiosity
  • teachers that value each student by considering every opinion, by listening closely, and by showing they care.

Find more information on how the brain works and students responses at this wonderful article by neurologist and teacher Judy Willis:

Please, leave your comment/opinion!!!!