Friday, February 20, 2009

Reflection: Chapter 2

I am fascinated by brain-compatible learning and teach this subject at UAS for students in the Elementary MAT program, as well as the summer Arts Institute for Alaskan teachers interested in integrating the arts into their teaching practice. So when I read chapter two of Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, which focused on student learning, I was thrilled to see the link they made between Web 2.0 tools and brain-compatible principles of learning. Here are some of the principles they listed on pages 37 & 38 that resonated with me as a teacher:
  • brain is a parallel processor
  • learning engages the whole physiology
  • search for meaning is innate and comes through patterning
  • emotions are critical to patterning
  • brain process whole and parts simultaneously
  • learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception, conscious and unconscious processes;
  • brain understands best when facts are embedded in natural, spatial memory
  • learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat
  • each brain is unique
What kinds of teaching philosophies incorporate these principles? According to our text, constructivism, project-based learning, connectivism and the integration of new technologies support brain-compatible learning which seek in-depth and meaningful learning. I was also pleased to see a newly revised Bloom's Taxonomy to acknowledge the need for more engaged learning focused on student-based outcomes and what a student can DO, rather than learning objectives based upon what a student knows.

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