I recently went to a lecture on brain science and how it relates to learning by Linda Jacobs a professor at my alma mater, Hope College. I use lecture as a loose term, since we were doing things like connecting with people we didn’t know. And trying to have a thumb up on one hand and point with the other then switch. Try it. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.
I am fascinated with the new research on science now that we can scan brains and see which activity lights up parts of the brain.
Things I learned about the brain:
- The right brain/left brain theory has been debunked. We all use both parts of our brain. And that is desirable – so we should do cross motion like crossing our arms back and forth, doing sports, and playing instruments.
- The connections in the brain are chemical – so what we eat is important for brain health
- The average 4th grader has 6 hrs of screen time (TV, computer, video) – which does not help make the important brain connections
- Body mapping is a great memory technique and you are less likely to ever forget what you learned – we learned the continents in less than 5 minutes from touching various parts of our body
- Constant emotionally ladened messages from ads, TV, etc. puts people into flight or fight – especially kids
- Rapidly changing input from video and TV has many kids paying attention in 3 minute bites
- Most adults top out at 45 minutes of sustained attention
- The brain needs: face to face interaction, play, exercise, proper nutrition, real life connections to the real world, water, brain play like crosswords and scrabble, doing something new, and writing