Evolution of Educational Neuroscience
As educators, we love new ideas on how to enhance our practices. We try the ‘latest and greatest’ and just hope that it is not yet another fad that may fade away. Good news: Educational neuroscience is here to stay and is solidly evidence-based in scientific research and good practice.
To begin, we recognise that for much of the past in education we have observed behaviours and developed some excellent (and not so excellent) ideas based on our research and observations drawing upon our prior knowledge, theories and assumptions. We have particularly drawn upon psychology (about 150 years old) and education (about 100 years old in its ‘modern iteration’ – thousands if you go back to Aristotle).
Now, since the early-1990s, we have new technologies like fRMI, PET, EEG and MRI in the medical field that allow us to scan and observe the brain in real-time. The subsequent growth of brain research for medical and other purposes has been exponential, especially over the past two decades. Until about 2010, the gap between taking neuroscientific findings and using them directly in the classroom was often considered a ‘bridge too far’ (Bruer, 1997). Well, that has changed in the last decade or so with a sub-field within neuroscience developing – educational neuroscience.
In the next step, we will explore Martin-Loeches brief introduction to current advances in general cognitive neuroscience.
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