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Neuroscience and education: bridging the gap

Is there a communication gap between neuroscience and education, and does it matter?

Translating evidence from neuroscience into classroom practice can be problematic for many reasons (Howard-Jones, 2014). Research may have been carried out in lab conditions rather than a classroom setting, and findings are not always transferable to the classroom.

Teachers and researchers have different approaches to looking at learning and some of the terms used in the science of learning can have a different meaning in education. For example, “attention” and even “learning” can have quite different definitions in the two fields (Howard-Jones, 2010). These differences in language can be a barrier and lead to misunderstandings.

The Science of Learning is a relatively new field which brings together research from neuroscience, psychology, educational research and other related disciplines to bridge the gap. The idea is that by working together a more complete picture of how learning happens will emerge.

This week we will look at some of the consequences of this communication gap: neuromyths.

Bridging the gap by learning together

As you progress through the course you will be asked to undertake several tasks each week. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Explore ideas about the science of learning, drawing upon the research and insights from Paul and Tim.
  • Try out new approaches with your students, reflecting upon and evaluating the learning in your classroom.
  • Discuss and justify teaching and learning approaches with colleagues in your workplace and other learners on this course.
  • Share ideas for teaching practice with other teachers.

If you are not a teacher, you will still discover a lot on this course about what goes on in your brain when you learn. Feel free to skip over the steps designed specifically for teachers.

The next step is a self-audit task for your professional development if you are a teacher. We then invite all of you to complete the neuromyth quiz.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Science of Learning

National STEM Learning Centre