Learning requires us to keep a number of different pieces of information in our conscious attention at the same time, and our ability to do this is limited.
The area of the brain involved with conscious attention is often referred to as the working memory network and is a region in the frontal cortex.
When students become anxious, studies have shown they become less able to sustain activity in the working memory network of the brain, less control over their working memory and a struggle to maintain their attentional focus.
We will look at working memory and its role in learning next week. In the next few steps we will be looking at what you, as an educator, subconsciously convey to your students and the learning environment that creates or alleviates anxiety.
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