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Does Stress Impact Memory?

What has stress got to do with learning and memory?
Can stress help students?
All right, one of the big tips I’d like to give you that I’ve already touched upon is reducing the stress that students experience. Now, what you’ll find with our academic practises in classrooms is that we can make learning fun, enjoyable, and assist students to feel more motivated to actually engage with the things that interest them.
And so it’s very important, as you look at your own teaching and other things you might engage with, where you’re leading the learning of others it’s very important for you and for your students to understand how to deal with stress and to reduce that, that way what happens instead of the blood flow and the neural firing and so forth being in the lower parts of the brain, it can actually come to the prefrontal cortex where we can process these things and executive functioning, memories are stored and all that sort of stuff. So critical to assist in our brain’s ability to learn. The other thing too is that you’ve probably heard a bit about epigenetics.
That’s the expression of our genes, or non-expression, in the environment that we have. And the learning environment that we create as educators is fundamental to the ability of our students to learn. And so optimal learning environments where they can thrive in learning, as opposed to compromised ones, are the way to go. And indeed, you’ll learn a fair bit about the compromised ones as well as the optimal. So you can say no more of that, more of this to maximise learning achievement and wellness.

Welcome to Week 2! What has stress got to do with learning and memory? Can stress help students?

Stress might not always be the enemy. Research shows that positive stress (eustress) can strengthen the immune system, enhance memory and learning, and improve decision-making skills.

Thoughtfully consider the following readings to understand the difference between good and bad stress.

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Learning and Memory: Understandings from Educational Neuroscience

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