Skip main navigation

Neuroeducational Principles

Cozolino and Tokuhama-Espinosa provide the fundamental research based brain principles they believe are most important for education.

Cozolino and Tokuhama-Espinosa provide the fundamental research-based brain principles they believe are most important for educators to know.

Read through each principle and as you assess them note some important similarities between both lists.

What fundamental concepts should be taken into the classroom?

If you do not understand a principle consider the references below to provide further clarification.

Tokuhama-Espinosa: What everyone needs to know about their own brains and plasticity: 10 Big Ideas

  • The brain adapts to what it does most.

  • “Use it or lose it”.

  • The brain is more malleable (flexible) than once believed.

  • There is more plasticity in the early years.

  • Plasticity can occur through gaming and common experiences.

  • Physiological changes occur before behavioral changes.

  • Toxic stress and poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to brain architecture in the early years.

  • Neuroplasticity can come from both physical stimuli as well as psychology therapy and change.

  • The brain has sensitive periods, not critical.

  • Good learning depends on good sleep hygiene.

Cozolino: 9 Things Educators Need to Know About the Brain

  • The brain has a short attention span and needs repetition and multiple-channel processing for deeper learning to occur.

  • The brain is a social organ.

  • We have two brains.

  • Early learning is powerful.

  • Conscious awareness and unconscious processing occur at different speeds, often simultaneously.

  • The mind, brain, and body are interwoven.

  • Fear and stress impair learning. 

  • We analyse others but not ourselves: the primacy of projection.

  • Learning is enhanced by emphasizing the big picture—and then allowing students to discover the details for themselves.


Cozolino, L. (2013, March 19). Nine Things Educators Need to Know About the Brain. Greater Good Magazine: Science Based Insights for a Meaningful Life. Retrieved from
Tokuhama- Espinosa, T. (2015) . Research on the Brain and Learning by Tracey Tokuhama-2015. Connections.
This article is from the free online

Neuroplasticians and Neuromyths

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now