Despite the fact that the individual differences in learning styles exist, there are some general principles that can be applied to improve learning outcomes. Brain-based learning strategies are something that leverage our understanding of how the brain functions to enhance the learning process.
In Brain-Based Learning, introduced in the 1960s, teachers create certain conditions that intensify the student motivation, engagement and long-term holding and stores information. It can be applied to teaching approaches, lesson planning, curriculum design and so on.
As well-defined by the Glossary of Education Reform ,”brain-based learning refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively.”
Major Principles of Brain-Based Learning
By applying these principles of Brain-Based Learning, educators and learners can create an environment that optimizes the brain’s capacity for learning and supports the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Here are the major brain-based learning principles:
- Brain-informed teaching practices
- Learning is rich and non-conscious
- Collaboration and Social Interaction
- Feedback and Reflection
- Active participation
- Multisensory engagement
Tips for Implementing Brain-based Learning into the Classroom
Here are some brain-based learning strategies:
Metaphors and Metacognition
Applying metaphors and metacognition in your teaching strategy can help learners take on unfamiliar topics more comfortably. From questioning to decision-making, these tactics promote understanding via lifelike scenarios. By questioning and assuming different viewpoints, we engage more deeply with the material at hand. In this scenario, connected scenes or decision-making situations offer the student diverse routes within the content that allow them to learn through realistic involvements.
To enhance learning, educators need to include group activities and those that involve talking to others. When students collaborate, they have a chance to reflect, question, and dive into any potential doubts and difficulties. In fact, experts also are in favor of creating a communicative environment in classrooms. Interactions and group activities foster skills such as critical thinking, empathy, and collaboration.
Include “Turn and Talk” Time
You can include this strategy as a warm-up activity, during class discussions, or as a closing activity to round out the day. Applying “turn and talk” time into your teaching can help students develop what they’ve just read. It will also help them to discuss ideas before sharing them with the class, and explain problems they may have had while completing schoolwork. Implementing turn and talk time in classrooms provides an interactive space for students.
Include Visual Cues
Let’s face it. Most of us learn better with pictures. Providing extra context to lessons with visual elements are simple ways to hold student interest. Imagery can help engrave concepts in our brains like nothing else. Visual learning is a powerful tool, whether it’s colorful diagrams, interactive videos, or easy-to-read infographics. Encourage learners to create mental images related to the content. Visualization helps in making abstract concepts more concrete and aids memory retention.
Try Learning Chunks
Small controllable chunks can help students benefit from understanding and grasping their learning easily. It is also known as bite-sized learning. Break down information into smaller, manageable chunks. The brain tends to process information more effectively when it is presented in smaller, meaningful units. Consider aiding students understand everything systematically with small manageable bite-sized learning.
Incorporate Some Physical Movement
Needless to say, physical activity helps in brain function. Include some room to get some physical movement in your students, and it will certainly improve their brain activity. Adding a touch of physical movement to your classroom setting could spark up student engagement, making their learning experience both interactive and fun while boosting their brain activity. Brain breaks are significant and easy to implement in any classroom, whether conventional or virtual. So, allow for short breaks during longer learning sessions. This helps to maintain focus and prevents cognitive fatigue.
By applying these tips, educators and learners can create an environment that optimizes the brain’s capacity for learning and supports the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
This paradigm shift from traditional teaching to active learning highlights the student’s role in creating knowledge. Now, the student becomes an active participant in a two-way process, Master of Arts in Education with Pre and Primary Teaching is a program that will help you in incorporating the above-mentioned techniques while managing a preschool classroom.
Remember that students may respond differently to these strategies, so it’s beneficial to incorporate a variety of approaches to accommodate diverse learning preferences. Additionally, considering the uniqueness of each learner is crucial when implementing brain-based learning strategies.