Facts, Stories & Brain Scans

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“We tend to use the word story casually, as if stories and narratives were ephemeral decorations for some unchanging underlying reality. The deeper neurological truth is that stories do not cloak reality but create it, triggering cascades of perception and motivation. The proof is in brain scans: When we hear a fact, a few isolated areas of our brain light … Read More

Making It Stick

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Dogears from Make It Stick. Note to self – formatting on blog seems to have gone AWOL… The Illusion of Mastery V common “The fact that you can repeat the phrases in a text or your lecture notes is no indication that you understand the significance of the precepts they describe, their application or how they relate to what you … Read More

Using the social brain in schools

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Thought this was interesting, via Annie Murphy Paul “Think about how amazing the brain is, and then consider that a huge portion of that amazing brain focuses on making us social. Yet, for a large part of our day, whether we are at work or at school, this extraordinary social machinery in our heads is viewed as a distraction, something … Read More

Negative Suggestion and the learning tightrope

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Negative suggestion is pretty common. “Try not to fall off”, “Don’t push that button” are both examples. The problem is it seems to have pretty standard effects too. You fall off. You end up pushing that button. The suggestion to a person not to do something results in increasing the likelihood that the person will actually do it. Made me … Read More

The unseen damage of VAK and Multiple Intelligences

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This is fascinating.  I’d never quite made the connection that a belief in learning styles might make for a fixed mindset.  Thanks @brainkotts Can Everyone Be Smart at Everything? | MindShift Mendoza-Denton extends the idea that what’s harmful about emphasis on achievement and intelligence can also be applied to emphasis on learning styles (audio, visual) or “multiple intelligences,” a theory … Read More

Workspace, Learnspace, Brainspace

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I’ve just been watching Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Buildings. The presenter’s an acquired taste but there are some fascinating bits to it. The main take-aways for me are : buildings and spaces actually change the way the human brain works. (more complex, interactive spaces make for more engaged brains. Fred Gage’s research on this is stunning.) too much … Read More

Doesn’t bode well for next year’s examinees

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Sparrow’s research reveals that we forget things we are confident we can find on the Internet. We are more likely to remember things we think are not available online. And we are better able to remember where to find something on the Internet than we are at remembering the information itself. via 3quarksdaily And i suspect Wikipedia has the same … Read More

Writing helps children’s executive function

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During the school years, especially from ages 8-18, the most rapid phase of maturation is taking place in the prefrontal cortex. This is a critical time during which the brain is developing the individual’s executive functions. These include judgment, critical analysis, induction, deduction, delay of immediate gratification for long-term goals, recognition of relationships (symbolism, conceptualization), prioritizing, risk assessment, organization, creative … Read More

The Improvisational Brain

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And so it happened for Robert Levin, seated at the piano, seized with panic, at the concert hall in Bremen. Memories of note patterns and chords embedded by thousands of practice hours, we may be certain, arose from his subconscious, flooding his brain. His lateral prefrontal regions said “This is it—time to tell your musical narrative,” while his medial prefrontal … Read More