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The Benefits of a

Brain-Compatible Education
Jaquelyn Swift
EDU 417 Cognitive Studies Capstone
Maureen Lienau
December 6, 2014

Why Brain-Compatible Education


I have been asked by Ms. Sapien to give a presentation on the purpose and benefits of
utilizing brain-compatible education. Throughout this presentation we will explore
what brain-compatible learning is, compare and contrast traditional learning and
activities from brain-compatible learning and activities, a variety of factors (i.e. genetics
and environment) that impact learning as well as the benefit of brain-compatible
settings, the process by which students learn and retain information, a modified lesson
plan and game that reflect the use of brain-compatible learning and the why and how
the implementation of brain-compatible techniques and its benefits for students and
teachers and for the future of education.

About Me

Brain-Compatible learning
Before we look at an overview of brain-compatible learning, lets take
a look at what brain-compatible learning is. Brain-compatible learning
is based of scientific research incorporating things such as music to
decrease stress, a reading area with comfortable chairs for the students,
physical activity, encouraging healthy eating habits and limiting lecture
time. However these are only guidelines not mandates (edglossary.org,
August, 2013).

Overview Brain-Compatible Learning

Learning & the brain - mindmap

Traditional Learning
Same material being taught to all
students
Limits student interaction with one
another and the teacher
Limited movement more
independent or lecture learning

Brain-Compatible Learning
Students are learning material that
corresponds with their individual
academic level
Incorporates whole body and mind in
learning hands on learning
Allows for teachers to tailor the
lessons to incorporate real world
experience making meaning count

Genetic factors
o Mothers Educational level
o Socio-economical standing
o Cognitive abilities

o Memory
o Attention
o Verbal fluency

Environmental factors

Benefit of brain-compatible

Orchestrated immersionCreating learning environments that fully immerse students in an


educational experience

Relaxed alertnessTrying to eliminate fear in learners, while maintaining a highly challenging


environment

Active processingAllowing the learner to consolidate and internalize information by actively


processing it (Funderstanding, April 2011)

Benefits of Brain-Compatible Learning


For All
Feedback is best when it comes from reality, rather than from an authority figure.
People learn best when solving realistic problems.
The big picture cant be separated from the details.
Because every brain is different, educators should allow learners to customize their own
environments.

The best problem solvers are those that laugh! - (Funderstanding, April 2011)

Information Processing Model

Modified Lesson Plan


Original Lesson Retrieved from: http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/4365.html
#4365. What Can the Wind Blow?
Science, level: Kindergarten
Posted Fri Apr 24 13:21:41 PDT 2009 by Kristen (Kristen).
El Sereno Elementary, Los Angeles, USA
Materials Required: digital cameras, paper, pencils, crayons, old camera phones
Activity Time: 1.25 hours, split over 2 days
Concepts Taught: Students will learn about the effects that the weather (wind) has on objects. This activity also incorporates 3.b. Students know changes in
weather occur from day to day and across seasons, affecting Earth and its inhabitants (CA DOE Common Core Standards, pg. K40) and 4.e. Communicate
observations orally and through drawing (CA DOE Common Core Standards, pg. K41) of California Common Core Standards for Kindergarten.
In this lesson students will learn to use digital cameras, or old camera phones to take pictures of things that the wind can blow. Send out a notice a week before
the project to parents requesting NON-serviced, NON-damaged old camera phones as they do not have to be working to take or download photos.
Students should first be instructed on how to handle a camera or cell phone and which parts of the camera they are allowed to touch, also ensuring students
know how to zoom in on the cell phones. You could also include an art activity where students produce a poster of the proper way to use either the digital
camera or the cell phones. You can decide based on your own students which buttons they will be allowed to use. I only let them use the on/off button and the
one to take pictures. You can then show students how to focus the camera and use the screen to see what the pictures will look like.

Modified Lesson Plan - cont


Once the students are comfortable with the cameras, you can take the class outside on a windy day and let the students take pictures of things the wind is blowing
(trees, flag, leaves, paper, bubbles). Having the students in small groups worked for my class. As California does not have an abundance of windy days you could
create your own windy day by bringing a fan into the classroom. You could have students bring in items from home but also bring in things like paper, feathers,
rocks, stapler, paper cup, a plastic lid, and baseball (etc.) and ask students to predict which items will blow away due to wind then start the fan and point it on each
item to see if their predictions were right. Additionally student could work as groups to determine the items that blew away from the items that did not, you
could even make it a race to see which group gets the correct answer first. Taking it a step further you could create a short race where students are grouped into
teams (of three or four) and they have to blow the feather from one point of the classroom to the other (only a few feet) and see which team can get their feather
to the finish line first, using erasers as prizes for the winning group. Through the use of group activities students will learn how to incorporate a variety of ideas
into one project and through the use of the race it gets students up and moving through physical activity a key factor in brain-compatible learning.
You can then get the pictures developed or print them out. The students can then write a sentence or multiple sentences depending upon the academic level of
the students about what the wind is blowing in the pictures, explain to the students that it may not be the picture that they took that everyone is receiving a
random picture. Alternatively you could allow or even challenge students to draw their own picture of the photograph they received as a means to incorporate art
into this particular lesson, this could be done with crayons, markers, paints or have all available and allow students to make their own choice. Finally you could
have students take a song such as The Wind Blows by Azorin Monovar found on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TR8o0kpTaQ) and challenge
them to change the lyrics to add in some of the items we discovered blew in the wind. If you want to, you can bind the writing into a class wind book which
could be displayed at the schools open house for parents to see.
Modification/accommodations for students with special needs: By adding in the race this is a great way to modify the lesson to incorporate those students with
ADHD who feel the need to move about the classroom. For other students with special needs when it comes to the writing portion of the assignment you could
have them dictate the sentence of what they see going on in the picture and write it for them. If there happens to be a parent volunteer perhaps you pair that
parent up with the student(s) that require additional assistance.

Modified Lesson Plan - cont


Item

Blew Away

Example of an I predict

Stayed Put

Gaming and Education


Achievable challenges
Incremental goal progress
Confidence
Resilience
Taking risk
Mindset growth

http://www.brainrush.com/lesson/addition-subtraction-2-s-5-s-10-s

Summary
As educators our ultimate goal is to ensure our students learn the material we are presenting.
Throughout this presentation we explored what brain-compatible learning is, compare and
contrast traditional learning and activities from brain-compatible learning and activities, a
variety of factors (i.e. genetics and environment) that impact learning as well as the benefit of
brain-compatible settings, viewed a modified lesson plan and a game that reflect the use of
brain-compatible learning and the why and how the implementation of brain-compatible
techniques and its benefits for students and teachers and for the future of education.
Ultimately we need to remember the complexity of the brain and have the ability to tailor it to
the students we are teaching in the technological world we live in and in order to do that
educators, psychologist and neuroscientists have to work together to ensure the success of all
students.

Reference
Derbyshire, S. W. G. (1998). Intelligence, heredity, and environment. British Medical Journal, 316(7127), 319. Retrieved
from http://search.proquest.com/docview/203981712?accountid=32521
Edglossary.org (August 29, 2013) Brain-based learning Retrieved from: http://edglossary.org/brain-basedlearning/
Fischer , K. W., Immordino-Yang, M. H., & , (2008). The Jossey-Bass reader on the brain and learning. San Francisco, CA:
Jossey-Bass
Funderstanding (April 2011) Brain-based learning Retrieved from: http://www.funderstanding.com/theory/brainbased-learning/brain-based-learning/
Willis, J. (2013, January 28). Video game model for motivated learning [Video File]. TED Ideas Worth Spreading.
Retrieved from http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Video-Game-MODEL-for-Motivated
Wolfe, P. (2010). Brain matters: Translating research into classroom practice. (2nd ed.). Alexandria,VA: Association for
Supervision & Curriculum Development