Paul Signorelli's Reviews > Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Brain Rules by John Medina
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Mar 08, 12

bookshelves: brain, learning, training, workplace-learning-and-performance
Read in March, 2012

Although the brain often seems to be the most overlooked tool in trainer-teacher-learners' toolkits, great writers like developmental molecular biologist John Medina are doing a lot to move us past that that oversight through books like "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School." Medina is never less than completely engaging, and his 12 rules about how the brain functions in learning are drawn from well-documented research, his own very funny observations, and his continual call for more research to help fill in the numerous gaps we still have in our knowledge: "This book is a call for research simply because we don't know enough to be prescriptive," he disarmingly admits (p. 4). Among the rules he documents: exercise boosts brain power; every brain is wired differently; stressed brains don't learn well; and stimulate more of the senses simultaneously to stimulate more effective learning. This is not a book for those comfortable with the status quo; in fact, Medina clearly expects us to approach his work with minds completely open to ideas that might initially strike us as ludicrous. And he encourages us to imagine (and create) learning spaces that inspire and sustain curiosity as opposed to the age-old model of lecture halls where learning is an instructor-centric endeavor.
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