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How the Brain Learns

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  42 reviews
This updated edition of the powerful bestseller examines new research on brain functioning and translates this information into effective classroom strategies and activities.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 21st 2005 by Corwin Publishers (first published January 1st 1998)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  445 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Michael R
Aug 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Perhaps the least useful book I have ever read for "professional development". The author, who has not done any original research, offers the reader his interpretation of the hodgepodge of articles he has hand-selected. ...more
I've read several book sin this field and this is one of the better ones. The last chapters in particular where everything is brought together are particularly useful and I have shared these ideas with colleagues. My only criticism is that the examples are overly American and I don't think they need to be. I will reference and use this again. ...more
Kim  Dennis
4.5 stars. Overall, I found this book fascinating. There were a few parts that were somewhat slow or difficult to understand, but I’m finding myself more and more fascinated by the human brain and how it works. I also really liked the practical suggestions for teachers. I’d found things I could take and use in the
classroom rather than just a bunch of theory I didn’t know how to apply.
Mikael Svahnberg
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This must be the first time I rate a pedagogics-book this highly. Very interesting, references to relatively new scientific research, and plenty of practical tips.

I may not be able to use all of it when teaching university students, but it certainly made me understand more about how my own kids learn.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teachers
Shelves: teacher-books
This book can be a little dry (wordy/sciencey), but it explains how the brain learns, the difference between the male and female brains, and how to best teach to make learning real.
Elaine Moreno
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute essential for any teacher in the field no matter how long they’ve been teaching.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I read it because my wife was using the book for her recent class. I really enjoyed this and will use the concepts for my own learning in the future. Well done, Dr. Sousa!
Elisha Lawrence
Apr 18, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My textbook for the class "Brain-Based Learning" was very helpful. I am newer to teaching and took this course to prepare me for teaching in higher education but the wisdom from this K-12 teaching book was still relevant. He started off with a few chapters on the anatomy of the brain and talked about research that shows what we know about what each part of the brain does functionally. Sousa then shifted to practical applications for teachers from educational psychology. Things like teaching for ...more
Lauren Welch
I read this for an online class. It was good for a textbook, well-organized with plenty of visuals, and easy to understand language.
There were a few opinions that didn't seem to be backed up with any fact. For example, the author suggests that hip/hop music can cause reading problems but didn't provide solid evidence. Also, the author gives the annoying piece of advice to teachers to cut "unnecessary content" from the curriculum but doesn't give any examples of things that are unnecessary. But
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative and the key ideas are easy to implement into my classroom. I have a greater understanding of how my students are learning and what to do in order to increase retention.
Polly Callahan
Jun 23, 2021 marked it as to-read
Recommended by a teacher in Math teachers collective and collaborative Facebook group; it’s a textbook; she found it one of the most interesting and useful to explain to high school students why she does some of the things in math class.
Ma Mahlan
Rebekah Morgan
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Great information but set out in a way that goes against the research being presented.
Ms. Morgan
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for educators and parents.
Susan V.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Great book for understanding how the brain learns. The author provides a lot of resources and tips that can be used in the classroom to support whole brain learning.
Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in the brain science involved in teaching and learning. Never complete yet always definitive.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
i think your an idiot and my pets love you and this book is shit
Terri Fleming
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I learned a lot.
Bridget Mullins
Dec 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent addition to any teachers repertoire!
Jessica López-Barkl
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well, I was on the fence about this book until Chapter 3. Now, I would recommend this to any teacher, administrator, or just plain anybody who is curious how our silly little 'ole brain works and learns. I found it excessively exciting from a teacher's point of view and from my actor histronic sensibility, so...I think it will be useful to anyone looking for a left-brained book that talks about how our right-brains make us smarter...

Well, there is too much in this book to go into, but I will men
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely useful book for any teacher to read. Over the last twenty five years, the psychology community has learned more about how the brain actually learns at a physiological level than it learned in the previous twenty five hundred. It contains a lot of very solid information and suggestions for how to increase learning in your students and have more fun and get more satisfaction from the whole process to boot.

Not all of this book is as well researched as I would like. Sousa (for e
William Lawrence
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
There are some pretty neat bits of theoretical advice in this book, but there are problems. More theory and philosophy than science, no original research, some of the sources are outdated, and there are source problems. The credibility of some of the sources is questionable and some mentioned sources did not match the references. When you're citing someone who is citing someone who cited someones else who might be citing their own study or opinion, you run into an issue of credibility. Some poin ...more
Bob Collins
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written for educators, this recently updated book reviews the latest science on how the brain learns and gives a lot of helpful advise on how to use that information in the classroom. The explanation of how memory works is worth the price of the book. Great information and insight for my APICS Learning Dynamics for Instructors course and useful information for our home-schooled daughter plus information that should help her in improving her motor skills for Irish dance.

I'll be referring to this
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing text on how the brain learns and ways to incorporate that knowledge into your teaching. It even includes a list of 21 questions to ask yourself as you are planning a lesson to ensure that your lesson is brain friendly with a rationale for each question and a reference to chapters within the book where that point is covered. I recommend this book to anyone who teaches or has children in school. I plan to read some of his other books once I am finished with my masters' degree. ...more
Mar 19, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this together with my fellow members of the Beaverton High School site council (which I belonged to 1999-2001, and chaired the second year). This book was interesting, but I think it just represents the tip of the iceberg. Neuroscientists will be learning so much more in the coming decades about how the brain functions and how people learn. I can't wait to find out. ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-schoool
Sousa did an excellent job of explaining how the brain functions, why this matters to learning, and how to adapt teaching to the brain's learning methods. It is filled with activities to try in the classroom and suggestions for planning that will aid in classroom management and student retention. A very informative read. ...more
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Excellent book on the basics of just what it says, how the brain learns. Obviously, the applications are for teachers but the actual science of it makes a great deal of sense. Very accessible to those of us who are not brain scientists.
Jul 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: teacher-stuff
more theory, interesting stuff, now ai know why kids are so crazy! :)
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Great information! Great for teachers! However, teachers may become frustrated that the way they teach (or are expected to teach) may contradict the way the brain learns!
Rebecca  Avery
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A must read for those in Education.
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