Lawrence Linnen's Reviews > Brain Matters: Translating Research Into Classroom Practice

Brain Matters by Patricia Wolfe
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it was amazing

Some scientists and educators think it is too soon to apply brain research to the classroom, because we don't know enough yet. The field is so new, they say, and the discoveries in many cases so narrow in their focus, that we run the risk of making false assumptions and perhaps even dangerous applications.

On the one hand, their caution is warranted. Educators have a history of jumping on bandwagons, and they often have accepted unproven theories as fact and have applied strategies without careful analysis of their effectiveness. There is still a great deal we do not know about how the human brain functions. Neuroscience research is in its infancy, and newstudies often refute the previous month's findings.

On the other hand, it would be foolish to wait until all the research is in and we have absolute certainty before beginning our study of the brain and discussing the possible implications and applications of research findings. Much of the research already confirms what experienced educators have long known and used in their classrooms. What the research adds, at this point, is a partial understanding of why certain procedures or strategies work. As a result, we no longer have to operate intuitively but can begin to articulate and explain the rationale for what we do. Madeline Hunter said that the problem with teaching intuitively is that intuition is sterile: It can't be passed on. For this reason, teachershave often had difficulty explaining their craft to others.

This book also contains more caveats than definitive answers, because the field is so new and not all neuroscientists agree on the findings. I believe, however, that focusing staff development on the results of brain research will not only stimulate further interest and study, but will also provide a newer framework for understanding the complex and difficult job of teaching the human brain.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 3, 2002 – Finished Reading
August 7, 2012 – Shelved

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