Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Reading - Chapter Two

Chapter Two in Eric Jensen's Teaching with the Brain in Mind is "Preparing the Brain for School."

This chapter concentrates on the four stages of brain development: Conception to birth, birth to age two, two to five, 5 to the teen years. We are more aware of what happens in the fetus and should be very conscious of what should pregnant women should eat, do, and think during pregnancy.

The brain development from birth to the age of two has many parents worried that the right thing is being done. This of course is a fallacy. The need to concentrate on this time frame is that it builds scaffolding skills used in the rest of our lives. Also things like a second language may be easier now than later, later can happen. The key to this time is the scaffolding skills developed and learning skills are created too.

An area that teachers don't have a affect would be in the development of the emotional synapses between birth and two. Even though this is alterable later in life, the research is still out and a healthy emotional development at this stage will have an impact later in life. Sensory motor skills development at this stage is linked to later learning and learning problems. Children should be active at this time. Of course this is difficult for parents and for child care givers. What happens is the child spends too much time in a stationary place like a car seat, a high chair, in front of the television, or in a crib. In addition this is the time when hearing and sight skills are developing. It goes without saying the impact of food on brain development at any time in life is important and crucial in this stage. This time period belongs to the parents and parents should be better informed about brain development in this crucial time. The results here will help learning later and provide the teachers with good healthy working material in their class.

Infants appear to be display built in skills because they display a learned skill so quickly. The fact is they are learning. Children should be playing and interacting with their environment instead of watching television or playing video games exclusively. Reading to children has many effects such as emotional and developing good sensory skills in addition to learning how to read. Parents should be: reading to them, giving them time to learn and discover, providing simple toys, talking to them, and asking them questions. Further parents can help develop good social and emotional skills by providing opportunities for games and activities, role modeling, helping in peer interactions, and helping them be comfortable away from parents. Our children in schools aren't malnourished, they are ill nourished. Again so much does happen before they get to school, that we should be more cognizant of this stage from a more communal concept. In some cases, schools become a place where repair is the first course of action.

Once they get to school, this is where teachers become important and our knowledge of brain research becomes useful. By the time the child is five, it seems as if s/he is slowing down, but don't be fooled. The five five years are quick developmentally as they should be because so much is new. Now we see repetitive behavior and refinement of skills. As school begins so does the age of wonder for each child. This is a time when honesty, liberty, and hope develop along with understanding cause and effect and abstractions. There is a rigidness about habits. This may be a safety mechanism until they become more aware of choices and living with them.

The teen brain is a unique thing. Two important facts emerge in this time. Teenagers are under the control of their hormones and they need sleep. During these years the teenage brain is going through another major growth period similar to the infant brain. In this time more pruning is being done, remapping is happening, and new knowledge is pouring in all while the hormones are raging. Advice when dealing with teens is to be succinct, to model good behavior, be a coach, be understanding rather than judgmental, be tactful, cut them some slack, let them sleep, and communicate with them about sex, drugs, alcohol.

We already know that teen tastes drive the pop charts today. But, according to a new Emory University study, high schoolers may also be skilled at predicting pop hits - and flops - of the future. Neuroeconomist Gregory Berns, who directed the study, joins us to explain how teen brain scans could predict record sales. Listen:

The take away from this chapter is the amount of time humans need to interact with others in a positive and healthy way. Nutrition is crucial as is exercise at all levels. Understanding, love, and care are necessary to create good adults.

1 comment:

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