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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Reading - Chapter Nine

Eric Jensen's Teaching with the Brain in Mind Chapter Nine "Critical Thinking Skills" are not innate, they are learned and the product is intelligence. My homework will involve the Double Bubble Map.

Cognition is created from our lower order brain systems. What we need to do is help them develop, cooperate with other systems, and learn. Developing critical skills involves exploring the unique brain, the problem solving brain, the maturing brain, the adaptive brain, and the emotional brain.

We all have a unique brain. This single fact has always confused me about the factory model in education. It is one reason I embraced the computers in 1984. Computers allow for our uniqueness. This is why we use differentiation in our classrooms. It is why saying it slower and louder still doesn't get through. Different strokes for different folks.

We are problem solvers, sometimes to a fault. Many times I have heard, "Don't solve the problem, just listen." We solve problems, the brain loves these exercises. Exercises we can encourage to develop these skills in our students is to help them maintain focus and attention to the task. Learn how to prioritize tasks and to make distinctions in relevancy, order, and similarities/differences. Asking for help is always useful and avoids time wasted and frustration. In short developing good habits builds problem solving skills.

Researchers know that as students learn new critical learning skills their brain mass changes and connections are realigned as lots of activity takes place in the synapse. Building critical learning skills is like body building. Do it in intervals, start small, and vary duration. Increase as skills develop. Time and patience are essential. These skills will develop naturally as our brain sees relevancy of task, does repetitive tasks to assist the memory neurons, and is specific about the task.

Teachers are more knowledgeable about the stages of brain development than they were a decade ago. We know more now. The result is that our lessons are more attuned to the maturing brain and provide lessons suitable for that brain at that time. We have to be more flexible with different students as we watch them perform.

Oftentimes we will hear that we are "playing it by the seat of our pants" or "winging it." This is the quality of our adaptive brain. The adaptive brain develops when we explore, are faced with new experiences, and create.

One common thread for all of our work with the brain is nutrition. A healthy diet leads to a healthy brain.

My homework will use the Double Bubble Map. I would use the compare and contrast page, a short story exercise, and some poetry.

No comments: