Practical Theory - The Origin
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Reading - Chapter Seven

Eric Jensen's Teaching with the Brain in Mind Chapter Seven, "Managing the Social Brain" takes on more relevancy in the new world of social networking.

Social experiences change the human brain which has created a new discipline, "social neuroscience." Teachers need to be mindful of the social interaction of their students.
Schools are social places; as a result. they change students' brains. Social contact lowers blood pressure just as social isolation is just as devastating a health risk.

The social brain affects cognition. Students aren't born with social skills, they are learned. Ways to help the student learn these skills is to work in groups. Five to twenty percent of class should be done in small groups. Groups of three to four are better than larger groups. Strategies for the classroom could be pair share, competitions, simulations, drama, and small group discussions followed by a presentation. Social ranking in groups can cause stress or highs, depending upon rank in the group. Many other considerations like preening, bias, peer pressure, and dress styles can affect social behavior and in the end a good setting for learning.

Teachers should include group work in their classes to encourage improved social skills.

Homework is the Multi-Flow Map. I would use a newspaper article that addresses a current social situation and have the students write about it.

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