2) The brain is a learning machine throughout life




Can teachers take advantage of the plasticity to improve mastery of facts and skills? The answer is a resounding yes and recent cognitive studies show that the brain responds to a host of instructional practices including interactive face-to-face experiences and movements that amplify attention and assimilation. Just as Jennifer Wilson saw dramatic improvement in her right arm and hand flexibility through repetitive motions of that limb, the brain can respond in an analogous fashion to manipulate knowledge for storage and interpretation.

The key here is that our DNA is not limited to a preset mental capacity but instead offers the brain a wide latitude of physiologic discretion that is shaped by our environment to change physical and attitudinal characteristics at any time in our lives.

This book is interested in the cognitive potential of the brain in an engaging academic and psychomotor environment as well as the motivational elements closely coupled to learning. We are endowed with an overabundance of neurons that undergo cross-linking before birth and throughout our existence. The brain is a learning machine throughout life but there are specific windows of opportunity in childhood and adolescence that are particularly critical for a range of cognitive and emotional functionalities. The potential for brain activation, that is, the capacity to learn new information or skills is continuous, but we as educators must maximize knowledge assimilation and generate the motivation to learn when the windows of opportunity are greatest.

photo: Brain   pixabay