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Myths of Teaching and Learning

30 Sep

Recently, the Canadian Education Association released its latest poster regarding some neuromyths connected to learning and teaching. Take time to read each of these three myths and share how you are taking current neuroscience research to change your teaching practice and students’ learning environments.

edcan_neuromyths  1) Adapting instruction to students’ learning styles (K,S,A)

The promising practices that I do see making are difference are:

  • multiple means of representation – information/content is shared via audio, images, video, text so that students can engage with it in a variety of ways, not just their “preferred” way. I often share with staff and students that there may be times when I would just read the content on my own while another time I’d like the computer to read it to me or watch a brief intro video instead. It’s the opportunity for access to these options that I find crucial.
  • cooperative learning – engaging students by learning with and from each other via ‘scripted’ learning and sharing opportunities exposes students to a variety of experiences so even if the student prefers a specific way to learn, they are supported through practicing other ways in a safe and engaging manner.

  2)  No such thing as brain dominance

Promoting Passion Projects (197 examples, in the classroom), Genius Hour or Innovation Weeks (GCMS) where students study, explore, create a level of learning that is very personalized and student-centered allows opportunities to further develop their talents and/or skills in a particular area OR dip their toes into something of interest that they may never have pursued.

3) Cognitive capacity and function improves after 30 mins of vigorous exercise

Initiatives like Daily Physical Activity (DPA) and Physical Literacy offer fantastic opportunities for students to get up, moving and socially connecting with each other and themselves. Brain Breaks (such as GoNoodle) give the brain a break and may regroup students’ attention but do not necessarily improve cognitive capacity.

So, go ahead, share this poster with colleagues, print it off and take turns speaking about it during a PLC/Staff meeting. What are your thoughts regarding these neuromyths?

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