Neuroscience curriculum development is an essential task for educators. Today’s teachers with an understanding of how the brain works may apply evidence-based research to the classroom. Teachers and professors can help students reach their highest educational and personal potential.
Researchers say that neuroplasticity of the brain is highest during the early years. However, research continues to show that the brain’s neuroplasticity—and the student’s intelligence—changes throughout life. Teachers must understand the implications of how students learn to serve them. Knowledge about neuroscience can strengthen students’ necessary skill sets to 21st-century careers.
Neuroscience and Teaching Skills
Neuroscience is a valuable teaching asset. Teachers can practically use research conclusions to instruct students. Professional education of teachers must include neuroscience studies.
The study of neuroscience shows that students can “change their brains” to learn more. For instance, neuroscience studies show that students often learn best in play. Teachers using targeted games to instruct students are both well-liked and effective in the classroom.
Studies also show that activating the brain’s memory network strengthens students’ ability to recall and retrieve information. In contrast, stress and boredom in class inhibit learning. Stress studies show that students may experience alienation from the instructor and learning when they’re stressed or bored. Scientists theorize that the brain triggers a fight or flight response.
Neuroscience researchers also report that, as student stress builds, the ability to retain long-term memory is also inhibited. Neuroscience provides some tools for teachers to use when stress leads to reactive behaviors. Therefore, it’s essential for the teacher to reduce classroom stress to promote memory retention and cognitive processing.
Passionate teachers with a desire to return students to positive learning experiences can help students to achieve their goals. Student empowerment is one of the first steps to returning a love of learning to the classroom.
Improving the classroom isn’t the work of the neuroscience laboratory. Teachers must study neuroscience to design strategies and tools that deliver for students.
Today’s teachers are busier than ever before. They must attend more professional development events, interact with consultants, and develop new expertise to stay current. Future neuroscience developments will develop in part between the intersection of science and classroom.
When teachers develop new strategies and students seem to learn better, their supervisors and peers want to spread the good news. Collaboration between educators and neuroscientists benefits the practicum and body of research. Success for teachers is largely about finding what works. Neuroscientists can use the practicum to feed new research studies.