Running Head: PERCEPTIONS OF BRAIN-BASED LEARNING 2
Brain-based learning theory has devised a new discipline known by some as educational neuroscience, or by others as mind, brain, and education science (Duman, 2010). It is a broad and comprehensive approach to instruction using current research from neuroscience. Brain-based education emphasizes the manner in which the brain learns naturally and is based on what is currently known about the structure and function of the human brain. This theory is a concept that includes an eclectic mix of teaching techniques. BBL practices call for teachers to connect learning to students’ real lives and emotional experiences, as well ...view middle of the document...
The design of his study was a pre/posttest model with a control group. The participants were college students who were studying to be Social Studies teachers. Several measures were used to determine the effectiveness of the teaching strategies including the learning style scale
Running Head: PERCEPTIONS OF BRAIN-BASED LEARNING 3
developed by Kolb in 1984. In the experimental group, films and slide shows about how the brain functions were shown. Dunman himself developed the BBL model that represents a learning-teaching design based on conditions, processes, and gains that are connected to each other in a complimentary manner (Duman 2010). Dunman reports that to achieve an environment of ‘relaxed alertness’ each lesson began with music. As teaching began, students were encouraged to stay hydrated, work in groups, walk around the classroom to discuss and brainstorm. Students were also told that they were responsible to remove stress and to challenge themselves as well as preparing and evaluating their own learning portfolios. Duman (2010) reports that throughout the learning-teaching process, a classroom setting with “physiological safety” and “psychological relaxation” was created as students were allowed to freely investigate. Orchestrated immersion was addressed as student’s assignments included developing lessons based on the topic ‘you cannot evaluate the thing you have not measured and you cannot reach a conclusion about the thing you have not evaluated’. Students focused on meaningful content and individual experiences to develop themes and sub-themes. The environment was enriched as students displayed posters, graphics and used multimedia during presentations. The control group experienced traditional teaching methods. Students were given the same assignments however, they were exposed only to a lecturing and question-answer method of instruction. The results of the study indicated that most student teachers learning styles were ‘assimilating’ which means that teachers tend to ‘watch and think’ as they gain information (Kolb, 1984). The students who were in the experimental BBL group more significantly increased the students’ academic achievement than did the traditional method of instruction. Dunman (2010) notes that these results concur with the current body of literature produced by, but not exclusive to, Caine and Caine, Getz, Jensen and Dabney, and Wortock. Duman further explains that when the planning, presentation and gains of the lesson are in compliance
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with the working principals of the brain, positive contributions can be made to students’ motivation, attitudes and academic achievement (Duman 2010).
As successful as BBL experimentation has been, there are detractors who believe neuroscience cannot begin to contribute to educational endeavors as an individual entity. Neville Clement and Terence Lovat (2012) write that...