The common opinion is that people can learn. The truth, however, is that Learning does take place. Like the computer, our brain is a processor, albeit an immensely powerful one. Every person is born with it.
The Brain-Based Learning theory has its roots in the structure and function of the brain. The process of learning continues until and unless the normal processes of the brain are prohibited. How is the normal learning process of the brain inhibited? Traditional schooling inhibits this process.
Traditional schooling has a set of standard protocols of teaching that is not to be wavered from and are very stringent. These protocols affect the brain’s natural learning process, by discouraging, ignoring or punishing it.
For the brain’s natural learning process to work at its maximum, developing courseware that is based on the principles of ‘Brain-Based Learning’ is advantageous. What are these principles?
The brain analyses parts and whole of a situation in parallel. All students can comprehend more effectively when specific facts and information are a part of a whole. A real-life event, a meaningful story or a project that they created or witnessed aids in their understanding.
Learning is a complete bodily processes. Traditional teaching believes that the brain and the body are different entities where the body is not involved in learning. Therefore, students are mostly made to sit in their assigned seats. However, students can comprehend more effectively when involved in real-life experiences. This will naturally call on the use of their senses and their bodies.
The quest for meaning is instinctive. Every human, right from infancy to adulthood, has a need to find meaning of things. The way people respond to novelty and the driving force of purpose, are the main aspects behind a student’s search for meaning. For more effective comprehension, students’ interests, purposes and ideas should be engaged.
Learning occurs through patterning. Patterning is the meaningful organisation and categorisation of information. Humans make sense of experience by finding and creating patterns and relationships. Students have the capacity to perceive and create patterns as well as link new patterns to what they have previously learnt.
Learning involves both, focused attention and peripheral perception. Children learn, not only from the experience, but also from the background, picking up behaviours, beliefs and preferences. Students comprehend more effectively when their attention is deepened and different contexts are used to aid the learning process.
Brain-Based learning impacts K12 course development. The content for courseware development in Mumbai must be constructed around student interests, making the learning contextual.
The content designed must immerse the learners in interactive and rich experiences. Examples and problems should be such that it appears realistic and stimulates a student’s mind to the desired state of alertness.
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