The Rise of Brain-Focused Teaching: Teachers Look to Neuroscience for Help in the Classroom

By Tucker, Patrick | The Futurist, May-June 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Rise of Brain-Focused Teaching: Teachers Look to Neuroscience for Help in the Classroom


Tucker, Patrick, The Futurist


The development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the 1980s revolutionized medicine, particularly neuroscience, by giving doctors a unique window into the workings of the brain. Now, fMRI technology, and our advanced knowledge of how the brain operates, is revolutionizing education.

"Neuroimaging can transform a real brain hidden within a skull into a virtual brain observable on a computer. This transformation has finally allowed scientists to observe how various brain processing systems collaborate when they develop a decision and then activate the appropriate behavior," writes education professor Robert Sylwester in the journal The School Administrator. He suggests that teachers acquaint themselves with the new neuroscience literature and the potential applications of brain science in the classroom.

"Teachers who continually ask students to sit still and be quiet seem more interested in teaching a grove of trees than a room full of students. Educational leaders who eliminate recess and reduce arts and physical education programs seemingly don't understand the purpose of the brain, and what it takes to develop and maintain one," he says.

One research project that applied neuromapping technology to teaching was the 2003 Fast ForWord Language study. In the experiment, a group of dyslexic students underwent fMRI scans while participating in various reading tasks. Some of the tasks dealt with sounding out words, while other tasks were concerned with reading. The study allowed the researchers to observe how the children processed the letters visually and aurally and then compare the findings to similar fMRI scans of children without dyslexia. The scientists discovered that the brain of the dyslexic subjects, specifically the portion of the brain associated with hearing and processing sound, was influencing the dyslexia. They used their findings to craft more visceral lesson plans. The result after eight weeks was significant improvement on standardized reading tests.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Rise of Brain-Focused Teaching: Teachers Look to Neuroscience for Help in the Classroom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?