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Brain Based Learning

Brain-based learning is a learning theory that is based entirely on the structure of the brain and how it functions. Essentially, brain-based learning means that as long as the brain is not inhibited in anyway, the brain is able to learn through normal processes.

It is important for educators to know the basics of brain-based learning, so they can properly assess how each of their students learn. Some students that might have developmental delays might process information differently than others. The brain-based learning theory indicates that learning occurs for everyone, but in different ways. The problem with traditional methods of learning is that brain-based learning is prohibiting students from learning to the point of their own potential. Since everyone has their own learning strengths, and learn at their own pace, traditional schooling prohibits this from happening because all of the curriculums attempt to teach everyone the same information at the same pace. 

Because of this method of learning, many individuals struggle to keep up while other students far exceed the learning levels of their peers. Brain-based learning also follows a few basic principles of how the brain operates and allows for learning. These principles of brain-based learning include the idea that the brain is a parallel processor. This means that it is capable of performing several tasks at one time including experiencing senses like tasting and smelling. The search for meaning is also innate, according to the brain-based learning theory. 

Other Principles of Brain-Based Learning: 

  • Emotions are critical to learning patterning
  • Learning involves focusing attention and peripheral perception
  • Learning is an unconscious as well as conscious process
  • Learning becomes enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat
  • Each brain is unique, meaning each person learns differently
  • There are two types of memory: rote and spatial
  • The brain is able to process wholes and parts simultaneously

Using Brain-Based Learning:

Teachers, educators and even parents can benefit from considering the teaching utilities that can be found with brain-based learning. Typically three instructional techniques are associated with brain-based learning including orchestrated immersion, which creates learning environments that make it so students are completely immersed in the educational experience. Relaxed alertness is another type of brain-based learning and it helps learners to eliminate their fear while trying to keep in a challenging learning environment. Active processing is the third brain-based learning technique and it allows the learner to better process information by internalizing the information in order to actively process it. Through the curriculum, types of instruction and overall assessment of the learners, educators can incorporate brain-based learning. 

The benefits of using brain-based learning include being able to benefit those who learn better at their own pace. A person's IQ is not a reflection of how fast they learn certain material, but rather how well they absorb the information. If they are able to learn at their own pace and better absorb the information, they are more likely to learn faster later on in their schooling. While it can be difficult for teachers to spend the amount of time needed with each of their students, giving them this one-on-one learning is a great way to help them learn the information better so they can improve in their learning at a faster rate later on. However, most public schools in the United States do not provide the information and support needed for this style of learning

This is where parents can come in to make up for the lack of one-on-one attention that their child is not receiving in the class room. Tutors also might be a great option to help children learn more efficiently at home so they can continue to improve using the techniques urged by brain-based learning. Parents should also address their concerns about their child's education to the teacher or educator primarily in charge of their learning. This is a great way for parents to seek the necessary help to improve their child's learning and overall educational experience. Using brain-based learning can be a great way to learn, but unfortunately is often overlooked by many trained public school educators.