Tag Archives: instruction design

The Brain and Learning

It’s not an anomaly that the brain is essential to learning.  According to Ormrod, Schunk, and Gredler (2009) the mind works as an information processing system (p. 48). Understanding the brain can reveal fundamental techniques to learning and how the information is processed.  Worden, Hinton, and Fischer (2011) argued that inadequacies exist in applying neuroscientific findings to tangible classroom instruction. They suggested that researchers and educators must work together to delineate any misconceptions and inconsistencies in understanding the brain and learning.  This article was particularly a good resource to understanding and clarifying the myths of the brain and learning. Worden et al. (2011) pointedly suggested that researchers and educators work together to identify new learning theories, methods, and models.  This rationalization was surprising as it may be assumed by some that learning theories and methods of instruction are researched and developed with the  input of both researchers and educators.   Ormrod et al. (2009) argued that scientists are integral to understanding how the brain works and learn in order to develop more cognitive information processing applications.  Learning, memory, and attention are managed by the brain and examining how these functions work assists with understanding how people learn and understanding problems solving methods. Instructional design requires extensive knowledge of learning theories, instruction development, and proficient application.

 What I find fascinating is how the brain facilitates learning and the different approaches to learning.  Kahveci and Ay (2008) discussed and explained that brain-based learning approach focuses on the composition and functioning of the brain with learning. The constructivist approach allows students to develop knowledge from their environment and is directly correlated to how their environment is perceived.  The study by Kahveci and Ay (2008) was helpful in that it provided a comprehensive history to both approaches.  What is even more interesting are the research paradigms in which these two approaches were constructed.  Brain-based learning approach is supported by quantitative research and the constructivist learning approach stems from qualitative research.  Brain-based learning approach involves brain research in neurosciences, while constructivist learning approach encompasses philosophy, psychology, and education (Kahveci & Ay, 2008). This study was a good resource for examining the comparisons of brain-based learning and constructivist learning approaches.  

References:

Kahveci, A., & Ay, S. (2008). Different Approaches — Common Implications: Brain-Based And Constructivist Learning From A Paradigms And Integral Model Perspective.

Ormrod, J.,  Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.

Worden, J. M., Hinton, C., & Fischer, K. W. (2011). What Does the Brain Have to Do with Learning?. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(8), 8-13.

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