Sunday, 15 February 2015


For a whole slew of reasons, the word neuroplasticity has been part of everyday conversations in my family for a long time. I don't hear it many other places though. And I'll be honest, I don't use it at school very often.  Which raises an uncomfortable question for me: why not?

Simple answer: I don't know

I read an article a couple of days ago titled The Neuroscience Of Learning: 41 Terms Every Teacher Should Know  which lead me to another article The Simple Things I Do To Promote Brain-Based Learning In My Classroom.  This second one really made me stop and think. I already use many of the strategies Judy Willis mentions in her article but I rarely explain (to my students) the reason I use them. It's time for me to harness MY neuroplasticity to change my thinking and incorporate more explicit neuroscience teaching and learning into our programme. 

So here's what I'm going to do: starting next week I'm making time to teach my students about their brains.  We know, from research done by people like Judy Willis,  Peter Marshall, Christina Comalli and Carol Dweck, that teaching children about their brains improves - in my words - their ability to use them.  Three short sessions each week for a few weeks seems to be the optimum for a jumpstart into these understandings, which is easy to manage.  I'll keep you updated on how we go.

I'm still not entirely sure how I'm going to start this off, but I've been having a look at a few youtube clips (my kiddos respond well to a tuning in activity like videos).  I found a channel that has some short sharp videos that might work.  Here's their take on neuroplasticity.

What do you think?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 1 Know the students and how they learn
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 6 Engage in professional learning

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