Identifying Sound Pedagogical Practices Based on Findings from Neuroscience

Chandana Watagodakumbura


We have identified goals of education by viewing them from the point of neuroscience;
through education, we have to produce individuals who are better problem solvers and
decision makers. To achieve this goal, learners will have to transform what they have learned
explicitly into implicit memories and vice versa. Further, through education, we enhance
learner consciousness and wisdom. A number of pedagogical practices that are useful in
achieving the above goals are presented. When new contents are presented in a
teaching-learning environment, high-level concepts need to be highlighted; the concepts are
likely to penetrate through multiple domain areas thus helping learners to form better neural
networks of knowledge. In order to reach out to multiple brain regions, we need to get the
frontal lobe involved essentially and hence the pace of presentation has to be controlled
appropriately; as the frontal lobe connects to many brain regions, the processing occurs
relatively slowly. The important task of motivating learners can be done by presenting
learners with neuroscience-based facts about learning; even difficult content can be mastered
by simply paying attention elaborately; human brains have the feature of plasticity and
through learning, neural networks can grow throughout the lifespan. Taking into
consideration the phenomenon of binocular rivalry - human brains can concentrate only on
one thing at a time fully- we should encourage learners to engage in the discussion in a
teaching-learning session fully. When setting assessment, we should focus on open-ended,
novel conceptual questions so that learners use their frontal lobes connecting many other
regions as well.

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