In my previous post 10 Brain Training Tips To Teach and Learn I promised to share some of the resources–books, conferences, and websites– that inform my understanding of teaching, learning and the brain. Here’s an updated list:
There are many books about the brain. For educators, the best of these are books that demystify the language of neuroscience while providing information applicable to the teaching and learning process.
Among the more prolific or well-known authors of this type include Jeb Schenck, Robert Sylwester, Barbara Givens, Robert Marzano, Marilee Sprenger, and Eric Jensen.
I have found books by Sprenger and Jensen to be immensely helpful. Both write about the brain in understandable terms, provide practical suggestions, discuss sensible ideas, and include innumerable references to supportive research. Three of my most referenced books by these two are:
For a more general perspective you can also enjoy The Brain That Changes Itself: Stores of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science and The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age.
Highly stimulating and informative are the Learning & the Brain conferences, which take place multiple times a year. Each conference has an overarching theme, which is then broken down into several strands. In the past these strands have focused on pre‑K through college; but often also include an adult brain strand.
The L&B conference runs the gamut from renowned neuroscientists sharing their research to practitioners translating that research into practical application. There are pre- and post-conference workshops, and plenty of opportunity to meet and talk with all presenters, as well as conference attendees.
Websites provide information in a variety of modalities. Many of these sites can be used with students, who enjoy learning about their brains, and hence, about themselves.
- The Franklin Institute: Your Brain and Your Brain Exhibit Educator Guide
- Neuroscience for Kids: Autonomic Nervous System
- LeDoux Lab, New York University: Emotion, Memory, and the Brain
- Neuroscience for Kids Sleep
- National Sleep Foundation
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep
- NPR: A Better Breakfast Can Boost a Child’s Brainpower
- WebMD Brain Food Quiz: How Much Do You Know?
Movement and Exercise
- NPR: Exercise Helps Students in the Classroom
- Dr. Judith Hanna: What Educators and Parents Should Know About Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance
I hope you find these resources useful.
Laurie Bartels writes the Neurons Firing blog to create for herself the “the graduate course I’d love to take if it existed as a program”. Since 1982 she has been teaching computer classes and facilitating the use of technology in schools.