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Eight Things Educators Need to Know About the Brain

It evolved over millions of years as it adapted to changes in environmental conditions. Brains have increased in size and complexity over time. The old structures were preserved, and new ones came into existence. As we evolved into social beings, Our brains became attuned to the world of social interaction. Systems that were once in use were preserved while new ones were created. This led to the brain being able to do everything, from monitoring respiration to forming culture. The increased complexity is not without cost. These systems need to be created and interconnected, and they should be properly designed and integrated to attain maximum effectiveness. Teachers face an issue in this evolving history. Social neuroscience research can be useful for teachers, but it can’t substitute for flexibility in the classroom that can accommodate every student. Students and teachers aren’t the same, and they’re made up of diverse human beings with a complex history of evolution, cultural background, and life stories.

One-size-fits-all education won’t perform if we wish to make progress. Here are nine of the scientific findings educators may consider studying.

1. The brain is a social organ.

To live and flourish, our brains require stimulation and connections. If they aren’t challenged and inspired, the brain is likely to shrink and eventually die. The contemporary brain’s immediate surroundings are composed of our social interactions. The close, supportive bonds can encourage positive emotions, learning, and neuroplasticity.

Teachers must provide positive experiences for their students at their schools. The neurobiological view of both the teacher and parent are identical in creating the child’s brain. Positive attitudes toward students and teachers have been shown to affect students’ performance positively. Social-emotional learning programs enhance learning, lessen conflict between students and promote positive social environments.

2. Two brains could be possible.

The cerebral hemispheres can differentiate their distinct capabilities and abilities. The left hemisphere has the most adept at processing language, linear thinking, and prosocial functioning, while it is better at processing visual information and has powerful emotions. But, many jobs require both hemispheres to participate in the task, and it is essential to be able to connect both hemispheres when teaching.

Teachers who are good at this recognize this from their students. They try to find a balance between emotions and cognitive abilities, allowing students who are logical to acknowledge and explore their feelings while helping anxious students improve the cognitive skills of their left brains to control their emotions. Stories can be helpful because stories serve as powerful tools to organise brain neural networks. Storytelling that is well-crafted with resolutions to conflicts and feelings will bring people together and help shape their brains.

3. It is crucial to begin learning as early as possible.

The earliest years of our lives are when our neural networks are responsible for our social and emotional learning. The three most important areas of knowledge include attachment, emotional regulation, and self-esteem. Three regions in the study are vital to our capacity to connect with others, deal with anxiety and feel valued.

Teachers can investigate their inner world when children behave in ways they do not understand. Children can reconnect to their brain networks for cognition, affect and body awareness by being able to name and consider unpleasant experiences.

Please encourage students to keep diaries and journals of their adventures; this lets them be the best and lessens anxiety and stress. Studies have proven that writing down your experiences can boost emotional well-being, improve emotional regulation, and decrease stress.

4. Conscious consciousness and unconscious processes co-exist at different rates.

In every millisecond, a huge number of neurons processing occurs. It is not restricted to conscious awareness and implicit memories.

You can accomplish many things without ever having to think about them. Walking and breathing, balancing, and even making sentences are all automated. The brain can process information and analyse it with the help of a lifetime’s worth of experiences to communicate the information to us in moments. The brain creates the illusion that the scenario is real, and it can discern it from the experience of a lifetime, and then it relays the details to us within a fraction of a second.

This is particularly true for predisposition. Fear conditioning does not need conscious attention. So, our brain’s natural response to people from different races isn’t related to our beliefs. A more open discussion and greater interracial exposure can help keep prejudice from being translated into negative thoughts and actions.

5. The brain, the mind, and the body are all interconnected.

The brain’s capability to function optimally is enhanced by physical activity. Exercise has been proven in research studies to boost the development of neurons in the hippocampus. It helps pump more oxygen into the brain, which stimulates the growth of capillaries and frontal-lobe neurons.

Learning is a process that requires proper nutrition and sleeping. The brain weighs just one-third of our body and consumes around 20 percent of our daily energy, making eating healthy an essential element of learning. Sleep enhances cognitive ability and performance, and sleeping insufficiently can affect our capacity to keep focus or vigilance. It’s been established that lack of sleep can influence decision-making and flexibility.

These biological facts can be utilized to alter the school’s start times and lunch programs, recess hours, and the duration of recess. Teachers can assist students in understanding the importance of sleeping and provide suggestions for promoting peace and building a favorable atmosphere for sleep. There is a way to implement healthy routines for eating and exercise in the classroom. Students will benefit from the latest information about how the brain and the body connect and learn functions. This can assist them in improving their academic performance and overall health.

Learning may also be facilitated or impaired by certain circumstances. Poor school facilities, inadequate classroom lighting, the noise outside, and deficiencies make for poor academic performance. Chairs that are not supported enough can hinder circulation to brain cells, leading to cognitive issues. Temperatures of 74-77°F are linked to lower maths scores and lower comprehension. Learning is improved by creating a welcoming atmosphere that can meet the body’s physical requirements.

6. To make learning more effective, the brain requires repeating and multichannel processing.

The way we live our lives is determined by curiosity, the need to explore and discover new things. Dopamine and opioids increase the brain’s pleasure chemicals and reward the desire to be curious. The brain is wired to be attentive to changes in the environment. They also learn best when we take brief breaks. Teachers should ensure that students are focused each 5-10 minutes and shift their attention to different subjects.

Learning is about strengthening neural connections. Neuroscientists believe repetition is a method to help in the process of education. However, the lack of exposure and repetition could cause a decline in the quality of learning. To enhance learning, teachers should be careful to repeat the most important aspects of their lessons.

Multichannel learning is a way to engage all neural networks’ memory systems. This is because visual sensory and semantic neural networks all have memory systems. The visual memory of our brains is amazing, and the written or spoken word coupled with visual data leads to more recall. Learning is more universal by organising it across all emotional, sensory, and cognition networks.

7. Learning is affected by fear and stress.

Our brains have been formed through evolution, causing us to become cautious and afraid when it’s not even remotely helpful. Fear can cause us to become less competitive as the amygdala is activated and hinders prefrontal function, a component of the anxiety response. Stress can also prevent us from exploring, make the mind more rigid, and result in “neophobia,” which is the fear of trying new things. Chronic stress can cause issues in our ability to learn and may even affect the health of our bodies.

Students’ capacity and ability to lower stress levels are key aspects of their success in school. Implementing stress management techniques in the educational curriculum is an easy application of neuroscience in education. This will increase learning, emotional well-being, and physical well-being. Teachers can improve the neuroplasticity of their students and improve learning through their positive attitude, compassion, empathy, and warmth.

8. We look at the actions of others, but not ourselves. 

The projection of power is the ultimate power

Brains have been wired by nature to detect the moods and behaviors of other people. The processing of this information is intricate and quick and influences our perception of others milliseconds before they are aware of them. Our brains automatically form an idea of other people’s thoughts, informing our thoughts regarding their motivations, motives, and the next steps. We believe that we are aware of other people’s thoughts but cannot discern our motives and weaknesses.

You can learn how you think about yourself and develop your empathy by taking your thoughts about other people and testing them to see how they feel. Students can use simple exercises that help them discern what they think about others and open the door to self-awareness and empathy. To help students get an objective understanding of their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, teachers could instruct them to research the life of historical characters as well as the feelings of movies.

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