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Posted By: Cliff Cockerham on April 30, 2004
Is there anything you can cut and paste into the message space (as opposed to sending me to the library:) that outlines the elements of Brain-based learning for 12-14 yoa.

I ask because what I have seen has been sufficiently non-specific to seem like a repackaging of what has long been known...

For example, the brain of some kids learn better with movement... so build movement into the lesson plan. That's not new enough to make a difference in what is already known.

I have seen NUMEROUS vague references to the idea that new neural pathways are forming in the adolescent brain, but I have never seen anything specific outside of discussions of sexual drives.

I am looking for something "new," concrete and helpful like:
"the adolescent brain at at 11 cannot connect truly comprehend the concept of the atom since it is too abstract for the neural pathways that are there. Around age 12, a majority of kids start to develop the pathways for grasping unimaginably small scale and are responsive to the analogy of changes in order of magnitude if you can refer to driving distance.... so, if an atom is the size of your finger and you lay the atoms in a cubic millimeter (which you can put in someone's hand) end to end at this bigger size, you could reach from here to the state capitol and back 42 times."

By the way, I didn't check the numbers in my "ideal" example above... I am LOOKING for something this specific... not trying to do the math myself! That said, I have seen a reference that says that kids CANNOT grasp the atom at age 10-13 and it is a waste of time to teach it... leading to deeply "learned" misconceptions that prevent accurate learning when they reach the right developmental stage to grasp the idea. The research based observation is particularly frustrating since state and local standards mandate teaching and high stakes testing on the concept at this age!

Thanks - Cliff
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 Faculty Development & Brain-based Learning by Kathy Overstreet on April 22, 2004
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