In an excerpt from his new book, psychologist Louis Cozolino applies the lessons of social neuroscience to the classroom.
The human brain wasn’t designed for industrial education.
It was shaped over millions of years of sequential adaptation in response to ever-changing environmental demands. Over time, brains grew in size and complexity; old structures were conserved and new structures emerged. As we evolved into social beings, our brains became incredibly sensitive to our social worlds.
If we are going to move forward, we will have to admit that a one-size-fits-all model of education is doomed to fail the majority of students and teachers.
Here are nine scientific insights that educators might want to keep in mind.
1. The brain is a social organ.
2. We have two brains.
3. Early learning is powerful.
4. Conscious awareness and unconscious processing occur at different speeds, often simultaneously.
5. The mind, brain, and body are interwoven.
6. The brain has a short attention span and needs repetition and multiple-channel processing for deeper learning to occur.
7. Fear and stress impair learning.
8. We analyze others but not ourselves: the primacy of projection.
9. Learning is enhanced by emphasizing the big picture—and then allowing students to discover the details for themselves.
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