This quick video gives us some insight into how the brain works to recall stored information. Knowing this, you can use some researched backed techniques to help you recall important information that get stored in certain parts of your brain.
It highlights the importance of connecting a topic to something meaningful or your own personal emotional experience in order for the subject to make deeper meaning and remain in your long term memory.
Journal week one
Reflecting on reading chapters 1 -4 from course textbook: Student Engagement Techniques by Elizabeth Barkley
A passage that spoke to me:
Emotions impact learning in two distinct ways: the emotional climate in which learning occurs and the degree to which emotions are associated with the learning content. A positive learning climate, in which students feel comfortable, have a sense of rapport with their teacher and their peers, and believe they can be successful, leads to endorphins in the blood, which in turn give feelings of euphoria and stimulates the frontal lobes. A negative environment, in which students feel dumb, disrespected, or disconnected, leads to cortisol in the blood, which results in raised anxiety and refocuses frontal lobes to fight or flight (Sousa, p. 84). In terms of learning content, students are more likely to remember material in which they have made an emotional investment. This is why many teachers try to help students care about what they are learning by using simulations, role playing, journal writing, and relating what students are learning to real-world experiences.
Sousa, D. A. (2006). How the brain learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
Objective: Looking at this passage, the importance of creating a positive, safe and engaging learning environment is highlighted. I need the scientific reasons behind “why” within most of my daily activities and the reference to chemicals created in the blood stream answers that for me. Numerous examples exist where someone is belittled and then given a task, their failure is almost guaranteed; yet when same individual is given positive and encouraging thoughts, the motivation and success towards task completion is increased. We tend to focus on learners mistakes without paying attention to how the learner reacts to our criticisms. Perhaps working on fostering the learner towards success can be more beneficial to both parties.
Reflective: Having seen some examples of poor teaching techniques, I have made it my personal mission towards creating learning environments that reflect the needs of the learners. The best learning environments that I have been in as a learner all included an element of being leaner centered classrooms. Courses and assignments were altered to enhance engagement and create greater comprehension of the course material. This also led to greater educator satisfaction by taking away the frustrations arising from learner behavioral issues. A greater classroom community also evolves centered around this positive and engaging learning environment. Perhaps one that continues outside the learning environment and encompasses the group of learners personal lives as well.
Interpretive: I believe that as human beings, we are all equal. Treating each other with respect in the classroom creates this equal environment. I have seen colleges where the professor is held in high regards and in most cases is unreachable by the learners. This cannot be a healthy environment, leaners simply go there and get data-filled with no interaction on the subject matter. It makes sense to have speakers with no engagement in speaking venues, but not in a learning environments.
I suppose trying to reach out to all your learners can be a daunting task and sometimes impossible given time constraints, but this should be the exception, not the normal rule.
Decisional: I will be taking over a class in the near future where the students have been labelled challenged. I will not work with this group of learners in the same manner as their previous instructors, I have had the luxury of learning the challenges from previous instructors and will create a lesson plan that still meets the outcomes of the course while creating a positive learning environment for the learners. I will be teaching automatic transmission theory to this group of learners, we have our typical worksheets that the learners fill out. I have a tough time with the sheets myself. My plan is to create an atmosphere where the learners can reflect on their learning through other means, hopefully choosing one that speaks to them. I would love it if they made audio or video presentations on their learning and application of the newly learned theories. Maybe some of those presentations will end up on a website that the learners can reflect on for years to come.
Stay tuned - updates on the experiment to follow...