Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Multimillion-Pound Brain Fund Set Up To Stop Teachers Buying Into Neuroscience Myths

Jan 7 2014, 1:56pm CST | by

10 Updates
Multimillion-Pound Brain Fund Set Up To Stop Teachers Buying Into Neuroscience Myths
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

Comments

Full Story

Multimillion-Pound Brain Fund Set Up To Stop Teachers Buying Into Neuroscience Myths

Neuroscience is full of urban myths that have latched on to the collective consciousness and stuck there. It’s not just the obvious ones like the old saw that “humans only use ten per cent of their brains at a time” – myths about how sleep loss or drinking lots of water affects the brain are often taken at face value, even in schools.

To try to kick myths out of the classroom and reconnect education with neuroscience, the UK’s Wellcome Trust and Education Endowment Foundation has launched a £6m fund to gather evidence-based research into just how schoolchildren’s brains learn. The Trust has warned that teachers may be wasting public money and resources on educational tools or methods that don’t have a strong scientific basis.

“Schools could be spending resources and teacher time on activities that aren’t beneficial – and it’s also possible that some of them are directly detrimental,” Dr Hilary Leevers, head of education and learning at the Wellcome Trust said at a briefing.

“It’s really important that teachers start looking for stronger evidence in any activities they do, but particularly in those that say they’re based upon neuroscience, because our scoping work really suggests that there’s very little evidence currently for interventions based upon neuroscience having impact on educational outcomes.”

Leevers explained that although neuroscience was continuously advancing our understanding of the brain, there was very little work done on applying that knowledge to the classroom.

“There might be some exploration of particular ways of presenting information that make people learn better, but it’s very rare that anybody’s actually tested that in a classroom setting,” she said. “[Even] if they’ve reached that step, they haven’t actually then tried to do it as a large trial that could tell us if it would benefit education across the country.

“It isn’t to say that all of those things don’t work, we just don’t know if they do or not.”

All sorts of ideas can catch on in schools, like playing music to pupils to help them learn or teaching students in their own “learning style”, but despite the fact that it’s unclear if these methods work, teachers are embracing them wholesale.

“Teachers have a very enthusiastic attitude towards the brain, but there’s no neuroscience in teacher training at the moment and that makes teachers a little bit vulnerable to the very skilled approaches of entrepreneurs in selling products that are supposedly brain-based but actually are not very scientific in their basis and have not been properly evaluated in the classroom,” warned Dr Paul Howard-Jones, a leading expert on the role of neuroscience in educational practice and policy at the University of Bristol.

“Perhaps the outstanding example is “learning styles”, which is [the idea] that we have regions of the brain that are associated with auditory or kinaesthetic or other modes of perception and some people may have preferences in one region or another and therefore you should teach to somebody’s learning style,” he explained. “But there’s no psychological evidence for it, no convincing educational evidence and in fact the brain is so massively interconnected that the whole idea doesn’t really make sense.

“Nevertheless, I know from my own research – a cohort of trainees that I surveyed – just before they were going off into schools, over 80 per cent of them believed that you should teach to a student’s learning style.”

Howard-Jones said there was work going on in neuroscience at the moment that could really help children to learn, such as the discovery of a “sort of instinct about numbers” that humans share with animals that could completely change how mathematics is taught or greater understanding of how games can be linked to learning.

Before cutting edge research makes it into schools however, it needs to be rigorously tested.

“You can’t go directly from brain scan to lesson plan,” he said.

The newly launched fund aims to connect neuroscientists, psychologists, educators and other stakeholders to projects like systematic testing of different school start times or lesson lengths to give strong evidential support for education tools or methodologies. The Foundation also hopes that  improved understanding of the brain will help teachers to send the peddlers of fads and fakes packing.

Follow me on Twitter  and Google + .

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

Selangor’s Watergate about to explode

Source: Malaysia Today

LEBANON-SAMAHA-AZMI BISHARA-ISRAEL
Anwar brought Wan Azmi to meet Khalid to try to resolve this matter. Anwar supports the RM2.5 billion claim but Khalid is stubbornly sticking to the figure of RM250 m ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 4 hours ago
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Minister Datuk ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 6 days ago, 2:05am CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman D ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 1 week ago, 2:16am CDT
 

Update: 7

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putrajaya’s claims otherwise.. ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT
 

Update: 6

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the o ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 

Update: 5

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar.. ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

Update: 4

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake in Berjaya Times. ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 3

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz exa ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Update: 2

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest following intervention from a... REA ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT
 

Update: 1

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an official sai ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Weird Al sits down with Larry King
Weird Al sits down with Larry King
Weird Al Yankovic is back big time. His new album is under the top 10 in iTunes.
 
 
Tim Cook is hopeful regarding iPad Sales
Tim Cook is hopeful regarding iPad Sales
Tim Cook recently spoke in an interview about how he was hopeful regarding the popularity of the iPad.
 
 
You Are Being Tracked Online By A Sneaky New Technology: Canvas Fingerprinting
You Are Being Tracked Online By A Sneaky New Technology: Canvas Fingerprinting
You are likely being tracked online by a sneaky, new technology that works without your consent, and can track you even if you use anti-tracking toolbars or strict privacy settings. How is this possible? Historically,...
 
 
The Hottest Bikini Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015
The Hottest Bikini Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015 took place in Miami Beach, Florida this week and we have the hottest bikini photos from the runway for you. See the gallery below.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind


Read more about The Geek Mind.