Neuroscience for Teachers

Applying research evidence from brain science

By: Richard Churches , Eleanor Dommett , Ian Devonshire


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Size: 222 x 182mm

Pages : 280

ISBN: 9781785831836

Format: Paperback

Published: September 2017


Expertly unpacks, in an easy-to-read and instantly useable way, what every teacher needs to know about the brain and how we really learn – and what that suggests for how they should teach.

Foreword by Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE.

Everyone is curious about the brain – including your learners! Not only can knowing more about the brain be a powerful way to understand what happens when your pupils – and, of course, you – pick up new knowledge and skills, but it can also offer a theoretical basis for established or new classroom practice. And as the field of neuroscience uncovers more of nature's secrets about the way we learn – and further augments what we already know about effective teaching – this book advocates more efficient pedagogies rooted in a better understanding and application of neuroscience in education.

By surveying a wide range of evidence in specific areas such as metacognition, memory, mood and motivation, the teenage brain and how to cater for individual differences, Neuroscience for Teachers shares relevant, up-to-date information to provide a suitable bridge for teachers to transfer the untapped potential of neuroscientific findings into practical classroom approaches. The key issues, challenges and research are explained in clear language that doesn't assume a prior level of knowledge on the topic that would otherwise make it inaccessible – therefore enabling more teachers to better comprehend the lessons from neuroscience – while the authors also take care to expose the ways in which 'neuromyths' can arise in education in order to help them avoid these pitfalls.

Laid out in an easy-to-use format, each chapter features: 'Research Zones' highlighting particular pieces of research with a supplementary insight into the area being explored; 'Reflection' sections that give you something to think about, or suggest something you might try out in the classroom; and concluding 'Next steps' that outline how teachers might incorporate the findings into their own practice. The authors have also included a glossary of terms covering the book's technical vocabulary to aid the development of teachers' literacy in the field of neuroscience.

Packed with examples and research-informed tips on how to enhance personal effectiveness and improve classroom delivery, Neuroscience for Teachers provides accessible, practical guidance supported by the latest research evidence on the things that will help your learners to learn better.

Suitable for LSAs, NQTs, teachers, middle leaders, local authority advisers and anyone working with learners.

Contents include:

1. Neuroscience in the classroom – principles and practice: getting started

2. Learning and remembering: attention, learning and memory

3. Metacognition: why it pays to teach your pupils how to think about how they think

4. Emotions and learning: classroom climate, stress and motivation

5. The individual in the classroom: what neuroscience can tell us about different abilities and some special educational needs in the classroom

6. The adolescent brain: why teenagers behave like teenagers

7. Surprises from cognitive psychology and neuroscience: why making things more difficult and less enjoyable for students in the short term can enhance long-term learning

8. Concluding remarks: developing your scientific literacy and understanding of controlled research


Picture for author Richard Churches

Richard Churches

Dr Richard Churches has been an advanced skills teacher, a senior manager in challenging inner-city schools, a government adviser, an education consultant and the lead adviser for education reform and evidence-based practice at Education Development Trust. He has led many major policy initiatives in England and across the world, and is currently programme director for the DfE Future Teaching Scholars programme. His doctoral research was experimental and explored areas of charismatic leadership associated with altered states of consciousness.

Clinical trials' approach to research to see what works best for students. You can read Dr Richard Churches full article from Education Development Trust here.


Picture for author Eleanor Dommett

Eleanor Dommett

Dr Eleanor Dommett is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology and Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, part of King's College London. Her research focuses on models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and mechanisms of action of therapeutic drugs in this condition. She has conducted research at Sheffield University, Oxford University and the Open University and has taught at a variety of institutions. She is currently teaching on the BSc Psychology at King's and has a special interest in technology-enhanced learning.


Picture for author Ian Devonshire

Ian Devonshire

Dr Ian Devonshire is a neuroscientist and lecturer who has spearheaded a range of innovative, inter-disciplinary research projects involving universities, schools, private companies, charities and the government. Ian has worked in research laboratories at the Universities of Oxford and Sheffield and is currently based at Nottingham University Medical School whilst also holding an associate lectureship at the Open University. 


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