Giving Compass' Take:

• Martha Burns, neuroscientist and associate professor at Northwestern University, discusses recent advances in educational neuroscience that are helping teachers understand the critical role and impact on students’ cognitive development. 

• How can more teachers access training on neuroscience and it's impact on students? What programs are available now? 

• Read about how using neuroscience launched a research-informed school schedule.

To understand how teachers change the brain, we need to begin with a reasonably new understanding of the biology of learning. The human brain is an experience-dependent organ. Throughout our lives, the cerebrum—the largest portion of our brain—fine-tunes itself to adapt to the world around us. The scientific term used to describe this is “neuroplasticity, ” which involves three processes.

  1. Proliferation is associated with brain building, and is highly dependent on childhood experiences like play, socialization and hearing stories read aloud.
  2. Pruning is another process involved in setting up the brain. Our efficient brains depend on eliminating connections that are not behaviorally relevant or useful.
  3. Consolidation is the third process occurring during early brain maturation, which helps us respond to things automatically, without thinking.

Read the full article about how teachers change children's brains by Martha Burns at EdSurge