Natural Learning for a Connected World: Education, Technology, and the Human Brain

Natural Learning for a Connected World: Education, Technology, and the Human Brain


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Why do video games fascinate kids so much that they will spend hours pursuing a difficult skill? Why don't they apply this kind of intensity to their schoolwork? These questions are answered by the authors who pioneered brain/mind learning with the publication of Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Caine and Caine build a bridge to the future of education with a dynamic model of teaching that works for all grade levels and all cultural and ethnic groups.

Book Features:

Describes an approach for integrating technology into teaching that will help all students learn with greater depth and ease.

Synthesizes research from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, biology, and education.

Contrasts the ways in which video games are designed with the way students are taught in school, demonstrating traditional education's inconsistencies with how the brain learns best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807751909
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 7.25(w) x 10.24(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Joseph Chilton Pearce xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

Part I Two Fundamentally Different Views of Learning

1 Who and What Are Educating Our Children? 7

Two Competing Worlds 8

Introduction to How People Learn Naturally 15

2 How Is Technology Impacting the World of Traditional Education? 17

Which System of Education Is Winning? 19

Tensions Generated by Introducing Technology Into Formal Education 19

Rescuing the Future 22

Resolving the Problem of Technology Can Give Life to the Other Purposes of Education 23

3 What Are the Powerful Beliefs About Learning and Teaching That Keep Education Frozen in Place? 25

Memes: Ideas that Govern Themselves 26

Where Do We Go from Here? 35

4 What Do Students Need in Order to Successfully Prepare for the Future? 36

What Does Education Need to Accomplish? An Emerging Consensus 36

The Executive Functions of the Human Brain 41

What Does This Mean for Education? 42

Part II What is Natural About Learning?

5 The Perception/Action Dynamic: The Foundation for Learning from Life 49

The Perception/Action Dynamic 49

The Perception/Action Dynamic in Adolescence 55

The Perception/Action Cycle 56

6 The Science Behind the Perception/Action Cycle 61

The Organization of the Brain Through the Lens of Perception and Action 62

How the Cortex Develops 63

An Example That Blends Life and Science 66

The Central Role of Questions and Decision Making 70

7 Perception/Action Learning 74

Goal-Directed Perception/Action Learning 74

Divergent Paths in Teaching 78

8 Goals and Outcomes: Building Rich Neural Networks Requires Real-World Knowledge 83

Knowledge Networks 84

Qualities of Knowledge Networks 87

Schools Versus Videotech 91

The Challenge for Education 92

9 Side by Side: Traditional and Perception/Action Learning 94

Traditional Instruction 95

Perception/Action Learning 97

What Changes with the Perception/Action Learning Approach? 101

Part III The Body/Mind Connection

10 Motivation: The Engine That Drives Perception/Action Learning 107

Just What Is Motivation? 108

What Motivates Students Intrinsically? 110

What are the Indicators of Intrinsic Motivation in the Lives of Students? 113

Extrinsic Motivation Rules in Traditional Education 114

How is Perception/Action Learning Different? 118

11 The Optimal State of Mind for Learning 119

Mind States 120

The Brain's Two Opposing Tendencies-The High Road and the Low Road 122

What Does a Positive Mind State Look Like in a Class or School? 131

Next Steps and a Word of Caution 132

12 How the System Engages the Low Road 134

The Big Picture 134

Ways in Which the System Induces the Low Road 137

Does Everything About Traditional Education Induce the Low Road? 143

13 Working with Biological Predispositions 146

A Map for Educators 147

The Low Road Revisited 154

Where to Begin? 158

14 How a Village, School, and Society Teach 159

The Biological Foundations of Social Learning 160

Implications for Education 165

Part IV The Guided Experience Approach

15 Implementing the Guided Experience Approach: The Three Critical Elements 173

Three Foundational Elements That Undergird the Guided Experience Approach 174

Two Running Examples 176

16 Relaxed Alertness 181

Organization and Structure at Bridgewater 182

The Philosophy and Culture of High Tech High 187

17 Orchestrated Immersion 190

Standards 190

The Phases 191

The Guided Experience Approach Expanded 192

How Bridgewater Strengthens the Guided Experience Approach 197

18 Active Processing 203

The Spirit of Process 203

Active Processing Fleshes Out and Enlivens the Guided Experience Approach 204

19 Window Into Tomorrow 210

Glossary 213

References 217

Index 231

About the Authors 241

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