The outlook for educators around the globe currently is multifaceted. Every day they encounter the new challenge of engaging learners who are diverse from those of the earlier times and do not rejoin the same stimuli.
Educators and scientists have long recognized that teaching, learning, and brain function are convolutedly allied.
But until recently, the turfs of education and neuroscience have endured isolation with only periodic efforts to discover prospects for premeditated cooperation. The alliance amid educators and neuroscientists gives an upsurge to an already emergent discipline known as neuroeducation.
This evolving field mergers the collective specialisms of neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, and education to improve teaching methods and curricula and to seize the attention of the learner, it has provided new tools to recognize in what manner the human brain functions during learning and have established the persistent growth of new neural connections and thought patterns throughout life, which means the brain is flexible and all humans involved in a continuously refining learning process. This is where neurodidactics come into play.
NeuroDidactics is the set of disciplines and Teaching methodologies/ pedagogies that helps us understand how the brain learns. This fusion of neuroscience, psychology and pedagogy is fundamental to understanding this methodological change in learning or the facets of neural development that influence learning. Along with using this knowledge to create new practices and procedures in a classroom and to optimize the teaching-learning process. NeuroDidactics aim to integrate the curiosity, attention and emotions of learners.
Teaching and learning are two progressions that are indistinguishably associated and that are mutually conditioned.
Learning involves vigorously treating, storing, and retrieving the received information, and teaching essentially facilitates learners so that they can suitably advance their skills to process information and analytically apply their skills to solve problems of life.
The methodological model based on NeuroDidactics includes learning experiences, The theory of multiple intelligences, the principle of uncertainty, the construction of knowledge, Cooperative learning, project-based Learning, the assessment for customized learning, Creativity as design thinking, and the personalization of learning.
We are provided not only with cognitive abilities but with affective and psychomotor capabilities which come from our brain that is dynamic, unique and uses the active construction of learning. Human brains are social brains and are designed for “gist” processing with malleable memory. Despite constituting two percent of our body mass, it requires 20 percent of our energetic needs.
It holds approximately 86 billion neurons which can establish about 10,000 connections or synapses each. This leads us to a new notion of learning as our brain is continuously creating new synapses rendering to the stimuli and varying settings.
Each hemisphere of our brain comprises four lobes with unlike functions. The occipital lobe is related to visual processes, the temporal lobe to auditory processes, and it contains the hippocampus and the Wernicke’s area, which are basic for memory and language processes.
Besides, neurochemical systems have diverse abilities to influence learning and memory as dopamine will help us have a motivated learner, serotonin will be present in a happy learner whereas we could find low noradrenaline levels in a distracted learner or acetylcholine in bored learners listening to traditional class.
Thus, neurotransmitters, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, are vital to retaining the attention of learners once the information has arrived at the prefrontal lobes, where executive functions take place. The principles of neurodidactica tell us that the brain does much better with learning if it is fun, spontaneous, creative, active, respectful of sensitive intervals and takes optimistic emotions into account.
Emotions play a critical role in learners’ motivation, and cognitive strategies such as acquisition, storage, and recovery of the learners’ information and, therefore, in learning and academic achievement prospective emotions are directly connected to outcomes, such as good marks or parents’ and teachers’ appreciation leading to positive intrinsic motivation.
While, retrospective emotions such as joy for the results, sadness, shame, pride, disappointment or anger have to assess purposes to develop extrinsic motivation, Moreover, there are pertinent contextual basics in motivation to consider such as a respectful teacher, positive relationships vital elements to guarantee significant learning and maintain their attention, wakefulness and alertness, because when a stimulus is positive for learners, dopamine appears and encourages them to set in motion.
Thus, neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and noradrenaline are released holding their attention until they get their reward.
Henceforth, learning a language must be a gratifying practice in a positive learning environment. For this reason, organized vigilant planning of learning situations is vital. Planning given learners’ competencies, abilities, and limitations, the previous knowledge on which to build the new concepts and linking the contents to their interests and experiences helps to encourage them to continue learning a language.
Once optimistic relations with the language have been created, using energetic activities including movement to stimulate their prefrontal brain area at the beginning of the class in which they mainly socially interact.
The educator must plan to guarantee the learners’ achievement by offering striking activities in which learners will be active participants, such as problem-solving and group activities to boost enriching cooperative learning.
The educator must keep various factors into account for students to receive and manipulate knowledge and participate in their learning processes, The first is creating a positive classroom environment. Moreover, the closeness and empathy of teachers with learners make a vast modification.
If teachers can give off a positive attitude to their students, a great deal of their work will be done. Classrooms must be free of unnecessary stress, as this is detrimental to learning. Low levels of stress can stimulate and motivate students, and they will be able to manage it.
Emotions and memory are linked. If educators can form emotional connections with the topics they’re teaching, this will facilitate learning. The use of videos, images, music and happenings related to their experiences is additional means of neurodidactics.
They stimulate learners’ senses, allowing for a more rounded learning experience. An educator must plan to guarantee the learners’ achievement by offering striking activities in which learners will be active participants, such as problem-solving and group activities to boost enriching cooperative learning.
Furthermore, an educator must bring learners out of their comfort zones by creating small challenges and acting as a guide to help learners analyze slip ups and show them their positive expectations about their learning process to help them manage the stress that could arise during the process.
Along with this, awakening their curiosity will bring their attention, for example using new technologies to present some information, using a story or an anecdote or setting real examples.
At home, there are varied ways through which parents can reinforce learning. First of all, they can encourage positive self-esteem in their children, which will favour learning in any environment. At the same time, creativity is important. If parents assist children in the application of their acquired knowledge, they’ll contribute meaningfully to the learning process.
The parent should ensure their children get adequate rest, which also contributes to academic performance. Nine hours of uninterrupted and restorative sleep is vital for the learner. Parents must encourage physical activity to activate and oxygenate the brain of their children.
Educators and parents must realize the ten most effective tips for using Neurodidactics in Teaching & Learning, one physical activity, recess, and voluntary movement in the classroom or learning space reduce stress, promote neurogenesis and stimulate learning. Two, learners’ social conditions influence their school life and academic performance.
Three, the brain is a malleable organ, so one can induce neurogenesis through the development of cognitive and emotional skills like literacy, meditation, artistic training, and enriching environments. Four, acute and chronic stress have a negative impact on behaviour and learning. Five, each brain is exclusive and diverse in its mellowing. A varied education must be offered according to the skills, talents, and interests of each student. Six, the excess of content and longer teaching times drench working memory, as a result, it makes memory processes and learning difficult.
Seven, artistic training has a positive influence on learning and on emotional and social-cognitive skills. Eight, emotions influence learning and the school must teach the appropriate emotional and social skills to improve learners’ academic performance.
Nine, learning disorders and delays can be amended, and even overcome, by the brain’s malleability if apt remedial education programs are used. Ten, Memory is not fixed but malleable. Remembering what has been learned requires continuous practice and review of contents.
To understand and use NeuroDidactics as a pedagogy of generation alpha and beta, Educators must Study brain development because Neuroeducation strategies dominate new-age classrooms. Notably, neuroeducation inspires freedom and autonomy in learning. Rather than rely on the educator for all learning experiences, learners discover how to be self-regulated and take ownership of their educational objectives and outcomes.
They learn how to prioritize their assignments, manage their time, and work with others. Created from intensive research in neuroscience and behavioural psychology, neuroeducation addresses the needs of children holistically. It provides academic and behavioural support as well as customized intervention when needed.
The author is Senior Academic Officer at J&K SCERT
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.