Why Teachers Should Be Required to Study Brain Science
NEUROSCIENCE | April 9, 2020
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Experts in the Mind, Brain and Education field have called for teachers to receive more instruction in the way that students learn, BUT…
“Neuromyths” and why our teachers need better teachers
Equipping our teachers with the best tools to teach our future generations
The core issue we seek to address today is why teachers should be required to learn brain science. We at DMA understand why it’s important. It’s a huge part of what we deal with everyday. But we want to give other fellow teachers and parents some insight into why it’s important beyond what may occur as obvious.
Experts in the Mind, Brain and Education Field have been calling for teachers to receive more mandatory instruction in the way that students learn. They want to make brain science a prerequisite for any students looking to graduate into the field of education. The main roadblock is that currently only a few universities in the U.S. offer educational neuroscience to aspiring teachers. You’re probably asking yourself, why and how is that possible? The easy answer is a lack of resources and a misallocation of what resources we do have. A lot of people question whether it’s a worthy use of time and resources to put programs in place that help train teachers on the inner workings of the brain.
Rather than fight back with evidence to support our belief or opinion on the matter, we thought it would be more productive to reveal the results of a neutral experiment that acts as one example of the disconnect between teachers and what they are being taught as “important practice.” Many teachers haven’t adapted to the facts of research and still ascribe to what could now be referred to as debunked “neuromyths.”
In a 2017 study in Frontiers in Psychology that surveyed nearly 600 educators, about 70% endorsed the idea that students have different learning "styles," like visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning.
50% of the teachers said that some people are "left-brained" while others are "right-brained," and that this distinction affects learning
Research has shown that there isn't evidence to support learning styles or the theory that people favor different sides of their brains.
Per the Dept. of Psychology at the University of California (along with professors from University of California, San Diego, Washington University in St. Louis, University of South Florida and University of California, Los Angeles) - “We conclude therefore, that at present, there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice. Thus, limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have a strong evidence base, of which there are an increasing number.”
Authored by Professors at the Universities of Utah and Wisconsin - “It has been conjectured that individuals may be left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant based on personality and cognitive style, but neuroimaging data has not provided clear evidence whether such phenotypic differences in the strength of left-dominant or right-dominant networks exist.”
In conclusion 50-70% of the teachers interviewed for this particular study were wrong. And that isn’t the teachers’ fault. It’s the fault of poor systems and poor education for those studying to become teachers and step into the world of nurturing and developing our youth. We need to prepare and equip them properly so that they can go out and do their job as best as possible. Giving them the best tools to succeed includes equipping them with technology, the most up to date research and the most effective teaching concepts.
This is why teachers should be required to study brain science. The data and feedback this new technology allows for can help us cater to the learning capabilities at an individual level, seeing improvement in not just how a child learns, but how their brain communicates.
Educating our youth is vital to our future and if we can’t educate or equip our teacher’s properly now, then how can we expect anything different for our youth?