• Question: It's great that so much more information is coming out with regards learning and the brain but if we can't get students to access it or believe in it, what's the point? That sounds very defeatist and I know change takes time...

    Asked by mrgsimpson to Michael, Kathrin, Joe, Iroise, Ian, Emma, Andy on 22 Apr 2015.
    • Photo: Iroise Dumontheil

      Iroise Dumontheil answered on 22 Apr 2015:

      Yes maybe this is too defeatist, for example the work done on growth mindsets seems to show positive effects.

      See the answer to this other question:

      There’s a lot of talk about growth mindset in education at the moment. I’m pretty sure there’s something in it, but to

    • Photo: Joseph Devlin

      Joseph Devlin answered on 22 Apr 2015:

      Hi MrG,
      I take your point, though. I mean, neuroscience sometimes talks a good game but it’s not always so clear what impact it has and whether the impact actually results in improvements in attainment in schools. Personally I think the hype is a bit over the top. To my mind, there are areas where the science is clear and it could/should influence teaching and policy. These include the benefits of both testing and exercise on learning, the differences in sleep cycles in adolescents, and the benefits of engaging reward during learning. Other things seem to offer potential but maybe aren’t close enough to actually help students and teachers in the classroom. For instance, lots of what we know about the mechanics of learning in the brain at a cellular level seem pretty far removed from education practice still. Hopefully by engaging in dialogues like these, those of us on the neuroscience end will gain a better appreciation of what teachers need and would like to know about. In return, I hope we can offer a bit more information about what is and is not yet known and how strong the evidence is. Mostly I hope we can develop bilateral contacts that last beyond this particular event and generate lasting dialogues. I know that’s long-term but I guess that’s my most un-defeatist answer 😉