I recently read an interesting blog entry about a course offered at Johns Hopkins University called Mind, Brain, and Teaching, given by Mariale Hardiman, author of the book, The Brain Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools.
In the post the author talks about the Brain Targeted Teaching Model (BTTM), which espouses six stages of teaching and learning processes, which are (and this is only the treetops here): establishing an emotional climate for learning; creating the physical learning environment; designing the learning experience; teaching for mastery of content, skills and concepts; teaching for the extension and application of knowledge; and, evaluating learning. If that isn’t a truckload of scientific drivel, I don’t know what is.
The truth is, learning is all about keeping the learner engaged, no matter what age or level of education. Way back when (in the 70s and 80s in my personal experience), teaching was all about the relationship between the teacher and pupil. Where I grew up, good teachers were fewer and farther between, especially by the time I got to high school. By then, the sense of “I don’t give a crap” coming from my educators was so strong, that I fell into the same rut they were in. It’s no surprise that I didn’t really excel at school until I returned to it later on in life. And, the fear element was greater then than it is today. I can remember cowering in fear from some of my teachers; third and fifth grades stand out in my mind. Today, in many academic settings, the roles have been reversed.
While studying the brain is a worthwhile endeavor, when it comes to learning all bets are off. Now, we have to embrace all different types of educational tools in order to engage the average student. There is so much more visual stimulation today than there was when I was a student that teachers are lost when it comes to motivating their charges. What’s the answer? Well, there is no clear-cut solution at the moment, but what helps is embracing quality online coursework to supplement the classroom experience. That goes not only for K through 12 students, but for adults in the workplace looking to further their careers.We’ve all been blessed with access to a plethora of technology, and it makes sense to use it for more than video gaming and online shopping. Unfortunately, the quality of the educational tools currently available varies greatly, to the point were getting an education requires a significant amount of homework before the real work begins.
Don’t get me wrong – I applaud the study of the brain; but we all need to grow and learn at every available opportunity. As our brains mature, so do we as people. And to do that, we always have to keep the educational journey in mind.
If you’ve been on a “questionable” educational journey recently, we want to hear about it. Then, if you want to see what quality online learning looks like (no brain scan necessary), visit Coggno.com.