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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Five myths about learning

Meris Stansbury, Online Editor writes, "In today’s news, a Princeton professor explains 5 common myths about learning-misconceptions about children and learning based on current brain research. Also, Chicago teachers have agreed to return to the classroom. The new contract has a longer school day and a new teacher evaluation system."
Neuroscience offers an exciting glimpse into how the human brain develops and changes over time. And while theories on the brain and its development abound, brain research can help to clear up a handful of myths about how students learn and develop.
Photo: eSchool News
The human brain—a biological organ that weighs about 3 pounds—develops as a result of a combination of the genetic program children inherit from both of their parents. Out of about 70 watts of power, the human brain uses only about 15—similar to what an idling laptop or the light inside a refrigerator use.
The typical 8-year-old child uses about half of his or her body’s energy to run the brain. It is an efficient device, but one that uses a lot of energy, said Sam Wang, an associate professor of neuroscience in Princeton University’s Department of Molecular Biology. Wang, also of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, has co-authored two books about the human brain.
“The brain is always changing,” Wang said during a Sept. 12 webinar. View the Webinar"5 Myths About Learning"
For instance, a 6-year-old child who is reading initially uses regions that are distributed across both sides of the brain. As the child grows older, those brain regions cluster over to the left side of the brain in most people.
Wang addressed five myths about learning, using brain research to refute commonly-held but incorrect assumptions.
About Sam Wang, Ph.D
Sam Wang, Ph.D., is an associate professor, Department of Molecular Biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. He is the author, with Sandra Aamodt, of Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life and Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College.
Dr. Wang has published over fifty articles on the brain in leading scientific journals and has received numerous awards. He gives public lectures on a regular basis and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and the Fox News Channel.

Source: eSchool News