Thursday, December 8, 2011

Learning and the Brain

In teacher education programs like the one at St. Mike's, we talk a lot about how the brain works. It's important for future teachers to have a sense of the role the brain plays in learning. Howard Gardner, for example describes seven different types of intelligences in his Multiple Intelligence Theory. Eric Jensen also describes ways in which the brain works in his series of books, Teaching with the Brain in Mind.

But in all the years I've been teaching I have never come across a piece of research quite like this. In London (UK), taxi cab drivers are required to learn "The Knowledge" and pass rigorous tests before they can operate a taxi-cab. Researchers have discovered that adult brains still retain some of the plasticity more commonly associated with young chidlren.

This is good news indeed for those of us beginning to wonder if we are getting too old to learn new things. 

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