If I were 30 years younger, I would enter the field of psychoneuroimmunology … but, I’m not 30 years younger, so I must content myself with reading books for lay people on the role of the brain in learning and behaviour. In the last year, I have read three books that I think all educators would benefit from reading.
From an educator’s perspective, these books are beneficial for a number of reasons:
1) they illustrate why active learning deepens learning;
2) they reveal why learning is a complicated process that doesn’t happen overnight;
3) they support what we have always suspected: multi-tasking while learning inhibits deep learning;
4) they can help us understand some student behaviour such as why some students engage in what we might perceive of as adversarial behaviour while they are learning or why others are anxious learners;
5) they offer strategies that we can employ when working with students.
While we’ve always known that the brain was involved in learning, the research in these books shows how the brain changes when we learn.
The Brain That Changes Itself
Norman Doidge, M.D.
The Art of Changing the Brain
James E. Zull
Change Your Brain Change Your Life
Daniel G. Amen, M.D.