Are Post-Secondary Institutions Academically Optimistic?

by Ken N. Meadows 

A colleague and I were recently discussing the first year student experience.  He wondered if some members of the university community might inadvertently be conveying to first year students that the university is pessimistic about their academic ability.  Specifically, my colleague wondered if emphasizing the probable drop in grades from high school to first-year University could be sending this unintentionally pessimistic message.  The actual message is undoubtedly intended to help students develop realistic expectations about their academic performance and support their academic self-efficacy but he wondered if that message could also be having this potentially negative consequence.

This conversation led me to do a preliminary literature search on institutional academic optimism.  As it turns out, Hoy and colleagues (e.g., Hoy, Tarter, & Woodfolk Hoy, 2006) have conducted considerable research on the academic optimism of primary and secondary schools in the United States.  They define academic optimism as a positive academic environment determined by three inter-related variables: academic emphasis (“the extent to which the school is driven by a quest for academic excellence”, p. 427), collective efficacy (“…judgment of teachers that the faculty as a whole can organize and execute the actions required to have a positive effect on the students”, p. 428), and faculty trust in students and parents (“…willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on the confidence that that party is benevolent, reliable, competent, honest, and open” p. 429).  They found that institutional academic optimism significantly predicts students’ academic performance over and above students’ previous academic performance and socio-economic status. 

Reading the work of Hoy and colleagues (2006) raised a plethora of questions for me.  Does the academic optimism concept apply to universities and colleges in Canada?   Is academic optimism predictive of students’ academic performance at the post-secondary level?  For large-scale institutions like colleges and universities, would the institution be the appropriate level of analysis or would the faculties’ or departments’ academic optimism be more predictive of student performance?  Would smaller teaching colleges and universities generally be more academically optimistic than their larger research-intensive counterparts?  Does setting realistic performance expectations for first year students have the unintended consequence of sending academically pessimistic messages about the institution?

As always, there are more questions than answers.  Of course, that is part of the reason that research is so exciting. 

What do you think?

Reference:

Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2006). Academic optimism of schools: A force for student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 43, 425-446.

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The View of the Future – Kim Holland

In the past, information (knowledge) and access to that information (knowledge), was very difficult and expensive. Libraries routinely chained the books to the shelves. Books were expensive to produce, because they had to be created one at a time. Access to books were restricted to a few locations and few could read the words scribed in them. To further compound this problem, knowledgeable people were equally restricted in number and location. Then something changed. The availability of books rapidly increased both in number of books and locations. That change was brought about by a new technology, the printing press. Imagine what those scribes thought seeing the printing press in action. A sense of wonder, bemusement, surprise, relief, fear, and loathing. ‘Oh my, I’m out of a job!’, I’m sure would have be heard. I can hear that scribe say, ‘but the printed words are so inferior to my carefully drawn words why would anyone want such a poor copy. It is just a cheap imitation of a real book. I add so much more value in the drawn letters and pictures.’

The printing press could make thousands of exact copies of a page of text or illustration very quickly. Where once a few books represented the lifetime work of a scribe, the printing press could turn out many more in the few days. This change reduced the cost and increased the access to books, and changed the education system both in its delivery and accessibility. Sometime technology can change everything.

That scribe witnessed profound change because the printing press set off not just change in the method of reproducing books but set in motion economy, political and societal change, that affected all human endeavor. It set the stage for the enlightenment of the human mind.
Today we have been a witness to another landslide of technological change only this time the rate of change is not only fast, it is indeed accelerating. As Ray Kurzweil states,

Exponential growth is seductive, starting out slowly and virtually unnoticeably, but beyond the knee of the curve it turns explosive and profoundly transformative. The future is widely misunderstood. Our forebears expected it to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty like their past. Exponential trends did exist one thousand years ago, but they were at that very early stage in which they were so flat and so slow that they looked like no trend at all As a result, observers’ expectation of an unchanged future was fulfilled. Today, we anticipate continuous technological progress and the social repercussions that follow. But the future will be far more surprising than most people realize, because few observers have truly internalized the implications of the fact that the rate of change itself is accelerating.
Kurzweil, Ray, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Viking Press, 2005, pg. 10-11.

We have constantly seen change in our lives and now the computer and its digital universe have become the next transformative technology that will accelerate change of the human condition. Let me briefly examine one area that will experience this accelerating change, education.

The education enterprise is one that appears on the surface to be one of the most resistant to change. The standing joke is: a learned person standing in front of his class lecturing to his students. The students carefully recording his every word to constructs their study notes. The students reading the book that the professor has told the students that they must know to pass his course. What century did this take place? Answer 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st. And of course the answer is all of them.

I can hear you say, ‘but education has embraced many new modes of instruction, the blackboard and chalk, the overhead projector, computers and data projectors with some form of presentation software’. True, but these have not really changed the enterprise of instruction, it remains firmly rooted in the model where a limited number of people have the knowledge and are passing it to another limited number of people. I think the true revolution of the use of computers will change this paradigm. The computer and the internet cloud, has and will mean, that information and knowledge will be freed of the constraint of place and location, and thereby most of its cost.
Think for a moment what that means. Information is everywhere, at everyplace, at every moment, it is ubiquitous. How would this change affect the institution of a university? The university and its associated store of knowledge in people and books will be less valued. We find this in such places as freely available course content on ItunesU and in MIT OpenCourseWare. There are 10’s of thousands of lectures that one can listen to and trillion of pages of text, audio and video on the web. Hundreds of millions of people are read and writing material on the web every hour. As you know, there are search engines to find the information you want, encyclopedia, peer reviewed publications, quotable quotes, news and weather reports, online purchases, and online education. Just about everything one can imagine is on the web. It is this cloud of information on the web, almost for free, that will mean the end of the institution of the university and higher education, as we have known it. Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.” In this case our limits are our pasts views of what an education is, and how one achieves it, and as Kurzweil said earlier the acceleration of change.

What do you think?

Two Metaphors to Reflect Upon Our Teaching – Nadine Le Gros

I love metaphors. I love metaphors both as a former literature major and as an occasional drama queen, as their use allows me to be expressive and interpretive. I also love metaphors for what they give us license to explore. Lakoff & Johnson (1980) maintain that metaphors aren’t just accidental turns of phrases: metaphors reflect our realities. The issue that I’m interested in exploring in terms of teaching via the use of metaphor is our use of power in the class – not just in terms of maintaining it in vis-à-vis our students, but also in terms of how we control the content of what we teach and what we hope the outcomes of our teaching will be.

Baptist (2002) writes of the garden as a metaphor in teaching, and hers is truly an invitation to participate in the divine. She suggests six views of metaphor which include faith, power, cultural expression, personal expression, and healing, and when she writes of metaphor, she seeks not to address the daily grind issues of teaching, but to examine the need for psychic, emotional, and intellectual healing on the planet today. Baptist invites us to explore the creative power of metaphor to expand our thoughts. She chooses the gardens as metaphor as “the garden is primarily a social construct that reflects the intent of the maker and the prevailing cultural ideologies of the time” (Baptist 2000, p.20).

If we use the metaphor of the garden to think about our teaching, we can be reflective about our approaches in a non-threatening way. For example, we may have difficulty with the ‘weeds’ in a class, and we may respond in a way that is looking to contain their encroachment on the class. Our personal definition of weeds will vary from the use of computers to dominant students, etc. Our wish to protect our ‘garden’ may cause us to be overly attached to and controlling of the dynamics in the class. If, however, when we think of a monoculture garden in which somebody has sprayed insecticides and herbicides, we might consider how our philosophy would manifest itself. While some may look at such a garden and consider it to be beautiful, many would be repelled by it. If we then draw a parallel between our intention as educators and the intention of the gardener, how we must adjust our attitude becomes evident. We need to allow for the weeds. We can extend this philosophy further by considering how Morning Glory is planted by gardeners in Ontario for its beauty, and shunned by gardeners in Vancouver because of its tendency to overtake the whole garden.

We can also use metaphor to examine our relationship with what we teach. For example, ceramics is one of the oldest crafts, and for some, it remains a craft. Others have elevated the craft to a highly sophisticated artform. When a ceramist makes a piece of pottery, she must decide whether to use a wheel or to throw the piece by hand. She chooses clay which can vary widely due to geographic factors. Sometimes she begins with the intention of making a bowl, but the clay assumes the shape of a plate. The ceramist must decide whether to stick determinedly to her concept of a bowl, or to allow the clay to evolve organically … to do what it will. The ceramist must wait for her work to dry before proceeding to the next step, because she can’t rush the process. She then chooses a glaze, a process over which the ceramist has a measure of control: if she consistently sticks to a single recipe and knows which amounts of silica or dolomite produce the effect she likes, she can frequently determine outcomes. However, experimentation with glazes will yield unexpected results – sometimes beautiful and sometimes hideous. The ceramist will only see the results of the glaze after the piece has been fired, and the kiln may well fire the piece in an unpredictable way. The outcome may be exquisite – or the ceramist may retrieve a week’s worth of work that is under or over-fired … and destroyed. When pieces are ‘successfully’ thrown and fired, they may be given away or sold, and how the pieces are perceived is again unforeseeable. Recipients of gifts may like or dislike the art, and customers may or may not purchase the objects. The pieces may be used in the way they were intended – as a coffee cup or a flower vase – or they may be put to an entirely different use by the new owner.

Each of these metaphors – that of the garden and that of ceramics – allows us to consider teaching and our role in the education process. Baptist reminds us: “[i]f the gardener attempts to completely control the ‘event’ of the garden, … possibilities may never emerge, rather they become lost in intent” (Baptist 2002, P.25). It’s all too easy in education to become mired in what we perceive to be mud. We forget about the transcendent nature of the vocation. If we relinquish the need for control, we can entertain possibility. When we create something – ceramics or lessons – we may proceed with the mindset of a craft, or we may proceed with artistry. We can’t completely predict what action will precipitate what effect, but being able to relinquish absolute control to allow for what might be is expansive. So, what’s your metaphor?

Baptist, K. (2002). The garden as a metaphor for curriculum. Teacher Education
Quarterly, 29(4), 19-37.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.

Creativity in the Classroom – Natasha Patrito Hannon

In my last post (Rediscovering the Masters), I highlighted a paper by Richard Felder titled ‘Creating Creative Engineers’. This paper proposes a number of strategies to foster creative problem solving skills among students in the technical disciplines.

As I revisit the syllabus for an upcoming course, Environmental Issues, I continue to ask myself whether I am offering students an opportunity to engage creatively with the subject matter – to incorporate part of themselves into this material that they are absorbing.  More about the crazy project that I’ve developed to help achieve that in a future post, but for now, here are two videos that are currently buzzing in my brain:

1.  Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity.

2.  Dave Eggers’ Wish:  Once Upon a School.

Both videos are source from www.ted.com, an absolutely marvellous resource that was recently featured in the Teaching Support Centre’s Reflections Newsletter.  Please check it out for additional information on how TED can be used to supplement and enhance your students’ learning.

REDISCOVERING THE MASTERS: Richard Felder, Engineer & Educator – Natasha Patrito Hannon

This is the first of what I hope will become a monthly feature highlighting the work of scholars who have made significant contributions to teaching & learning in higher education.

I begin with Richard M. Felder, emeritus professor of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University and, perhaps, the most prolific scholar of engineering education in the world.  Having carved out a successful research career modelling mixing and diffusion in chemical reactors, Felder turned his attention to teaching in the late 1980’s.

I had been teaching for about 15 years when I first became aware that something was wrong in my undergraduate classes…I would cover material thoroughly in my lectures, giving lots of examples and illustrations of the methods I was presenting, but when I asked questions about it the next day most of the students seemed not to have heard a word I said, and when I gave examinations many of them did terribly. I knew they were all intelligent…and I started to wonder what the problem was.

Felder’s search for answers led him to the literature of cognitive and educational psychology.  He began to experiment with active and cooperative learning, writing numerous papers about the impact of these strategies in the engineering context.  His latest work assesses the impact of learning objectives  and learning styles in science and engineering classrooms.

Felder’s papers are remarkably practical, full of concrete examples and insights.  He is an engineer and, thus, understands the culture of teaching in technical disciplines.   He develops and recommends teaching strategies with his engineering colleagues and students in mind.

We believe that involvement of students is critical for effective classroom learning; however, much of the basic content of engineering courses is not a matter of opinion.  Educational approaches that emphasize process exclusively to the detriment of content will not be considered (Felder, 2000).

richardfelder_200x225_jpg
Richard M. Felder

If you are a science or engineering educator interested in exploring practical, classroom-tested approaches to innovate your teaching and enhance student learning, consider reading any or all of the following.  Felder’s insights are well worth the time…

1.  Felder, R. M. (1987).  On creating creative engineers. Engineering Education, 77(4), 222–227.

My personal favourite! In this paper, Felder describes three unusual ‘exercises’ that can easily be incorporated into traditional quantitative problem sets to increase the creative problem-solving skills of students.  He includes ‘sample exercises’ used in both 3rd-year and graduate-level chemical engineering courses, discussing students’ reactions to these novel assessments and potential grading strategies.  Felder’s insights are easily extrapolated to other technical disciplines.

2.  Felder, R. M., Woods, D. R., Stice, J. E., and Rugarcia, A.  (2000).  The future of engineering education II.  Teaching methods that work.  Chemical Engineering Education, 34(1), 26-39.

Part of a series devoted to engineering education in the new millennium, this piece recommends seven teaching techniques that have demonstrated clear success in the engineering context.  Each broad recommendation is accompanied by concrete, classroom-ready suggestions as well as justifications based upon decades of educational research.

3.  Felder, R. M.  (2002). Designing tests to maximize learning.  Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering. Education & Practice, 128 (1), 1–3.

In this short piece, Felder addresses common shortcomings of traditional science and engineering examinations and provides straightforward advice to address them.  A timely read for those of us in the process of developing or retooling our upcoming finals!

Writing for a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Journal – Ken N. Meadows

Last week, I attended the Sixth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Bloomington, Indiana. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from around the world interested in research on teaching and to immerse myself in the latest thinking and research in the area. As the Managing Editor of a new online open access journal on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning/La Revue canadienne sur l’avancement des connaissances en enseignement et en apprentissage, three sessions that I attended were of particular interest. Each of the sessions was about SoTL journals but each was from a different perspective. Jarvis and Creasey (2009) reported on research they had conducted with editors of general SoTL journals and discipline-specific journals that publish SoTL articles. Their focus was specifically on the weaknesses of both the submitted manuscripts and the research itself. The next two sessions involved editors from a number of general SoTL journals (Loui, Richlin, Clegg, Morris, & Cruz, 2009) and discipline-based education journals that publish SoTL articles (Tenenberg, France, Ishiyama, & Grauerholz, 2009), respectively. In both sessions, the editors described their journals and answered questions. One of the common components across the three sessions was recommendations to authors considering submitting research manuscripts to their journals. I have included five of these recommendations below; they may seem obvious but are clearly worth mentioning as they were addressed in all three sessions.

1) Make sure that your manuscript fits the journal’s mission. Each journal has a specific mission and will only print articles that fit within that mission. This information is available on the journal’s web site and, for print-based journals, in each journal issue. Submitting your manuscript to a journal appropriate for your manuscript will save you and the journal’s editors considerable time.

2) Ensure that your manuscript is well-written. I will not address all of the components of a well-written manuscript but some of the issues that were mentioned in one or more of the sessions were writing with clarity and grace, using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, not using excessive jargon, defining important variables, and drawing conclusions appropriate in scope and form to the findings. The presenters in each session highly encouraged authors to seek feedback from trusted colleagues before submitting the manuscript to the journals.

3) Make certain that your manuscript is grounded in the appropriate literature. Although the formal education of SoTL authors is generally in other disciplines, it is still important to know the literature relevant to your SoTL research and necessary to provide the context for the research in the manuscript itself. This may be somewhat tricky with SoTL research because there are both general and discipline-specific SoTL literatures but both may be relevant to your research and, if so, should be addressed in your manuscript.

4) Ensure that the appropriate design(s), method(s), measure(s), and analyses are used. There are obviously a plethora of research designs, methods, measures, and analyses that can be employed in SoTL research and it is very important to ensure that you are using the appropriate ones to address your research question(s). If you are not sure what would be the appropriate design, methods, measures, and analyses, consult the literature to see what researchers interested in the same questions are doing. If you are not familiar with those designs, methods, measures, or analyses, consider collaborating with colleagues who have that expertise.

5) Make sure you address the practical implications of your research. Although pure forms of research (i.e., research for knowledge sake) are laudible, SoTL is inherently an applied form of research. It is important to address the implications of your research for teaching and student learning.

If you are considering submitting to a SoTL journal, please keep these recommendations in mind as they will make the publication process much easier for you and the journal’s editors. Speaking as a Managing Editor, I know I would definitely appreciate it.

Ken N. Meadows

References

Jarvis, P., & Creasey, G. (2009, October). Strengthening SoTL research: The voices of journal editors. Paper presented at the Sixth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Bloomington, IN.

Loui, M., Richlin, L., Clegg, S., Morris, L. V., & Cruz, L. (2009, October). Publishing SoTL in the next generation: How to choose a journal. Paper presented at the Sixth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Bloomington, IN.

Tenenberg, J., France, D., Ishiyama, J., & Grauerholz, L. (2009, October). SoTL in disciplinary education journals. Paper presented at the Sixth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Bloomington, IN.

Personal Questions – Nanda Dimitrov

How do you learn your students’ names? The question took me by surprise.  Of course, we always talk about the importance of learning student names and promote strategies like downloading your class list with student photos from the Registrar’s office website, using name tents, or asking students to introduce themselves on WebCT even before the class starts.  But I haven’t really thought about why I learn student names quickly.   It seemed to come naturally:  I usually learn names in a class of 25 in a couple of weeks, and 50 in a month.  But then I realized that one of the other reasons is that I ask them a lot of personal questions.

Not “What are your deepest fears” types of questions, but rather “Why are you in this class, and what do you want to learn?” types of questions.  The classes I have taught attracted an interdisciplinary group of undergraduates, so I used to hand out index cards on the first day of class and ask students to tell me about themselves. I asked them how they learned best. In my intercultural communication class also I asked them whether they have lived overseas and for how long; what languages they spoke and why they were interested in my class and how they wanted to use their knowledge after graduation (as a quick pre-assessment of their level of cross-cultural awareness).

I also use very personal assignments, whether I teach about teaching or culture.  The assignments ask students apply the theories and principles we learn in class to their own experiences.  For example, participants in the intercultural communication class conducted a mini- ethnography of their family and wrote about the culture-bound values, beliefs and behaviour patterns that they observed among their relatives. Several years later, I still remember some of the students, their stories – and their names.   And an added benefit – plagiarism was never an issue.

You can also find another  27 strategies to learn student names, collected by Joan Middendorf, on the website of the National Teaching and Learning Forum in the U.S. at:

http://www.ntlf.com/html/lib/bib/names.htm

If you use any creative strategies not on the list, please add them as a comment here!

New tools for a old world – Kim Holland

‘Who are I?’ Yes, the plural for I’m not one person but many. I wear many hats and I’m sure you do as well. One individual, yes, but many roles I play. Let me explore me, at least a small part of me; the part of me being an academic involved with Distance Studies. First, I must come clean; I coordinate Distance Studies at Western so part of my role is to promote online course development and instruction. So you can see, I have a vested interest. There I’ve come clean. Still reading. Good.

I teach online and have developed courses online as well, and I help other to see the light of the potential of this medium. I really do mean the light, because if you allow yourself the opportunity to explore these technologies for instruction, you too will see the future and explore it with growing crowd of faculty. Now you know where I stand. Are you anywhere close by? (At least, in a mindset framework. I teach geography hence the geographic tone to my words). Perhaps, you believe that to be educated involves an instructor, and a class of live students seated in front of you. Perhaps, you belief that the best way to teach involves you talking, and the students taking careful notes of your thoughts, prognostications, or ruminations. If this is your belief, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but for most students learning that way it ineffective, if not downright nearly impossible. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there and done that. You see I have been teaching since 1982.

Why do I think differently now? Evidence. Year after year, I would grade students’ works and be depressed by the small change I have made to my students’ intellectual development. It was not just they forgot content (the stuff that I had spent so much time telling them about) they also appeared to change so little in their thought processes as well. Faculty are not intractable Luddites. I know many have simply been disillusioned by earlier technologies touted as innovations that would change the students’ education experience. You would be exhibiting a healthy skepticism when resisting the call to leap on the latest educational bandwagon before assessing how these new technologies will help students.

I’m interested in what will work for my students. I have made changes as to how I teach my face-to-face, and my on-line classes as well. I have looked at, thought about how to include them, and asked why do I want to use them. I think I’ve reflected on these tools. For at the end of the day, that is what they are -tools, very powerful educational tools. Consider, think and evaluate them for your students.

How I read widely AND avoid information overload – Gayle McIntyre

Part of my job at the Teaching Support Centre is to keep up with journal articles and news about higher education and discover new resources that might be useful for program development or conducting research. To that end, I’ve put a lot of thought into how to ensure that I can read from a wide variety of sources, but avoid being completely overwhelmed by the amount of information. To give you an idea of the volume I read, I subscribe to three high-volume listservs, around 35 higher education blogs, a few magazines/newspapers, and 25+ research journals. However, I only spend maybe 10 minutes a day going through it all. How?

My main criteria for using tools to keep up with information is:

a)      Can I peruse at my own pace? (I don’t like alerts or reminders, and sometimes I don’t have time to keep up daily), and
b)      Is it easily searchable? Can I go back weeks, months or even years later and find the information I need?

To accomplish this, I primarily use three tools:

  1. netvibesNetvibes: I use this site to keep with journal articles, and news headlines (Chronicle, University Affairs, etc.). Because all the content is on one webpage, I can see at a quick glance which journals have updated content, and whether there are any interesting news headlines. If something tweaks my interest, I can read the summary or abstract immediately or go to the source site to read the full document.  If it’s a journal article I know will be useful, I save it with my other research references in  Zotero (it’s like an online (free!) Endnote).
  2. Google Reader: I use Reader to subscribe to interesting blogs that I usually read. Also, all content that comes through Google Reader is searchable, so if I vaguely remember something I’ve read a few months ago I can do a quick search and find the source.
  3. Email Filters: I strive to keep a (mostly) empty inbox, so I can’t have dozens of daily listserv messages coming through all the time. Each listserv has its own filter and is automatically transferred to a folder. I keep the messages sorted by subject thread, so if there’s a thread I’m not interested in, I can delete all the messages quickly. Also, I’ve bookmarked the online archives for each listserv so that I can quickly search for something I remember reading.

The key? I don’t worry about “missing” anything. If it’s something really important, it will be referenced  on one of the blogs I read. If I don’t have time to read anything, I can catch up when I do. Or if I fall really far behind, I could always select “Mark as read,” (although I’ve seldom done this). And because I have a system in place, I’m not afraid of  adding new sources of news and information quickly and easily to the appropriate tool.

Now if only I had a system this complete (and searchable!) for offline information…

Books About the Brain for Educators – Nadine Le Gros

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.
http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge/MAIN.html

The Art of Changing the Brain
James E. Zull
http://www.newhorizons.org/neuro/zull.htm

Change Your Brain Change Your Life
Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
http://www.amenclinics.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=15

Nadine LeGros