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This book provides the means for every teacher to build a base of understanding in three essential learning sciences—neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational research—as a foundation that they will use throughout their careers. By combining all three fields of the learning sciences, it puts the pieces together in one volume, makes them relevant to the work of every teacher and learner, and fills a gap in teacher education texts. The brain-based principles presented show how the brain and mind work in relation to what we know of behavior and learning in the classroom. The foundational information is presented in a series of key concepts the authors call The CORE. It’s based on research done expressly for this book by the University of Oregon, College of Education in collaboration with the Columbia University Department of Neuroscience. Using a technique called saturation evaluation to explore a wealth of research-based resources, these groups identified what could reasonably constitute essential understandings of brain science for teachers. The CORE fundamentals are summarized in a framework comprised of seven Guiding Principles, each amplified by a related set of Big Ideas. Concise, accessible, and structured especially for teacher education, Why Neuroscience Matters in the Classroom is understandable and relevant to all teachers, even those who say they are science shy. Learning points introduce the reader to what’s to come and Scenarios summarize the material that’s covered, including such topics as neural plasticity and the basics of physical change; how nutrition, exercise, and sleep may affect learning; the major roles that emotion, attitude, and stress play in brain function; and more.
Kathleen Scalise is an award-winning associate professor at the University of Oregon who has served nationally and internationally on numerous distinguished projects in science literacy for teachers and students. In 2013, she served a dual appointment as a visiting research scientist with Columbia University’s Department of Neuroscience and as a visiting scholar with Teachers College at Columbia. Director of the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Science for ETS, she has served internationally in science literacy and assessment efforts with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). She was appointed in 2012 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to serve on the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on a Framework for Assessment of Science Proficiency in K-12. She is author of numerous scholarly and research publications in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). She received the Early Career Teaching Award from the University of Oregon for her excellence in teaching in 2007. She holds K-12 teaching credentials in physical sciences and life sciences, a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, and the Ph.D. from UC Berkeley (2004).
Marie Felde is a veteran writer whose career as a daily journalist, editor, and university communications executive has focused on taking complex, often scientific and technical material and translating it into easy to read information that readers find engaging and useful. As Executive Director of Media Relations at the University of California, Berkeley, she led a team of experienced science and education writers at one of the world’s leading universities highlighting the value of learning and the creation of new knowledge.
Chapter 1 A CORE OF UNDERSTANDING 2
Chapter 2 NEURAL PLASTICITY 36
Chapter 3 COGNITION AND INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN 62
Chapter 4 ENCODING STRATEGIES AND MEMORY 90
Chapter 5 ELABORATING ON INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN 118
Chapter 6 SLEEP, EXERCISE, AND NUTRITION 142
Chapter 7 EMOTIONAL FUNCTION AND ATTITUDE IN THE BRAIN 166
Chapter 8 STRESS 192
Chapter 9 FEEDBACK AND EVIDENCE IN THE BRAIN 208
Chapter 10 SENSITIVE PERIODS 232
Chapter 11 INSIGHTS ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 248
Chapter 12 ACTION PLAN 282
Appendix A TECHNICAL REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT OF THE CORE 292
Appendix B SUMMARY OF THE SAMPLED RESOURCES OF THE CORE 308