Once upon a time, space was called the final frontier, a place full of mysteries, that sparked the curiosity of the greatest minds who sought to gather evidence to understand it better. Today, I believe that honour belongs to the human mind.
New scientific methods over the last 15 or so years have opened up fascinating opportunities to begin to learn more about how the mind works, to test (and sometimes refute) some of the tentative theories that had existed for a long time. This has vast implications for how we live, how we can aspire to be our most productive and effective. It has enormous implications for learning – and therefore for teaching and all aspects of education. But wait, are educators paying attention or do too many somehow see all that as something of merely passing interest? Not so long ago, the Dean of the Stanford School of Education admitted that it took a very long time before the School put in place a formal relationship with the Neurology Department of the School of Medicine.
So, educators, we need to be as aware and informed on the latest brain and mind research as we are on the latest ideas about pedagogy, classroom methodology or subject related knowledge. In fact, we cannot give proper thought to where we go in any of those areas if we don’t take account of brain science.
Here’s an example – a recent article about the brain and the ageing process:
As our knowledge in these areas grow it’s going to change many things about how we live our lives, not least (I sincerely hope), how we educate our children.