I was talking with a supervision teacher at my school yesterday as she took my class while I was at EduTechAU 2015. She often takes my classes while I’m away and she has a profoundly positive impact on the classes during the short time she is with them. Upon further discussion, she has a masters in student counselling and she always emphasises kindness in her classes no matter which class it is. She has managed to connect with some of the more difficult boys in my class and this is a testament to her approach. She went on to inform me of a teacher, Pieter Rossouw, she had while doing her masters and his teaching connects, once again, to the link between neuroscience and learning, but through a neuroscientific model. I was intrigued and asked her to send me the article she spoke about. After spending some time considering all that I read, all information comes back to the notion that, in education, relationships come first.
This article outlines the benefits enriched environments have on the social parts of the brain and how standardised testing may be having a negative impact on the brain’s development. In summary, standardised testing (PISA) doesn’t recognise the wellbeing that may have contributed to the individual achievement. My takeaways from the article are, ‘the Indicators for wellness and capacity maximization’ from a neuroscientific perspective:
1. Student teacher relationships
2. The need to increase latency periods when engaging with students
3. Ask open questions rather than direct questions
6. Enthusiasm and passion
7. Provide an enriched environment (technology included)
If you would like the full article it is available here.
Issue 25 January-February 2014