It has always puzzled me that teachers tend to (on the whole, myself included) have very little knowledge of the psychology and neurology of learning. If learning is our core business and our body’s power house for learning is the brain…. then why do we know so little? So I have a goal this year, to explore the neurology of learning and hope to share some of this with you.
This TED Talk by Ben Ambridge debunks a few commonly held beliefs about learning, as well as a few more general psychological myths.
Ben Ambridge tells us:
1. Learning styles are myths – “It’s obvious that the best presentation format depends not on you, but on what you’re trying to learn.”
2. Although we know the brain is not a static organ and is able to be re-wired and changed through life, there seems to be a genetic basis for the difference in academic results at school – “58 percent of the variation between different students and their GCSE results was down to genetic factors.”
3. There is no such thing as a left or right brained learner – “nearly everything that you do involves nearly all parts of your brain talking together, even just the most mundane thing like having a normal conversation.” However, ambidextrous people experience “both sides of the brain talk(ing) to each other a lot, which seems to be involved in creating flexible thinking.”
4. We don’t only use 10% of our brains, it is more like 100%
5. Listening to Mozart won’t make you smarter or healthier, but listening to something you like “perks you up a bit and gives you a temporary I.Q. boost on a narrow range of tasks.”