Delve Institute of Learning Research

Educational Research Topics and Digests

Brain-Based Learning

The brain is a complex organ that is constantly learning and adapting. In recent years, scientists have learned a great deal about how the brain learns, and this knowledge has led to the development of a new approach to education called brain-based learning.

Brain-based learning is based on the idea that learning is most effective when it is aligned with the way the brain learns. This means that teachers need to create a learning environment that is conducive to brain-based learning.

Resources on Brain-Based Learning:

History of Brain-Based Learning

The history of brain-based learning can be traced back to the early 1900s, when scientists began to study the brain and its functions. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that brain-based learning began to gain traction as a learning theory.

In 1994, Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine published the book “Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain,” which is considered to be the foundational text of brain-based learning. In this book, Caine and Caine argued that learning is most effective when it is aligned with the way the brain learns. They identified eight principles of brain-based learning, which are:

  1. Attention: The brain is more likely to learn when it is paying attention.
  2. Engagement: The brain learns best when it is actively engaged.
  3. Meaningfulness: The brain learns best when the material is meaningful to the learner.
  4. Variety: The brain learns best when there is variety in the learning experience.
  5. Arousal: The brain learns best when it is challenged but not overwhelmed.
  6. Repetition: The brain learns best when information is repeated in different ways.
  7. Transference: The brain learns best when new information is linked to existing knowledge.
  8. Emotion: The brain learns best when emotions are involved.

Brain-Based Learning Strategies

Caine’s principles of brain-based learning have been influential in the field of education, and they have led to the development of a number of brain-based learning strategies. These strategies are designed to create a learning environment that is conducive to brain-based learning. Some of the most common brain-based learning strategies include:

  • Active learning: This involves getting students involved in the learning process through activities such as role-playing, problem-solving, and hands-on projects.
  • Variety: This involves using a variety of teaching methods and activities to keep students engaged.
  • Repetition: This involves repeating information in different ways to help students remember it.
  • Visualization: This involves using images and pictures to help students understand new concepts.
  • Music: This involves using music to help students relax and focus.
  • Storytelling: This involves using stories to engage students and help them learn new information.

Brain-based learning is still a relatively new field of study, and there is still much that we don’t know about how the brain learns. However, the principles of brain-based learning have been shown to be effective in helping students learn. As we learn more about the brain, brain-based learning is likely to become even more important in the field of education.

Academic Research Articles on Brain-Based Learning

While the research is only 3 decades old, there are ample studies to support the use of brain-based learning techniques. Here are some academic research articles on brain-based learning.

Effects of Brain-Based Learning on Academic Achievement

“The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on Academic Achievement: A Meta-analytical Study” by Erkan Irmak and Mustafa Sucuoglu (2016).

This study conducted a meta-analysis of 21 studies on the effects of brain-based learning on academic achievement. The results showed that brain-based learning had a small but significant positive effect on academic achievement.

Strategies in Improving Students’ Learning Outcomes

“The Effectiveness of Brain-Based Learning Strategies in Improving Students’ Learning Outcomes” by Seyed Mohammad Reza Hosseini and Mohammad Hossein Aghaie (2018).

This study investigated the effectiveness of brain-based learning strategies in improving students’ learning outcomes in mathematics and English. The results showed that brain-based learning strategies were effective in improving students’ learning outcomes in both subjects.

Brain-Based Learning and Student Motivation

“The Impact of Brain-Based Learning on Students’ Motivation and Engagement” by Maria Teresa Arnaiz and Carmen Muñoz-Carril (2019).

This study examined the impact of brain-based learning on students’ motivation and engagement. The results showed that brain-based learning was effective in increasing students’ motivation and engagement in learning.

Literature Review

“Brain-Based Learning: A Review of the Literature” by Michael J. Markham and David R. Mahar (2020).

This review article provides an overview of the research on brain-based learning. The authors discuss the different principles of brain-based learning and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Practical Guide for Educators

“Brain-Based Learning: A Practical Guide for Educators” by Nancy Doidge (2021).

This book provides practical advice for educators on how to apply the principles of brain-based learning in the classroom. The book includes a variety of activities and strategies that can be used to create a brain-friendly learning environment.

These are just a few of the many academic research articles that have been published on brain-based learning. The research on brain-based learning is still ongoing, but the findings to date suggest that it can be an effective approach to improving student learning.

Sources:
American University School of Education
The Glossary of Education Reform