As neuroimaging technologies increase their sensitivity to assess the function of the human brain and results from these studies draw the attention of educators, it becomes paramount to identify misconceptions about what these data illustrate and how these findings might be applied to educational contexts. Some of these neuromyths have influenced our understanding of giftedness and visuospatial ability. One common neuromyth regarding visuospatial talent (VST) is that of hemispheric lateralization, the idea that the discrete abilities of VST are associated with activations identified primarily in the right hemisphere of the brain. This article reviews the behavioral and neuroimaging literature to trace and untangle the origins of this misconception, parsing our current understanding of brain functions associated with VST and giftedness in order to dispel the myth of hemispheric lateralization and offer a more comprehensive account for the observed functional asymmetries.
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Educational Neuroscience, Constructivist Learning, and the Mediation of Learning and Creativity in the 21st Century
Topic Editor: Layne Kalbfleisch, George Mason University, USA
The advent of educational neuroscience, a transdisciplinary exercise emerging from cognitive neuroscience and educational psychology, is the examination of physiological processes that undermine, support, and enhance the capacities to learn and create. The physiological underpinnings of learning and creativity each impact human ability and performance and mediate the processes of becoming educated, expert, and valued. Evidence of learning provides support to an ongoing canon, process, system, field or domain, while evidence of creativity results in an elaboration or departure from an ongoing canon, process, system, field, or domain. Educational neuroscience extends a challenge to scholars from multiple contexts to engage in the characterization and exploration of human ability and performance in these realms. The role of context, both environmental and interoceptive, is an integral part of efforts in educational neuroscience and in theories of constructivist learning to contribute ecologically valid insight to the pragmatic processes of learning and creativity. Examination at this level of specificity is vital to our ability to educate and support human potential in the 21st century. This special issue examines the neural basis of cognitive states and processes that influence knowledge and skill acquisition tied to the demonstration of human ability and performance across individual differences and in multiple contexts including STEM learning and the arts.
October 18, 2012
Dekker, S., Lee, N.C., Howard-Jones, P., & Jolles, J. (2012).
Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00429
October 19, 2012
Grabner, R.H., & DeSmedt, B. (2012).
Oscillatory EEG correlates of arithmetic strategies: a training study. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00428
January 7, 2013
Raskind, W.H., Peter, B., Richards, T., Eckert, M.M., & Berninger, V.W. (2013).
The genetics of reading disabilities: from phenotypes to candidate genes. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00601
January 16, 2013
Boschloo, A., Krabbendam, L., Dekker, S., Lee, N.C., de Groot, R., & Jolles, J. (2013).
Subjective sleepiness and sleep quality in adolescents are related to objective and subjective measures of school performance. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00038
March 4, 2013
Kim, S. (2013).
Neuroscientific model of motivational process. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00098
March 25, 2013
Rogowsky, B.A., Papamichalis, P., Villa, L., Heim, S., & Tallal, P. (2013).
Neuroplasticity-based cognitive and linguistic skills training improves reading and writing skills in college students. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00137
April 16, 2013
Glaveanu, V., Lubart, T., Bonnardel, N., Botella, M., de Biasisi, P., Desainte-Catherine, M., Georgsdottir, A., Guillou, K., Kurtag, G., Mouchiroud, C., Storme, M., Wojtczuk, A., & Zenasni, F. (2013).
Creativity as action: findings from five creative domains. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00176
April 25, 2013
Lubin, A., Rossi, S., Simon, G., Lanoë, C., Gaëlle, L., Poirel, N., Pineau, A., Houdé, O.
Numerical transcoding proficiency in 10-year-old schoolchildren is associated with grey-matter interindividual differences: a voxel-based morphometry study. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00197
December 19, 2013
Building a functional multiple intelligences theory to advance educational neuroscience. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.00950
September 26, 2013
Kalbfleisch, M., deBettencourt, M., Kopperman, R., Banasiak, M., Roberts, J., Halavi, M.
Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00631
December 6, 2013
Tierney, A., Krimzan, J., Skoe, E., Johnston, K., Kraus, N.
High school music classes enhance the neural processing of speech. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00855
Additional articles and e-book details forthcoming
Educational Philosophy and Theory Special Issue : Educational Neuroscience February 2011 Volume 43, Issue 1 Pages 1 - 107 has now been released online. Do not miss Patten and Campbell's Introduction: Educational Neuroscience introducing an overview of a number of recent initiatives in a new area of research that is coming to be known as educational neuroscience. Educational neuroscience, as a first approximation, variously involves syntheses of theories, methods, and techniques of the neurosciences, as applied to and informed by educational research and practice. Contributions to this special issue were sought from principals involved in initiatives pertaining to educational neuroscience with common foci on 1) motivations, aims and prospects; 2) theories, methods, collaborations; and 3) challenges, results, and implications, both potential and actual, resulting from these initiatives. Contributors were asked to write position statements with special emphasis on the motivations, methodologies, and practical implications of their particular initiatives for educational philosophy and theory, as well as for educational research and pedagogy. Read this article
‘What does the brain have to do with learning?’ find out in Educational Neuroscience: Motivations, methodology, and implications Stephen R. Campbell
It is the perfect excuse for a sleep teenager. An academy school has become the first in Britain to introduce 10am starts as the latest research shows teenage pupils perform better after a lie-in.
Already the later starts at UCL Academy in central London, which opened last September, “seem to be working”, said Geraldine Davies, the head teacher. Pupils arrive at 10am and leave at 5:30 pm.
Now there are calls for all British secondary schools to start lessons an hour later. Campaigners say the move would boost exam results and cut depression and even suicide rates amongst youngsters. In America hundreds of schools have made the shift.
“Attendance is excellent and we are having no problems at all with punctuality,” says Davies. “Youngsters are turning up alert and ready to learn, and are focused and engaged in lessons.”
“We have no hard data on exam results yet, since we have only been open six months, but the aim is to rigorously review the effects. Pupil and teacher surveys have so far been positive. We are applying cutting-edge research here and if it works then we would hope other schools might copy it.”
The experiment is based on research by academics at University College London, which sponsors the academy, Oxford and Harvard, which found that teenagers have a biological predisposition to go to bed at about midnight and get up late. They are not properly awake until between 9am and 10am, two to four hours later than adults, and learn most effectively in the afternoons.
The adolescent “time shift|” continues until the age of 21. Then the body clock starts to shift back again, so that by the age of 50 people are likely to get out of bed as early as when they were young children.
Abdel Hakim Bakkal, 17, who is studying for four A-levels at UCL Academy, says the move has hugely improved his life. “My old school started lessons at 8.30am and I was always frustrated by not being able to get a full night’s sleep,” he said.
“I never used to have time for breakfast and I would go in with a bad attitude. I’d even close my eyes in lessons. Since coming here I have been able to eat my breakfast and even sometimes read through a topic before lessons start. The frustration I used to feel has gone.”
The academy is the first in Britain to be solely sponsored by a university and Davies admits that her pupils are being used as guinea pigs by researchers at UCL to test the latest theories about how teenage brains work.
Sarah-Jane Blakemore, a neuroscientist at UCL, said: “The research shows that making teenagers go to school at a time when they would naturally be in bed asleep is not a good thing for their learning. Quite a few schools around the world have changed their start time to 10am, which is more in line with teenage body clocks.”
Several studies in America have shown that being allowed to lie in improves teenagers’ academic performance. In North Carolina researchers found that shifting school start times one hour later boosted reading and maths scores of pupils aged 11-14. A 2011 study found that 19-year old cadets in the US air force achieved higher exam results in all their courses when they started classes at 8.50am rather than 7am.
Later this year Steven Lockley of Harvard Medical School and Paul Kelley, a former headteacher, will present a paper on their findings about teenagers and sleep to a conference in America. Kelley, former head of a Tyneside comprehensive, said he wanted all British secondary schools to consider shifting to a later start time.
“This is gathering pace and is beginning to be a serious point of contention in the US and Canada,” he said. “Sleep deprivation is not doing the teenage brain any good at all. Later starts improve learning, but the sleep deprivation from enforced early starts has an effect on kids’ mental health.”
Last year, Alicia Kiattinat, now 19 campaigned for her school, Carrolton Christian Academy in Texas, which had an 8am start, to open later because of the research on adolescent body clocks. Although the school refused, she believes her campaign influenced the local authority to make changes in some schools.
“A lot of people dismissed my stance and just said that teenagers are lazy and like lying in bed, but a lot of people supported me,” she said. “|It did make a difference in people’s opinions of teenagers being lazy.”
The Sunday Times
17 March 2013