Friday, February 04, 2011

Good teaching and learning habits

Cognitive neuroscience research has discovered six processes that influence the establishment of long-term procedural and declarative memory. These processes are

1. repetition of the procedure or information,
2. excitation at the time of learning,
3. association of reward with the material to be learned,
4. eating carbohydrates before or during learning,
5. sufficient sleep after a learning session,
6. avoidance of drugs of abuse and alcohol

Source: Lynn Waterhouse. Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 41(4), 207–225

There's an interesting dilemma hidden in points 1 and 2 that require both repetition and excitement during a learning session. Good teachers and good games solve it by keeping learners deeply engaged while repeating the same basic procedures. They also provide rewards (p.3), either through grades or points.

For comparison, the "Chinese mother" educational style described in a recent WSJ article focuses on repetition and reward.

tags: teaching, information, learning, control, psychology, education, games, dilemma

1 comment:

Mark Plus said...

We needed cognitive neuroscientists to tell us these things? Empirical psychologists made similar recommendations decades ago. And our grandmothers would have likewise told us to stay away from drugs and alcohol if we anted to succeed in school.