Brain Research: Implications for Teaching and Learning


Providing more visually stimulating and interactive media in teaching and learning was one of the  overarching themes of ISTE 2012, which was modeled in breakout and keynote sessions.  In place of this type of standard bulleted, text filled slide that audiences are used to viewing:

Attention Span Based on Age

  • Grades K-2            5-8 Minutes
  • Grades 3-5           8-12 Minutes
  • Grades 6-12         12-15 Minutes
  • Adult Learners   15-18 Minutes

… session slideshows were filled with lots of engaging pictures and videos to illustrate key points:


In the breakout session “Brain Research: Implications for Teaching and Learning,” presenter Peter Scott of Cengage Learning shared the latest research in brain research and itʻs implications for engaging teaching and learning.

Take aways from this session…

Our brains like patterns.  Relating a new concept to something that students already understand and can relate to and providing repeated learning opportunities to review and build upon new concepts gives the learner a better chance for the new content to stick in long term memory.

Our brains like conversation.  When instruction is delivered in an direct, informal language format, students can score up to 40% better on a  traditional test than those students taught in a traditional “sage on the stage” format.  Collaborative, hands on  projects are what motivate and inspire students.

Our brains like visuals.  As our visual sense is our strongest of the senses, students learn better when graphics, rather than or in addition to text, are used to illustrate concepts.

Check out these good resources on brain research and it’s implications for teaching and learning:

The 12 Brain Rules
Understanding the Teen Brain
Engaging Students with Brain Based Learning
Brain Rules Video

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