10 April 2005

Brain-based learning...as opposed to?

Not too long before Spring Break, I had a meeting with other curriculum specialists, our Boss Lady, and a few others to talk about what we could do during the meeting days in August (for cryin' out loud). The Superintendent is going to "declare" that next year's district focus will be on "Powerful Teaching and Learning." As specialists, we're supposed to help guide our colleagues as they implement brain-based learning strategies in the classroom.

Hey, I'm not against a district-wide goal...I'm not sure that I mind it has to do with brain-based stuff. Seems reasonable to expect that if there is current info on how the brain learns that we could put that to work in the classroom.

In my recent searches to find "strategies for engaging adult learners" (who in groups of more than 15 tend to act like junior high kids), I stumbled upon Professor Plum's rant:
"Over the next few years I read the websites and syllabi from hundreds of ed schools. I reviewed the literature in whole language, constructivism, 'authentic assessments,' learning styles, and multiple intelligences—and other 'pedagogies' that struck my cynical nature as weird beyond belief. I even tried to figure out what 'brain based learning' was—because, I reasoned, 'What OTHER organ WOULD be involved? Before brain-based learning was there BUTTOCKS based learning? Sure they ARE similar. Two hemispheres. A nearby segment of spine. A division down the middle. An apparatus for speaking your mind. But usually you can tell which is which. Just look for a hat!'”
I've been giggling to myself quite a bit over this...and wondering how much trouble I'd get into for pointing this out to my cohorts. Hey, I've already been told that "humor" is one of the brain-based strategies. Maybe I could get away with it?


You see, I've always been the quietly rebellious type. (Passive aggressive?) I don't always like to colour inside the lines and I'm quite happy to take a risk here or there---possible penalties be damned. Mind you, I don't do things that would get me fired and/or arrested. In cases like the one above, though, I find it just too tempting to tread along the edge.


For Thursday's training (a continuation of this one), I'm supposed to bring along one strategy for engaging adult learners to share with the group. Thanks to Professor Plum, I think I've found it. I'll let you know what happens.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Go for it! That quote had me laughing out loud. I had never considered the similarities.