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How the Brain Learns Paperback – August 8, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1412997973 ISBN-10: 1412997976 Edition: Fourth Edition

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin; Fourth Edition edition (August 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412997976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412997973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I have found this book to be quite useful for doctoral-level students who are just beginning to read, examine, and comprehend brain research. It is a wonderful first step to exploring the fascinating world of brain-compatible teaching and learning!”

(Marjorie Hall Haley, Professor of Education 2011-06-28)

“Dr. Sousa does a wonderful job of interpreting the research and using what is known about how the brain learns to provide teachers with effective strategies for the classroom.” (Kathy Tritz-Rhodes, Principal 2011-06-28)

About the Author

Dr. David A. Sousa is an international consultant in educational neuroscience and author of 15 books that suggest ways that educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies for improving learning. A member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, he has conducted workshops in hundreds of school districts on brain research, instructional skills, and science education at the Pre-K to 12 and university levels. He has made presentations to more than 100,000 educators at national conventions of educational organizations and to regional and local school districts across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

Dr. Sousa has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in science from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Rutgers University. His teaching experience covers all levels. He has taught senior high school science, served as a K-12 director of science, a supervisor of instruction, and a district superintendent in New Jersey schools. He has been an adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University and a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University.

Prior to his career in New Jersey, Dr. Sousa taught at the American School of Paris (France), and served for five years as a Foreign Service Officer and science advisor at the USA diplomatic missions in Geneva (Switzerland) and Vienna (Austria).

Dr. Sousa has edited science books and published dozens of articles in leading journals on staff development, science education, and educational research. His most popular books for educators, all published by Corwin Press, include: How the Brain Learns, fourth edition; How the Special Needs Brain Learns, second edition; How the Gifted Brain Learns; How the Brain Learns to Read; How the Brain Influences Behavior; and How the Brain Learns Mathematics, which was selected by the Independent Publishers’ Association as one of the best professional development books of 2008. The Leadership Brain suggests ways for educators to lead today’s schools more effectively. His books have been published in French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and several other languages.

Dr. Sousa is past president of Learning Forward (formerly NSCD). He has received numerous awards from professional associations, school districts, and educational foundations for his commitment to research, staff development, and science education. He recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary doctorate from Bridgewater (Massachusetts) State University, and an honorary doctorate from Gratz College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sousa has been interviewed by Matt Lauer on the NBC Today Show and by National Public Radio about his work with schools using brain research. He makes his home in south Florida.

Customer Reviews

Great book, very informative.
Jane L. Moschenrose
This book provides great information to help enhance teaching and learning; Should be required reading for every teacher at every level!
Melissa Evans
Good usable information about how the brain learns.
Matilda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kim Burdick on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very simple workbook/textbook for teachers grappling with the new brain-based learning craze that is sweeping the country.

Sousa is definitely not a V.S. Ramachandran, but the book is neatly and carefully laid out to give the beginner a decent overview of the brain's role in the learning process.

The book touches briefly on a number of issues of interest to teachers and parents of young children, including the need for good nutrition, the importance of using both humor and the five senses in the learning process, and an explanation of how short and long-term memory work.

With its large font-size and set of review questions at the end of each chapter, this would be a decent workbook for a week-long teachers' in-service.

Kim Burdick
Stanton, Delaware
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ethier on February 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot of information in this book. And much of the basics are valid. But Sousa is not a cognitive scientist or psychologist, and it shows.

Sousa gets into trouble when tries to communicate the implications of the research he cites. His conclusions are often a stretch. For example, Sousa cites research about the primacy recency effect, the idea that we best retain information at the beginning and end of a learning episode, and says the implications are that teachers should organize their lessons to provide the most important new information early in the lesson, when retention is highest. But this research is mostly about memorizing nonsense word lists, a task quite different than learning meaningful content that is related to other content the student already knows. Just completely different. There seems to be only one study I can find that tests Sousa's approach. And it found no benefit to organizing math lessons this way.

Teachers wanting more reliable information about how to apply cognitive science to teaching would be better served by reading Daniel Willingham's book Why Don't Students Like School. Willingham is a cognitive scientist and has been writing about the educational implications of cognitive science for a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura S on April 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This text is full of rich information and new discoveries on how the brain learns, as well as the implications for educators. Sousa presents the scientific findings in an understandable way, and offers practical ways this information can be used in working with students. He includes a "Practitioners' Corner" at the end of each chapter with activities and ideas on how to apply the learning to the classroom. As an educator, I have new perspectives of how the brain retains information and learning experiences, how they are transferred to long-term memory, and how deeply exposure to the arts affects the brain and learning. In my current role as a teacher-trainer, I will use the information in this book to develop better brain-friendly professional development workshops for adults. As a parent, understanding the optimal times for children to be exposed to language, motor skills, music and the arts is invaluable. I only wish I had this book at the beginning of my career and when my own children were younger!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam on April 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book “practices what it preaches”. The author, David Sousa, has designed the layout, format, charts, bullet points, graphs and overall structure to keep the reader engaged, for both right and left hemisphere learners. There’s a lot of helpful, research-based content about how our brains retain, process, store and transfer information.
Examples include the need for good nutrition, the importance of using humor, how the five senses aid in the learning process, and how short and long-term memory work. Good overview of brain anatomy and function, in easy-to-grasp language.
Very practical recommendations for everyday life and a guide for students in graduate level courses as well. In a media-saturated, sound-byte world, it’s good to know how we are wired and how our brains are processing it all. The "Practitioner's Corner" and worksheets at the end of each chapter also are very helpful. The non-students in my family also found it engaging. Recommend it !!!

Sam
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 123Jeremy on April 23, 2015
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed the layout and format of the Sousa text. My brain was able to stay engaged. The content and structure of the book speaks to what my left hemisphere craves - and the layout satisfied the attention challenges of my right hemisphere.

The nightly news has changed so much over time. It is no longer a still shot of an anchor from a desk for 30 minutes. We have graphics, video clips and ticker info scrolling while the anchor talks. All the while we can interact with others about what we are hearing on social media. This book is the "CNN" version of a college text book. It has all the content needed for growth, but is packaged in a way that keeps one engaged. Great job updating something in a market (text books) that is not known for innovation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brent on April 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Sousa describes how the brain learns to an audience of educators. In eight chapters he describes what the brain is and how it processes, retains, transfers, and organizes information. It is a scientific view of the brain and cognition that is approachable and very practical.
The book is chuck full of recommendations for the teacher but doesn’t skimp out on the science behind it all. There is lots of content to chew on and it is presented in a helpful, if not exhaustive, manner. I would have liked the chapters to be broken down a bit differently but the overall ideas still stood out among the 336 pages.
I would recommend reading this book. It is a great place to start for those looking to make their teaching more “brain-compatible.”
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