on October 21, 2010
Importantly, author and Johns Hopkins graduate, Mariale Hardiman, comes from two points of view having served as both a K-12 educator and college faculty. Hardiman's primary goal to inform educational practice shows in her practical model that synthesizes research on the brain and learning into an approach that can be used in the classroom.
In the chapter on important themes in brain research, Hardiman states that just as the potential for learning continues throughout the lifespan, `research also tells us that effective instruction not only increases memory and learning but also produces neurobiological changes in the brain.' Teachers who read this book can use the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model to improve instruction. The model is also appropriate for use by school leaders, professional developers, and instructional mentors who want to improve teaching practice through their work with groups of educators.
In the author's words `The model does not propose new methods of teaching. Rather, it synthesizes a number of elements related to research-based effective teaching and connects each one to what neuroscience reveals about how the brain learns.' The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model describes and discusses six stages within the learning and teaching process: emotional climate, physical learning environment, design of the learning experience, how to teach declarative and procedural knowledge, teaching for extension and application of knowledge, and evaluating learning.
This book, originally published in 2003, includes a brief section about the brain that might be updated to include more research that has been published since. Nevertheless, it is a valuable resource for those who desire to keep up with important work in this expanding field.
Dr. Hardiman provides a model which can be used by every classroom teacher in organizing the wealth of information being published to improve instructional techniques. While aimed at brain research, the model can include differentiated instruction as well as other techniques.
The book provides six categories in which to place all relevant notes and information. These six categories serve as the conduit between research and application. The last chapters provide a large number of learning units which have been "field tested" as well as information on school improvement planning.
With the continued transition of classroom instruction into a science as well as an art, this is a must read!