DR. TRACEY TOKUHAMA-ESPINOSA'S CONGRESS SPEECH 2
PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND THE CHANGING NATURE OF TEACHING- HOW NEUROSCIENCE IS CHANGING EDUCATION
CONGRESS | 17 APR 2019
In 2016, 40 thought leaders from 11 different countries agreed on the guiding Principles, Tenets and Goals of Mind, Brain and Education science (Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2017). This group also agreed, however, that there were more myths on the educational landscape than ever before. Howard-Jones’ research (2014) shows that more than 50% of teachers around the world mistakenly believe in neuromyths which can potentially do harm in the classroom. In 2017, the OECD published recommendations for the new pedagogical knowledge needed by teachers as the teaching profession changes to adapt to new societal needs (Guerrero, 2017).
This presentation will share the six (6) things that are “true” about all brains as they learn (Principles); 21 things that are “true” but with a great range of human variation (Tenets), and over 70 Neuromyths that need to be wiped from the repertoire of teacher knowledge as they “do harm” in educational settings. The experts concurred that a prerequisite to learning the Principles and Tenets in Mind, Brain, and Education teaching is to first understand and to avoid the Neuromyths. This same message has been echoed in more than three hundred academic papers, but to date, few professional development programs or teaching colleges train teachers on how to avoid neuromyths.
Neuromyths are a challenge in teacher education not only because they are rarely explicitly taught, but also because teachers seldom learn enough research skills in their professional preparation to avoid them without direct instruction. The lack of scientific literacy on the part of teachers leaves them vulnerable to the barrage of popular press headlines that sound alluring, but which have little evidence behind them. Do people really use only 10% of their brains, adhere to learning style preferences and are either right or left-brain dominant? Are boys’ and girls' brains differently equipped for different functions? Do Omega-3, green tea and ginseng really improve learning? Is technology really ruining our brains? The evolving profile of the modern teacher is complex and requires new competencies, including the ability judge the quality of educational research in order to avoid the belief in neuromyths. This presentation will highlight 70+ myths on the educational landscape and guide participants in ways to avoid them and scrutinize the research.
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