BRAIN-BASED PEDAGOGY IN K-12 EDUCATION
The author is Teacher Distr ict
WARLITO M. FLORES
Changing demographics and kindergarten through 12 school reform initiatives, such as the recently legislated, Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (EBEA 2013) have reinforced the need to better comprehend the course and methods of lear ning and how best to teach a variety or diversity of learners. One issue that continues and remains to resur face is how best to deliver information and facilitate learning for the student.
Br ain-Based Learning exper ts like Guar ino, Hami lton, Lockwood, and Rathbun looked at the effect of teacher qualifications and practices on achievement in reading and mathematics among kindergarten students. They found that engaging students in activities such as reading aloud or showing how to solve a problem were among the teaching strategies associated with improved test scores. Furthermore, taking four or six or more courses in teaching methods was associated with greater use of student-centred instructional practices. Yet in a 2008 survey of teaching practices of faculty teaching undergraduates, 83% indicated lecture/ discussion as their primary teaching strategy (Chen, 2002). Now in question is whether college of education facul ty are role-modelling the most effective pedagogical and inst ruct ional methods for future K-12 teachers.
Best practices in education have emerged from numerous theor ies: cognitive learning theory metacognition, multiple intelligences, and adult learning theory. The field of cognitive and educational psychology has formed the majority of these theor ies early and they eventually evolved into neurobiology, biology of cognition, education and behavioural theor ies, and theories of learning. This article advocates a theory-based process of elements from Theory of Deliberate Conduct (TDC). TDC has been successfully used in many contexts, especially in healthcare. Cognitive psychologists created a step-bystep process to choose human-subject characteristics to use in his studies. This process was used in this article as an eight-step process for basic education elements to focus on in BRAIN-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL PEDAGOGY. According to educational psychologists, the TDC theory has become the most widely applied in his field.
However, in the real world of basic education, resources are very scarce to allow certain elements of investigation. There are not many studies on brainbased lear ning and attitudes of teachers in brain-based learning in basic education. Even if researchers with enough time were found to conduct these studies, the cost of changing education and lack of completeness of analysing teaching techniques in higher education classes would be prohibitive. This lack of completeness is not itself, a problem; an analysis of a larger sample can yield valuable information. In drawing samples from classroom elements ( i.e., lectures, discussions, interactions, temperature, environment, seating, charts, mind-maps, field trips, role plays, and experiences within classes and the quality of other supports that impact students’ experience of their learning) , some faculty may make instructional choices based on convenience, academic politics, personal preferences, past exper iences, and other influences that may, or my not, result in the best form of learning for each individual.
Other faculty may take a more reasoned approach, and turn to the research literature for a better understanding of brain-based learning. In doing so, they will find a multitude of learning strategies and styles, each with its own methodology, its own processes and suggestions, and its own ideas about what the key elements of learning are.
The eight-step process goes beyond other methods and theor ies because it is easy to tailor to individual needs and resources. It is “unique to institutional needs” and it benefits many stakeholders alike.
We, teachers, have to always bear in mind that, in education, the bottom line is student learning and student achievement. This is the main framework of BRAIN BASED INSTRUCTIONAL PEDAGOGY or any pedagogical theory for that matter. — oOo—
II at San Jose Elementary School, Macabebe West