Teacher Professional Development and Whole Brain Learning
Dec 29, 2010 Career Development 3898 Views
Ongoing teacher professional development has become a necessity for those in the profession. These courses prove to enhance teacher's abilities through the incorporation of new strategies. Once these techniques are put into use, the achievement of students dramatically increases. Researchers have found the whole brain teaching method to be extremely successful in helping students reach their full potential. This teaching method can help students improve their test taking approach, math and verbal skills, and their ability to concentrate and retain what they are being taught.
Whole brain teaching is an instructional method that stresses active learning. It involves the understanding of brain functionality and how the right and left hemispheres work together during the learning process. The human brain is integrated, which means the functions of one hemisphere are also accessible to the other hemisphere. With one side being logistical and the other being creative, whole brain teaching blends the two together- for an improved learning experience.
Teachers will gain knowledge of how to integrate different techniques in the classroom to enhance student performance. Primal thinking, which occurs during times of stress, always needs to be avoided. Students under distress do not process information properly and have a slim chance of actually retaining the information. Teachers can calm students by reassuring that everything will be ok. For example, motivating lines such as "sooner or later" or "this will get easier" will help to keep students calm and content. With worries out of the way, students will be able to relax and become more focused on their work. Playing music and surrounding students with calming or soothing colors can also help to improve their concentration and focus.
Imaging is a main concept involved in whole brain teaching. Since the core of this teaching method is on merging the abilities of both brain hemispheres, logistics must be mixed with creativity. Teachers will learn to encourage students to draw out their ideas on paper in order to visualize their thought process. This will help the students to easily retain the information because they will be able to physically see it, as opposed to just hear it from the teacher's mouth. Teachers will also learn the brain development process so that they are aware of how the brain is affected by learning and behavior. Depending on what age the students are, their brains may be at different development stages and therefore the teaching methods may need to be altered and specified for that age group.
Teacher professional development keeps teachers up to date on new theories of how children learn. Since a talented teacher is necessary for a student to be successful, it becomes important for teachers to continue learning everything they can in order to improve their teaching skills. Since all students do not learn and process information in the same ways, adopting a whole brain teaching approach may prove to be helpful for the teacher to use. Every area of the brain is working together and will facilitate concentration and comprehension for the students. Teachers will rediscover the joys of teaching and perform better in their careers.