Brain –based learning which is also refereed to as compatible learning has been defined as learning that is centered on the understanding of how the human brain works. This is a form of learning where the educators come up with strategies that are accommodative and are consistent with the brain working environment. In this form of learning, the brain is termed as the organ of learning, thus, it is treated with dew diligence that is based on scientific research findings on brain functioning. The emergence of brain based learning has been attributed to continuous neurological research that is sound (Keles & Cepni, 2006).
Believers of this system assert that, brain-based learning makes the educator more aware of how the brain conceptualizes ideas and new knowledge thus, making it a prerequisite teaching practice. To understand why brain based learning is highly advocated for, it is vital to learn how our brains operate. N. Caine and G. Caine assert that, the brain performs numerous functions (1990). The educator must be in a position to use teaching methods that facilitate the learning process. They further argue that, learning should be as natural as possible. This is because, the brain absorbs information that it pays attention to. This response acts as the peripheral stimuli. The brain responds to this stimulus through the sensory motor that leads to the understanding of the subject understudy (N. Caine and G. Caine, 1990).
Just like any other cell in our body, the brain is stimulated by new information which is transmitted from the nerve cells. This information is also transmitted to other nerve cells across gaps referred to as synapses. This is further transmitted to smaller branches referred to as dendrites. The more alert the student, the more the chances that more branches are formed and thus the more the information transmitted is understood (Weiss, 2000).
To ensure that the material being communicated is absorbed by the brain, it is important to organize the information that is detected by the nerve cells. Therefore, as an educator, it is important to be mindful of the two hemispheres of the brain by incorporating techniques that make learning a stress free event that is centered on exercising the brain. This also calls for influencing the direction of the lessons through preparing lessons plans that help learners to learn concepts in a gradual manner i.e. from simple to complex. Brain based learning also involves stabilizing the students emotions through assuring them and practicing sincerity (N. Caine and G. Caine, 1990).
The main focus of brain-based learning is ensuring that students learn in a stable environment. This can only be achieved through exercising the brain. Brain exercise is vital because it leads to plasticity. According to Weiss (2000), plasticity refers to “the ability to change the structure and chemistry of the brain in response to the environment” (p.28). when the brain is in a relaxed mode, it is possible for the student learning new concepts to conceptualize and synthesize more information as compared to when the brain is in a distress mode.
According to Weiss (2000), a relaxed brain is more alert about things that are happening and thus improving the chances of recalling an event. Recalling is an important facet of learning because it helps students to memorize the important aspects of the different courses. Students who are not in a position to recall what they were taught in class are doomed to fail as; exams are set as per the course content. Therefore, exercising the brain encourages students to recall important points. Further, this allows them to repeat any activities that are relevant to their course.
According to Weiss (2000), when the brain is fatigue, overwhelmed or threatened through emotional discomfort, it becomes difficult for students to understand concepts. When the brain is stressed, gathered “information takes the primary pathway…” (p. 29). This implies that the student can only understand the basic information while the complex information is discarded. Further, under stressful conditions, it is difficult for students to employ critical thinking which is vital for purposes of understanding and explaining learnt concepts. This means that their thinking is reduced to the basic understanding of what they learn in class. Therefore, students under stress underutilize the capability of their brain power.
A stressed up brain limits the thinking capacity of any given student. Therefore, this limits the ability of students to use their imaginations and become creative or innovative. This is attributed to the fact that students are not able to use their higher range thinking spheres of the brain. Further, a stressed mind envisions leaning as a bothering activity that should be avoided. This leads to the emergence of a group of students who go through the education system without internalizing some of the most basic concepts vital for any school going individual (Keles & Cepni, 2006).
In conclusion, as the health teacher, I highly recommend that this school incorporates brain based learning strategies into the curriculum. This is because such a system guarantees to improve on the efficacy of the learning process. The system is also advantageous in the sense that it helps students to learn in a more relaxed and natural environment that accommodates and meets the learning requirements of the brain. Further, this system will help reduce the stress level and emotional influence on education. And as a result, the school system will be able to produce all rounded graduates who are able to employ critical thinking and creativity in their endeavors.