Brain-based learning is a constructive way of maximizing learning and teaching both naturally, and motivationally. The research from neuroscience has lead to a comprehensive approach to instruction described as brain-based learning. The knowledge into the structure and functioning of the body has contributed a commendable deal to the understanding of how brain learns naturally (Politano & Paquin, 2000). In addition, the neuroscience has helped explain educational techniques that the brain provides biologically motivated way of creating effective instruction.
The increase in information to be integrated by the brain has increased significantly over the past years hence the need to have relevant method of enhancing learning in classrooms. The research has, however, lead to the formulation of some basics to creating a brain-based learning.
Brain-based learning has principles which acknowledge that students have different and varied memorizing power. While some students can retain enough information, others poorly remember what they learnt earlier. Another group of student retains little information about something, but when they recall, they remember everything.
The study of a human brain has also enabled scientist conclude that some memories obtain enhancement by experiencing and repetition of an event. Emotions also play a crucial role in the development of treasured memories and making them stronger. In fact, some memories become so strong to point of association with the reflex action.
In institutions, the brain-based learning faces different challenges. The analysis of the challenges faced in implementing this learning method can be argued from the principles that make up the brain-based learning in general. The principles and their impacts plus challenges get discussed below.
The first principle states that a brain can perform different activities at the same time. This way, the brain acts as parallel processor. This means that the thoughts, emotions and imaginations can concurrently operate together with the entire body system as it exchanges information with the environment. In appreciation of this point, teachers need to engage student’s brains by involving in activities that utilize all aspects of brain. A large diversity of techniques, therefore, needs to be used, and this adds to the time and cost of education.
Secondly, the physiological health has a lot of weight in the learning arena. The things that affect physiological health affect the brain’s abilities. Subsequently, the management of stress levels healthy feeding habits, exercising and relaxation of body and mind should be given significance. Students ought to, for example, take enough rest by sleeping for a reasonable time (Pritchard, 2008). Reduction of stress may also come from flexibility of timetables. This calls for high level of diligence and integrity, which cannot be guaranteed.
According to one principle of brain-based learning, the ability to make sense of an environment is innate. The registration and responding to the environment should be automatically done by the brain. This majorly applies to the student’s curiosity and hunger to discover, or even challenge what they learn. If, for example, students raise many questions to a single teacher, it will be hard to respond to all of them. Therefore, this quite becomes impractical in the current student learning set-up.
The brain perceives and generates patterns for meaningful information as it discards patterns of ‘unrealistic’ patterns from unrelated or irrelevant information. Educators face the challenge of influencing the direction a student perceives the diverse life studies. If, a student, patterns useful information as irrelevant, then it gets lost. What is learnt in a curriculum should be explained and its relevance highlighted. This will help ensure that students develop appropriate attitude towards the forthcoming lessons of the semester.
Emotions play an imperative role in the learning process too. It is true that what is learnt gets influenced by the mind set as linked to expectations or personal judgment (which could be biased). Because of this the teachers face a bigger task of understanding student’s feelings or even their attitudes. This understanding task goes beyond the classroom, and into the socially interactive places such as cafeteria.
The other principle of brain-based learning is appreciation of two different ways organizing memory. An autobiographical or spatial memory does require rehearsal. It provides instant recovery of memory rather than a set of systems for rote learning. This variation shows that memorization fails the transfer information for learning. In fact, it may hinder the understanding of concepts later. Educators face the challenge of not taking into account such personal world of learner.
Real-life activity in the learning institutions is also a challenge. It is true that comprehension of new skills or concepts passes well to the student through participation (Jensen, 1995). Activities such as class demonstrations, field trips, visual imagery et cetera help in understanding the concepts of the course. However, all these natural or spatial memory comes with a price because the materials and even facilities for trips add to the expenses of the school.
Lastly, every brain is unique. Provision of choices in the schools so as to fit an individual’s interest of the large student’s population is impractical currently in most schools.
In view of the above challenges, the brain-based learning still remains a dream to many learning institutions in the world. This developmental learning process demands so many changes to the school management as well as to the student’s personal life. However, the approach can bring up a highly productive graduate both socially and in the professionalism fields.