Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 8:00 AM

Understanding Today's Student - How Do They Learn?.

Stephen Thien, KS St. Univ.-Dep. of Agronomy, 1022 Throckmorton, 1022 Throckmorton, Manhattan, KS 66506, United States of America

When both teacher and learner understand how learning occurs, chances for a desired outcome greatly improve. While learning obviously has a content component, the learning process component typically governs success.  In the classroom, content is offered by teachers employing a teaching process and learned by students employing a learning process.  Wouldn’t it seem most reasonable to knowingly match these processes?  While content can undoubtedly be learned without either party comprehending the processes involved, it seems intuitive to expect better results if both teacher and learner understand how the brain learns and can intentionally apply relevant processes.  All learning is brain-based and recent achievements in neuroscience have shed insights on brain learning processes.  Applying these findings to the classroom raises teacher expectations that classroom activities can be designed to utilize brain processes in the most appropriate manner to facilitate learning.  Ideally both parties would be aware of what is to be learned, how it can best be learned, and know when it has been learned.  Such a scenario holds much promise as the ultimate teacher-student connection.  I will describe some brain-enrichment activities and illustrate how they might be applied in the classroom to enhance learning.