Position Paper-Jill Herzig

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Brain Research - Jill Herzig The topic of brain research has become a hot topic in recent years. The areas concentrating on the windows of opportunity are of special interest to many educators because of the implications it has on education. The article chosen for review is from Education on the Web and is titled "Is the Fuss About Brain Research Justified?" by David A. Sousa.

One of the major controversial elements the article addresses is the emergence of brain research as a catalyst to how educators teach children. "Staff development in recent years has focused mainly on the teaching process, but now is shifting toward the learning process."

According to David Sousa," Teachers must have knowledge of how the brain learns to understand how to teach to their fullest potentials. Brain growth and development is a major area that concentrates on enriched learning environments and the age of acquisition. The "windows of opportunity" represent critical periods of optimal learning that eventually close off and cause learning to become more difficult."

The research has been shown to be controversial in that it goes against the traditional teaching methods. Teachers have to become more in tune to students needs and many will have to adjust their teaching methodology. For many older teachers, this may prove to be difficult. The tried and true drill techniques and lectures will not work in this learner-centered environment. Students have to be emotionally engaged in the subject matter and be taught in shorter learning episodes.

Other skeptics of this way of teaching argue that educators are not trained in this way of teaching and that it would be too difficult to revolutionize the teaching world. This is an argument that is unfounded in this day and age of technology. Educators are constantly learning and growing in their profession. It is what makes a good teacher great. We have available to us resources that will make us more competent. Why would we not take advantage of these and become more qualified? An educator must keep up with the evolving knowledge that is being offered by scientists and through technology. If this means that we have to be further instructed in the area of brain development then that is what should be expected of us. Brain research should be offered to all prospective educators as a class that they must take to receive a licensure in the profession.

If we must revolutionize the way educators teach to help students, then so be it. It will only benefit our youth and as a result, benefit anyone who comes in contact with them. We owe it to the youth of today to give them the best education possible even if the way they must be taught is evolving we must change with it and grow in our knowledge as educators.

Sousa, Dr. David A.( December 16, 1998). Is the Fuss about brain research justified? Available:


-- Anonymous, May 14, 1999

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