Neuroscience: Can we use it to Create Better Learners?

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The field of education is contentious and resistant to innovation or change. There seems to be a growing sense that the problems that education systems face is just too difficult and multifaceted to fix. Most importantly, the focus is on how to “fix education infrastructure” (improve teachers, reduce class size, improve curriculum, develop alternative school models, etc.) rather than to “build better learners” by enhancing each child’s neural capacities and motivation for life-long learning.

Less than two decades ago the concept that you could improve educational outcomes by increasing each person’s neural capacities for learning would have been inconceivable because mainstream medicine and science believed that brain anatomy (and hence learning capacity) was fixed at birth. It is commonly believed that children enter school with differing (genetically endowed) brain capacities and that teachers must just make-do with these individual differences in learning capacity. Recent breakthroughs in the neuroscience of learning have demonstrated that this view is fundamentally wrong.

Read more in my full-length Forbes Blog.

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Naveen Jain