Once you say it out loud, it’s so obvious:
Teachers benefit from learning about psychology and neuroscience.
AND, psychologists and neuroscientists (in certain fields) benefit from learning more about classroom teaching.
These beliefs inspire our conferences and seminars and summer institutes, and they motivate this blog.
However — and this is a big however — conversations among these disciplines can prove a real challenge.
Why? So many reasons…
… These conversations often start with the assumption that teachers should be junior partners in this collaborative work. (Hint: we’re equal partners.)
… Each of these disciplines — including ours — starts with its own assumptions, builds off its own traditions, and papers over its own shortcomings.
… We all use our own complex terminology and vexing acronyms. (Quick: does ToM result from activity in the vmPFC, and should we discuss it in our IEPs?)
Given all these muddles (and many more), it’s impressive these conversations happen at all.
Dr. Cindy Nebel invited me to discuss these questions for a podcast over at The Learning Scientists.
We explore all these problems, along with dual coding, working memory overload, the importance of boundary conditions, and the complexities of motivation research.
We agree about many topics, disagree about a few, and solve as many problems as possible. (As a bonus, the link has a discount code for my newest book: The Goldilocks Map, A Teacher’s Quest to Evaluate ‘Brain-Based’ Teaching Advice.)
I’ve known Dr. Nebel for several years now. She and the other Learning Scientists do great work in this translation field, and they DON’T start with the assumption that teachers are junior partners.
I hope you enjoy our conversation!