Book Review: Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice

May 21, 2009
Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice
By: Patricia Wolfe

As I continue to read about Brain-compatible learning, this book has helped me to get a firmer grasp of some of the research and how that research can be implemented in my classroom.
The book itself is broken into three parts. Part I provides an understandable overview of the brain’s structure and how scientists study the physical elements of the brain. Have you ever been able to discuss the differences between a PET scan and an MRI? What about the Hippocampus versus the Parietal Lobes? This section helps you develop the vocabulary and procedural knowledge that allows you to further explore the implications of brain research on your classroom.
Part II delves into the processing methods that the brain uses. This part really opened my eyes to the benefits of restructuring my delivery of information. By dividing the learning process into “sensory memory”, “working memory” and “long-term memory” the importance of a diversified, spiraled learning method is evident. The definition of sensory input as opposed to perception is enlightening, and permeates my students; learning success daily.
Finally, the most practical part of the book, Part III, shares a number of strategies and examples of teachers utilizing brain-friendly techniques to enhance their students’ learning. Simulations, role-playing, problem solving; all things that we have been told work, but never knew why. Wolfe provides the insight that connects these worthwhile activities to brain-compatible learning. I have always employed bits of these strategies, but now that I know that research supports the physical benefit of engaging in these activities I will be much more likely to increase their use.
Definitely a worthwhile read. I would recommend this to anyone who would like an understandable background over the medical research that vindicates a creative, engaging classroom environment.



One Response to Book Review: Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice

  1. Lesson Upgrades
    December 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Published a new blog post: Book…

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