Neuroscience and the classroom – approach with caution or advance with excitement?

Speaking at the Girls’ School Association (GSA) annual conference in Manchester on the 20th November ’17, Professor Bruce Hood (Developmental Psychology, University of Bristol) has stated that scientists are only just beginning to understand the brain and that nothing can be said about how research in neuroscience might impact on education. “There is no one discovery from brain science that changes the way education works”

He also stated that “There has been a real explosion of interest in neuroscience. There has also been a corresponding increase of neuro-nonsense, neuro-myths or neuro-bollocks.”

“We don’t really know anything yet” he said, stating that scientists are only just beginning to understand the brain and how it works. He suggested that neuroscience can’t add anything meaningful to something “as complex as education…Teachers want to improve but they are being fed a diet of misconceptions and neuroscience nonsense.”

What are your thoughts about neuroscience and education? Has any research in neuroscience impacting on your work with children and young people?

TES call for writers

Do you work in a school? Do you have worries that are keeping you awake at night? Want to share your view as a psychologist or teacher working in schools?

Check out this call for writers on the topic “What keeps me awake at night” from Helen Amass at the TES. Simply write your piece and email her at Helen.amass@tesglobal.com. Helen has confirmed that she would be interested in hearing the views of psychologists working in schools as well as teachers, support assistants and other people involved with teaching and learning.

Superheroes, six year olds and homework

Ever struggled to encourage a child to complete their homework or a task in the classroom? In an interesting article for the British Psychology Society (BPS) Research Digest, Christian Jarrett discusses recent research reported in the journal of Child Development which found that when 180 children aged 4-6 years pretended to be a popular fictional character such as Batman, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder or Rapunzel, it helped them to keep focused and resist distractions. The question that this research leaves us with is “Why?” – what do you think?

Check out the BPS article here: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/10/05/pretending-to-be-batman-helps-kids-stay-on-task/

Check out the research article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12695/abstract?campaign=woletoc