Towards an understanding of neuroscience for science educators

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Oliver, Mary (2011)

Advances in neuroscience have brought new insights to the development of cognitive functions. These data are of considerable interest to educators concerned with how students learn. This review documents some of the recent findings in neuroscience, which is richer in describing cognitive functions than affective aspects of learning. A brief overview is presented here of the techniques used to generate data from imaging and how these findings have the possibility to inform educators. There are implications for considering the impact of neuroscience at all levels of education – from the classroom teacher and practitioner to policy. This relatively new cross-disciplinary area of research implies a need for educators and scientists to engage with each other. What questions are emerging through such dialogues between educators and scientists are likely to shed light on, for example, reward, motivation, working memory, learning difficulties, bilingualism and child development. The sciences of learning are entering a new paradigm.
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