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Rebecca Kaplan

STEM Coordinator, Fraser Woods Montessori School

TEDCRED 500+

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Educating students about how their neurobiology impacts the way they feel can improve lives.

At a time in their lives where changes in their bodies often seem completely beyond their own control, teaching them techniques to manage their feelings (and therefore their destiny!) will change their lives.From experience, kids are very interested in how their own bodies and minds work, although life can seem very puzzling or challenging to them. Teaching them to recognize patterns in their feelings or behaviors that might just NOT be related to their character, but instead their physiology, is empowering in a way that is captivating to students.

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    Oct 4 2013: I am not saying a neurobiology course is squeezed into the curriculum! I remember, though, that one of the first units of the year for my son in 5th grade was on the adolescent brain. When I taught middle school, I remember it was in the 7th grade health curriculum. At my son's (different) middle school, there was a course that met a couple times each week called personal development that included this subject.

    I know many schools have health in the physical education department rather than in science. I would check at your school with the health teachers or whoever covers health education topics. I would also check with whichever staff do the anti-bullying curriculum.

    Here is one curriculum: http://www.teachervision.fen.com/brain/curriculum-planning/33732.html?detoured=1

    And here is the Foss kit on the brain for grades 6-8 from Lawrence Hall of Science at Berkeley: http://www.fossweb.com/web/foss-fossweb/module-overview?folioID=D564289

    And here from AAAS on what kids should learn about the brain and how it connects to national science standards in the US: http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=28900
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      Oct 4 2013: Fritzie, thanks for those resources. I do teach human physiology, and it is in the science standards that's true. I think I was considering more about how your physiology and brain function can affect the way you feel, think and operate in the world and with your family and friends.
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        Oct 4 2013: Yes, that is the way my kids were exposed to this content in grade school and middle school. It wasn't as a science topic but as a topic in understanding themselves.

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