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What should we be teaching elementary school children about their brains, neuroscience and learning? I am beginning to develop some curric.

What do you think are the most importand and developmentally appropriate neuroscience topics for 8-12 year olds?

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  • Dec 22 2011: I'm pondering this question myself. I have been reading about how the emotional brain/filter gets in the way of children being able to solve math problems. The anxiety blocks their ability to take problem solving step by step. I'm a fourth grade teacher, and have several students with significant math anxiety- and social anxiety as a result of the math anxiety. They don't want their friends to know they are struggling. I am thinking that if I can show one student in particular how his brain is preventing him from being able to think in a sequential fashion, it will help him- just by understanding this is normal. I'd love other opinions as to how to handle this.
  • Mary T

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    Dec 22 2011: Open up the world for them and let them take you on a journey. What does the average adult know about learning anyway, unless we have de schooled ourselves we are too far removed to teach such a thing. Watch a child who is free, watch animals - not in cages. When you teach about the brain and neuroscience you should start every sentence with "what we know now is...." and then end it with "what they thought 5, 10 15 or 20 years ago".
  • W T 100+

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    Dec 22 2011: At the elementary level children basically need to be aware that a brain is for thinking, that it is a muscle, and that the best way to keep it healthy is to use it by learning something new every day. We tend to use words like "focus on what you're doing, and "train your brain" to think before answering...etc.

    Other than this, I am inclined to echo Frans thoughts....Please don't.

    Children in the elementary schools need to develop critical thinking skills...done through higher order questions based on Bloom's taxonomy, in addition to word play and other enrichment activities. This, in my opinion is enough.
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    Dec 19 2011: Please don't!
    Learn them to learn, learn them to find their own answers.
    It could well be they have to unlearn all this over a few years.
    It is way easier to get opinions in the world than to get rid of them again.