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Synopsis

In the 21st century it's unacceptable for students not to make progress at a reasonable rate when instructors and students could benefit from what science has uncovered about learning. Modernizing Approaches to Learning discusses research related to the brain as the gateway to learning. When taking a brain-compatible approach to learning, we can learn faster and retain information and skills longer. The author discusses findings from neuroscience, cognitive science, physiological and psychological research about the brain and learning. He offers practical, modern ways to move from damaging educational approaches toward emotionally safe, self-discovery and self-reliant approaches. Approaches that are geared to help are not as valuable as those geared for self-help. Modernized approaches join the art of teaching with the science of learning where research demonstrates that we learn naturally through trial and error adjustments. To educate, means "to lead out from." The task is to lead learning out of student's minds that are filled with memories of wanted and unwanted outcomes, not to impose it. Many learning approaches stop too early and do not utilize brain-compatible learning approaches that encourage students to use their past experiences and unconscious minds. How words are used tops the list of elements that create learning conducive environments. Learners subjected to criticism, or suggestion that they were unsuccessful, do not respond as well as those who receive positive encouragement to experiment further. Another insight in this book that merits serious attention is that approaches to learning that attempt to fix unwanted outcomes are not as useful as approaches that enhance a student's learning potential. The author suggests a get-it-right approach (trying to get to a performance level by following someone else's path to a solution) should be avoided. Instead, utilize a learn-and-develop approach - to arrive at a performance or solution based on personal trial and error adjustments and recognize that a personal target or solution was met. In today's world, a learn-and-develop approach is 21st century and a teaching-to-fix approach is 20th century.

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