Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learning and the Brain 2011 - Gerald N.Tirozzi

Keynote I: Faulty Connections: How School Reform Ignores How the Brain Works
Gerald N. Tirozzi, PhD

Saturday, February 19, 2011
San Francisco, CA
Learning and the Brain Conference

The Brain Rule - a book to check out

It is important to understand how the brain works before you make decisions about how school works. Why does school start at age 5 when the brain is developing the most prior to this.

Educational taxidermist - stuffing students uniformly with little or no understanding of how children learn.

Why does the day end at 3:00? Is that when the brain stops working? Why does school not happen in the summer? Poor students do not have access to summer programing that give wealthier students rich experiences that help them when they come back to school.

Why do high school teachers mostly lecture? Students need to see images, graphics, etc to learn from a lecture. We do not see with our eyes, we see with out brains.

Why do we offer foreign language in high school when it is best to start in elementary?

Why do we start high school at 7:30 AM when adolescents learn better at 9 or 10 AM? This is simply to accommodate bus schedules and coaches' schedules not in the interest of learning.

Waiting for Superman - depicts charter schools as the holy grail of education reform. We want a level playing field for all students (ELL and Special Education students, access, etc.)

Standardized testing does not recognize the different learning styles or background knowledge or learning context. They are marked on how well they fill out a bubble. Students are marked incorrect when they are actually giving correct answers. They are just not giving the answer we want to hear.

Gardner - the bell shape curve should be 3 dimensional to reflect the 8 multiple intelligences. Students are failing because they excel in areas that are simply not assessed.

Point: Parenting programs, voluntary school for 4 year olds, voluntary all-day kindergarten programs. Extend the school day and the school year doing things differently (not if we are doing the same thing). National childhood literacy policy - make sure they are reading before they are leaving the 3rd grade.

"If we teach students today how we did yesterday, then we are robbing them of their tomorrows." - John Dewey

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