Neuromyths Evidence-Based Practices

This week I would like share ideas that influence teaching and perhaps confuse foundational ways in which we learn. The Sep 2019 report is entitled Neuromyths and Evidence-Based Practices in Higher Ed from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The authors define neuromyths as "false beliefs associated with teaching and learning, that stem from misconceptions about brain function (Garaizar, Vadillo, & Ferrero, 2016; Gleichgerrcht, Lira Luttges, Salvarezza, & Campos, 2015; Karakus, Howard-Jones, & Jay, 2015; Sarrasin, Riopel, & Masson, 2019)." Key findings included:

  • Correct responses to the 23 statements ranged from 11- 94%. Neuromyths which respondents were most susceptible:

  • Listening to classical music increases reasoning ability.

  • Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning styles.

  • Some are “left or right-brained” which explain differences in how we learn.

  • We only use 10% of our brain.

  • Correct responses to the 28 statements representing evidence-based practices from the learning sciences ranged from 26-99%. Practices to which respondents had the greatest awareness:​

  • Emotions affect human cognitive processes (attention, learning, reasoning, problem-solving).

  • Explaining the purpose of a learning activity helps engage students.

  • Maintaining a positive atmosphere helps promote learning.

  • Stress can impair the ability of the brain to encode and recall.

  • Meaningful feedback accelerates learning.

  • Faculty development is a predictor of awareness of (a) neuromyths and general knowledge about the brain, and (b) evidence-based practices.

Betts, K., Miller, M., Tokuhama-Espinosa, T., Shewokis, P., Anderson, A., Borja, C., Galoyan, T., Delaney, B., Eigenauer, J., & Dekker, S. (2019). International report: Neuromyths and evidence-based practices in higher education. Online Learning Consortium: Newburyport, MA

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