Site creator:  SEDL Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

Publication title:  Classroom Compass

Article Title: How Can Research on the Brain Inform Education?

I recommend it because of this excerpt:

Emotions and the Mind

Educators may find the most useful information in research that focuses less on the physical and biochemical structure of the brain and more on the mind-a complex mix of thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and reasoning. Studies that explore the effects of attitudes and emotions on learning indicate that stress and constant fear, at any age, can circumvent the brain’s normal circuits. A person’s physical and emotional well-being are closely linked to the ability to think and to learn effectively. Emotionally stressful home or school environments are counterproductive to students’ attempts to learn. While schools cannot control all the influences that impinge on a young person’s sense of safety and well-being, classrooms and schools that build an atmosphere of trust and intellectual safety will enhance learning. Letting students talk about their feelings can help them build skills in listening to their classmates’ comments. Finding ways to vent emotions productively can help students deal with inevitable instances of anger, fear, hurt, and tension in daily life.