Neuroscience knowledge enriches pedagogical choices

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Neuroscience knowledge enriches pedagogical choices

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Teachers face a daunting challenge in balancing the demands of employing student-centered pedagogies in contexts where mandated testing and district teaching expectations can easily constrain or compromise their pedagogy. In this pilot study, we investigated how professional development based on the “neuroscience of learning” impacted non-science teacher understanding of basic neuroscience; and, in turn, how that knowledge impacted their reflections on pedagogy. In a pre/post design, teacher understanding of neuroscience improved significantly after the 36-h course based upon a set of educational neuroscience concepts. Furthermore, teacher revisions of their lesson plans after the course revealed the integration of more student-centered pedagogies.


This paper analyzes how teachers utilize neuroscience knowledge gained during a for-credit masters level course at the University of TX at Arlington whose content was essentially a BrainU. The performance piece for the course was to revise a lesson plan and justify the revisions with comments. The comments were analyzed for how much they reflected the course content.

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This work was supported by the Steffen Palko Endowment for the SWCenter for Mind, Brain and Education.

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Schwartz MS, Hinesley V, Chang Z, Dubinsky JM. 2019 Neuroscience Knowledge Enriches Pedagogical Choices. Teaching and Teacher Education. Teaching and Teacher Education 83:87-98.

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