Plenary by James E. Zull

This plenary talk looks at the neuroscience of learning.

About the session

A brain-based model for human learning; application for educators

This session will review our growing knowledge about the brain and learning, in terms that are understandable by all educators at all levels, from pre-school to professional school and graduate school. I will present actual neuroscience experiments, and show how those experiments suggest an accessible theory for using that information to enhance learning. The presentation will consist of two sections: 1) fundamental ideas for all pedagogy, based on my first book The Art of Changing the Brain; and 2) special focus on cognitive growth as described in my recent second book, From Brain to Mind. The presentation will center on stories of the author's real life experiences with students and teachers, over a 45-year time span. There will be a special emphasis on learning language, which is the core of cognitive maturation and personal growth. In addition, I will make specific suggestions about applying these ideas in formal schooling, as well as through experiential learning.

About the speaker

James E. Zull is Professor of Biology and Founding Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). After receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) he taught and conducted research in Biochemistry at CWRU for 25 years, publishing over 100 papers. He became UCITE Director in 1994 and began to study the literature on learning and neuroscience, which led to his books The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning and From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience as a Guide to Change in Education. These books provide an accessible discussion of the biology of learning for teachers at all levels.

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