About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3391-3400
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

APPLYING THE “THIRD CULTURE” THINKING: NEUROEDUCATION, A NEW SYNTHETIC, SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF TEACHING-LEARNING USEFUL TO ALL EDUCATION LEVELS

F. Cordoba Garcia

University of Huelva (SPAIN)
About twenty years ago I began to teach a regular lecture on the biological basis of learning and memory. My students would be future teachers. I found it surprising that in the curriculum of teacher career there was no subject on the brain and its functioning, as this is the substrate of learning and memory. Unfortunately, school teachers remain currently without rigorous and updated information on this topic.

After C.P. Snow lecture at the end of the 50th and mainly after the John Brockman’s book entitled “The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution” (1995), a new philosophy is emerging in which scientific and humanistic traditions are converging. This one will be possible by the “consilience” (Wilson, 1998) obtained after the concordance and convergence of evidences from unrelated sources to explain reality.

In this way, and in the last decade, a new interdisciplinary field joining biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, development and education is rising up. In a recent paper, K.W.Fischer (2009) wrote about the need to “build on the best integration of research with practice, creating a strong infrastructure that joins scientists with educators to study effective learning and teaching in educational setting”. Currently, data on the outcomes of education in some western countries, where constructivism is the educational predominant theory, are very negative, having an alarming rate of failure and dropout of scholar students. In Spain, the results of our students in the PISA tests are really disappointing. In 2012, D.C. Phillips published an essay with the suggestive title of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Many Faces of Constructivism”. After writing that “constructivism has become something akin to a secular religion”, the author ends with an optimistic though: “this still leaves plenty of room for us to improve the nature and operation of our knowledge-constructing communities, to make them more inclusionary and to empower long-silenced voices”. Similarly, I. Enkvist alerts against contructivism since the current educational trends ignore the experience of many generations about the importance of teachers to create enthusiasm for knowledge. In such a way, the prestigious educator Ken Robinson remembers that “there is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools”.

The modern neuroeducation has a hard challenge to solve: how to teach future teachers the basis of scientific knowledge about neurobiology to be useful in their work in the classroom? Neuroeducation has opened new insights from knowledge on brain mechanism involved in learning and memory, especially after proving that genetics and environment shape each human brain while neural connections are plastic along all the life, although there are critical periods in which specific neural networks are opened to experience. Furthermore, neurobiologists and cognitive psychologists provide, consistently, evidence that the teacher's role stimulating curiosity, attention and even excitement and pleasure in the learners can improve their performance or solve problems in students with learning disabilities. Maybe, the most relevant contribution of the neuroeducational specialists is the needs to teachers create a positive cognitive-emotional link in the learners to respond to the expectations of the highly competitive society in which we live. This is our challenge…
@InProceedings{CORDOBAGARCIA2014APP,
author = {Cordoba Garcia, F.},
title = {APPLYING THE “THIRD CULTURE” THINKING: NEUROEDUCATION, A NEW SYNTHETIC, SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF TEACHING-LEARNING USEFUL TO ALL EDUCATION LEVELS},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {3391-3400}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Cordoba Garcia
TI - APPLYING THE “THIRD CULTURE” THINKING: NEUROEDUCATION, A NEW SYNTHETIC, SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF TEACHING-LEARNING USEFUL TO ALL EDUCATION LEVELS
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 3391
EP - 3400
ER -
F. Cordoba Garcia (2014) APPLYING THE “THIRD CULTURE” THINKING: NEUROEDUCATION, A NEW SYNTHETIC, SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF TEACHING-LEARNING USEFUL TO ALL EDUCATION LEVELS, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 3391-3400.
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