NEUROSCIENTIFIC LITERACY OF THE UNDERGRADUATES IN EDUCATION. A COMPARISON OF STUDIES

M.J. Hernandez-Serrano, G. Parra Nieto

University of Salamanca (SPAIN)
Recent advances on the brain functions are providing relevant insights to be applied to education and learning explanations. Neuroscientific knowledge needs to be integrated into the syllabus of the undergraduates, especially for the educational students that are trained to become a teacher. However the biological understanding of the brain might be being introduced to students, implicit or explicit, by means of misconceptions or the so-called: neuromyths.

In this study we carried out a survey with a sample of 157 undergraduates of the Educational Faculty in order to identify their misconceptions about the neuroscientific literacy. This survey was adapted from Howard-Jones (2013), by selecting eight out of the fifteen neuroeducational myths explored by the author.

Results from the study are presented separating the correct and incorrect answers, the differences are discussed, whether statistically significant or not, among students across the four courses of the Educational Degree. Finally we compare our results with those obtained by Howard-Jones and the outcomes from similar studies.

Main conclusion is that neuromyths are higher in the youngest students (first courses); a progressive tendency can be observed in which elder students (third and fourth courses) have less misconceptions, and may find a positive connection in between neuroscience and education. Our results are similar to the other studies, although we found higher percentages of unknowing responses, related to the most relevant brain outcomes such as neurogenesis or brain training.