NEUROSCIENCE FOUNDATIONS IN TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DELIVERS UNEXPECTED ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE OUTCOMES
1 Institute for Connecting Neuroscience with Teaching and Learning (UNITED STATES)
2 Puget Sound ESD (UNITED STATES)
3 University of Washington, School of Nursing (UNITED STATES)
4 University of Washington, College of Education (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This paper reports findings from a National Institutes of Health longitudinal study that introduced fundamentals of neuroscience to middle school teachers. Results offer immediate implications for how teachers teach and how adolescent students learn as a result of this intervention. In this timely study we deliver tangible findings to a growing field that connects neuroscience with teaching and learning. Theories in action are described and studies for future research are suggested. An interdisciplinary team implemented a learning sciences pedagogical model, which translated research in neuroscience into practice and strategies for incumbent middle school teachers (N=125) in a regional (Puget Sound) Educational Service District. Cumulative evidence is described in a mixed methods model that includes quantitative data and ethnographic descriptive data.
Findings illuminate tangible outcomes for teachers who received:
(i) a prescribed neuroscience course,
(ii) a follow-on tech-enabled PLC (Professional Learning Community) experience.
Three learning outcomes are reported here—findings, which appear to move the needle toward adaptive expertise for middle school teachers in adolescent classroom settings:
(i) all teachers gained relevant information relating to human anatomy and brain for adolescent learning,
(ii) all teachers used brain-centric pedagogic models that ‘made visible’ student attitudes in areas like ‘stress’ and ‘mindset’ in adolescent learning,
(iii) a knowledge of neuroscience principles impelled teachers to define an ‘edge’ to their teaching capacity with regard to classroom methodologies and theories--an edge that we describe as ‘adaptive’ expertise.
Future studies are suggested that focus on ideas for attenuating these particular outcomes in more in-depth studies that seek to increase teacher capacity and neuroscience footprint in classrooms beyond middle school.
Keywords: Neuroscience, adaptive expertise, learning sciences, professional learning community.