During this past summer, I took an online class called “How the Brain Learn Mathematics.” The class was based on David A. Sousa’s book and was offered through Learner’s Edge (a program with several classes, geared towards teachers, taught by teachers). I have recently been extremely interested in how our students’ brains are wired and this class has now elevated my interest to learn even more. As educators, it is important to recognize that students retain knowledge when they have moved information from their working memory to their long term memory.Â There are several techniques we can use in our teaching to help students with this transition, but the one that stands out most to me is that we need to allow our students to establish meaning of their learning, relate to it, and make real-life connections. As my interest in brain research continues to peak, I am really hoping to attend the Learning & the Brain conference. If my school approves this PD opportunity for me, I could possibly see and listen to one or more of the following presenters: David Sousa, Howard Gardner, and Marc Prensky. WOW!
So, I’m now curious to know what the big brain researchers say about flipping classrooms. Would they agree or disagree? I’m sure there would be people who stand on both sides of the fence with the idea of flipping a classroom. Some students may absolutely excel with a flipped classroom, while others may struggle. With almost any new approach that comes through education, I believe we must find a nice balance … and in this case, a bit of flipping and a bit of face-to-face teaching. The pendulum is constantly swinging from one idea to another, rather than taking several ideas/approaches into account. I feel like we need to slow the pace of this pendulum down a bit, and provide our students with a variety of learning experiences (some including the ideas from a flipped classroom, of course!)