Preparing for Instruction 4 – Cognitive Science for Learning

Give Your Brain a Boost – Tips on Improving Memory

If you would like to apply cognitive science to your teaching strategy, with the goal of helping give your students’ brains a memory boost, you may want to check out the HelpGuide website’s  article, how to Improve Your Memory.

The article is about how you can boost you own memory, but some of the concepts could easily be applied to how you teach.

The first tip to improve your memory reccommends to

                              “Give your Brain a Workout”

basically if an activity isn’t challenging it isn’t stimulating to the brain and is less likely to stimulate longterm memory. New ideas and new challenges stimulate the brain and keep it working at full force. As well, the brain remembers better when learning buildable skills, such as starting with basic concepts that build up to new and more demanding ideas and problems.

These are really simple ideas to incorporate into your teaching and learning activities, and although they may seem intuitive to many, they are based on a foundation of research in the cognitive sciences.

Developing a challenging activity that supports your learning objective and gives the brain a boost could be as simple as an activity where students are only given some of the information they need to solve a certain problem or scenario. Because they only have some of the information, they will have to think of multiple “what-ifs” and really think about the problem at hand. This is a simple way to challenge the brain and give it a work out, all the while improving student memory of what they are learning.

 

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