Author Stephen Braybrook
Brain-based learning model.
According to Avci (2007) there have been different models of how our brain works throughout the years but one of the most popular in brain culture is that of brain localisation (Corballis, 2014.) More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, observed that our brain had two sides, a left and a right, and later Roger Sperry in 1968 (Sperry, 1961) researched this ideology with his findings helping format the left or right brained model (Jensen, 1998; Jenson, 2008). Although each hemisphere is dominant in certain activities, they are both basically skilled in all areas, with these skills identified by Sperry distributed throughout the cortex (Sperry, 1961). Levy’s 1983 research confirmed that both sides of the brain are involved in nearly every human activity (Ellamil et al., 2012) with Jenson (2000) suggesting the events occurring in one hemisphere can influence developmental events occurring at the same time in remote parts of the other hemisphere. This occurs via what Ellamil et al (2012) suggest as left-handed ways of knowing, which is now referred to as right hemisphere knowing; the crossover from hand to hemisphere is understandable since their right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa (Chance & Crow, 2007; Gabrieli et al., 1998). However, there appears to be controversy among some researchers re the left and right brain with some classifying this idea as a Neuro myth (Papadatou-Pastou et al.,2017). This said, the left and right brain model is still being researched today with great success (Webster et al., 2015) and many researchers adding to this model, especially in ways the brain can help people learn (Webster et al., 2013).
One such model which embeds left and right brain ideologies into its own model, including how brain architecture functions particularly with regards to learning is the brain-based learning approach (Jenson, 1998; Jenson 2008)
Brain- based learning is derived from the theory of cognitive neuroscience as well as taking influence from disciplines such as psychology, neuroanatomy, genetics, biology, chemistry, sociology, and neurobiology (Baş, 2010). According to brain-based learning, if the brain is not prohibited from fulfilling its normal processes, learning will occur if it is given the right opportunities (McMinn et al., 2011). One such opportunity is incorporating physical movement into classroom movement breaks (Maeda & Randall, 2003).
Brain-based learning not only speaks about the structures of the brain (Sperry, 1961) and the brain architectures direct relationship to how the brain learns naturally (Bas, 2010), but it also provides a framework for creating effective practise (Maeda & Randall, 2003; Jenson, 1998; Jenson, 2000). Brain- based learning is a meta-concept that includes an eclectic mix of techniques that allow teachers to connect the brain to students learning. Such brain-based learning strategies are: 1) mastery learning, 2) learning styles, 3) multiple intelligences, 4) cooperative learning, 5) practical simulations, 6) experiential learning, 7) problem-based learning. Finally, number 8) which this study’s research focuses on, is that of brain and movement education, learning and teaching (Jenson, 2000). These eight strategies, especially the brain and movement encapsulate a new meta learning professionalism set of skills that bring about teacher understanding and knowledge of the impact the brain on regarding education, learning and teaching (Theil & Arreola, 2001).
According to Rosenshine (2010) and the Principles of Instruction model this new meta learning professionalism of using brain science when instructing an active classroom is of vital importance to maximise the student’s ability to learn from an active process. The theme of using brain science in educational instruction is also something that Seidel and Shavelson (2008) along with the Dynamic model outlined by Creemers and Kyriakides (2006;2001) suggest that as an alternative to the traditional ‘process-product’ approach where the students remain passive in the classroom, a more theoretically and practical guided cognitive model of instruction and learning should be used as a conceptual framework for learning.