Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teaching with the brain in mind: where neuroscience meets education

Term

2013

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

After personal and professional development experience inspired a biology teacher to learn more about the brain and learning, she developed the research question: How can a teacher use neuroscience to improve learning and recall of high school Biology students? This capstone searches synthesizes current literature in the fields of both neuroscience and education to discover ways to improve teaching and learning. The action research project included measuring students' changing views of their brains and learning after receiving instruction on neuroplasticity, the ability of an individual to change their brain as a result of experience. The study also embedded neuroscience-informed instructional strategies and analyzed summative assessment data to determine effectiveness. The neuroplasticity portion of the student produced inconclusive results, largely due to a small sample size and limited instruction. The data analyzed following neuroscience-informed instruction supported the researcher's hypothesis, with gains of 18% over the previous year's summative assessment results.

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