Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, by Zull
Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind--thought, emotions, artistic creation--are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the products of a biological process.
This realization, that learning actually alters the brain by changing the number and strength of synapses, offers a powerful foundation for rethinking teaching practice and one's philosophy of teaching.
James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.
"The Art of Changing the Brain" is grounded in the practicalities and challenges of creating effective opportunities for deep and lasting learning, and of dealing with students as unique learners.
The best book on educational neuroscience I've read!
By Sachet (Dr. Fontaine Moore) - July 14, 2007
For whatever it's worth, I just received my PhD in Educational Neuropsychology and have been looking closely to see what's recently been published in this nascent field. One key statement in my dissertation was a comment by a neuroscientist that teachers spend all day trying to change the brain while knowing practically nothing about it. Enter James Zull's excellent book.
There's not much available on brain-based learning, educational neuropsychology, neuroeducation--or whatever one chooses to call it--and what there is just doesn't quite cut it for educators--many of whom have at least some degree of technophobia. Neuroscience feels especially daunting and inaccessible to most educators. This book, on the other hand, leads teachers gently by the hand into what was formerly scary territory in a warm, non-threatening way.
After each neural function is described, Dr. Zull, (who I'm guessing wrote the book while on sabbatical at Harvard--specifically at their Center... read more
A book that can change your life
By Duncan H. Haynes - January 2, 2006
Dr. Zull combines expert knowledge of brain imaging studies and learning theory, enabling a practical understanding of the brain's learning cycle:
(1) New information is received by the sensory cortex, then
(2) Reflective observation is carried out by the integrative cortex, then
(3) Abstract hypotheses are constructed in the frontal cortex, then
(4) The new knowledge is subjected to active testing involving the motor cortex
(Bringing in new knowledge to perpetuate the cycle)
When all steps in the cycle are working well in an emotionally supportive environment, the result is continuous active learning. When any of these steps is inhibited, active learning is not achieved. Dr. Zull gives suggestions for removing these blocks using examples drawn from a long teaching career. The book has been very useful to me for improving communication.
Prior Learning in Words ...to Neuronal Networks in the Brain
By RL Harriman "Rob Harriman "segarama"" - December 15, 2003
December 15, 2003Dr. James Zull has put together the biology of the brain along with connecting the brain and education.The Art of Changing the Brain is the best approach to learning about the function of the brain as it applies to education that I have ever seen. Dr. Zull style of writing is "easy going" and most enjoyable. One can learn about the functions of the brain without having to have a doctorate in neurology or other arcane sciences.He does teachers and learners a great service by taking the profession's vocabulary and putting it into scientific terms rather than the other way around. In chapter six of his book he deals with the importance of prior learning and it's formation of actual neuronal networks in the brain that validates the physical presence of learning. When actual life experiences can be reflected in the plasticity of the cerebral neurons then students really sit up and take notice. When we can validate the physical presence of learning, a... read more