For educators wanting to implement effective instructional strategies to accelerate learning, determining the most efficient approach to help students get back on grade-level can be its own undertaking. What were once considered tried and true teaching methods may no longer be in the student’s best interest. The pandemic has taken its toll on academic performance and there’s an urgent need, more than ever, to help our students excel in ways we know they’re more than capable of.
In the past, we’ve focused on the question “How do we teach?” when trying to come up with better and more effective ways to educate students. Traditional teaching approaches have misled us into thinking that simply re-teaching information will help students who are behind catch up to their grade level. The question shouldn’t be “How do we teach?” but rather “How do we learn?”
Focusing on how students learn, rather than ineffective teaching strategies, will go a long way in accelerating student learning. So, how do we learn? At the heart of the question is the neuroscience of learning. Additionally, unpacking the latest technological and pedagogical innovations can help us better understand the brain’s natural learning processes and give us a better foundation for how to accelerate learning.
Our researchers unpack the science of learning even further in MIND Education’s e-book: How to Accelerate Learning with Neuroscience.
In this e-book, you will learn how:
Neuroscience can accelerate student learning.
- We learn through a constant flow of information between the world around us and our brains. Neuroscientists call this the perception-action cycle. The perception-action cycle is a universal learning mechanism for humans. Understanding how our brains learn, and leveraging this powerful natural process, is the secret key to accelerating learning.
Formative feedback is essential to the learning process.
- A feedback-rich learning environment invites and encourages students to repeat the perception-action-cycle, strengthening schemas, correcting misapprehensions, and developing new schemas, as needed. Accelerating learning requires giving students more opportunities to repeat the perception-action cycle in a safe, feedback-rich environment.
Schema-building, rather than skill-building, accelerates learning.
- Schemas are developed, strengthened, and revised through the perception-action cycle over time and through many different encounters with a concept. Accelerated learning programs typically look at student learning as a set of disparate skills. This overlooks the deeper problem. Concentrating on skills, instead of schemas, is akin to missing the forest for the trees.
Student self-belief is a powerful driver of math success.
- As students develop not just the schemas, but the mindsets to persevere in math, they will continue to make progress not only in math proficiency on standardized tests, but in their ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-world challenges.
Accelerated learning is accessible to all students.
- Students who are currently performing below grade level are not the only ones who benefit when you leverage the neuroscience of learning. Accelerating feedback, accentuating schemas over skills, and giving students grade-level content is effective for all students.
Accelerating learning for math students is no easy endeavor. But with the right approach and tools, it is achievable. Humans are life-long learners, determined to grow and persevere every step of the way. Students have the capacity—if we nurture them appropriately and help cultivate their natural curiosity—to excel in math and life.