Neuroeducation: neuroscience-based learning
In the laboratories of biology and neuropsychology it is possible to investigate about the way in which the basic mental processes work: memory, decision making, discrimination between different stimuli, etc.
All these psychological functions tell us about the way in which our brain adapts to the environment and allows us to learn from our experiences. But ... what would happen if we investigated the way in which our brain learns beyond laboratories? That is what neuroeducation consists of .
What is neuroeducation?
Neuroeducation is, in short, a discipline bridge between neurology and the sciences of education , in which educational psychology plays a key role.
It is a scientific development project in which we want to combine the knowledge we have about how the brain works with what is known about educational processes in the field. Usually, the field in which neuroeducation is centered is education in school and academic fields .
The brain that learns
The foundation of neuroeducation is a concept called cerebral plasticity . Brain plasticity is the brain's ability to physically change to adapt to stimuli and habits in a way that is useful to the individual. Each time we consolidate a form of learning, it leaves an imprint in the way in which neurons in the brain connect with each other.
Neuroeducation serves to examine the traces that educational processes leave in our brain and traces relationships between these data and the way in which the individual behaves. In this way the learning process is studied from the behavioral side and from what corresponds to neurobiology.
Learning and emotion in neuroeducation
One of the great discoveries that has been made through neuroeducation is that learning and emotion are not two worlds separated from each other. We do not learn by storing data coldly as a robot would, but in our nervous system memories and emotion go hand in hand. In this way, meaningful learning becomes a fundamental aspect in education, since in it important data are linked with sensations and feelings linked to pleasure that cause us to internalize them before.
In this way, Neuroeducation emphasizes the need to use an emotional approach both in the classroom and in any context of education in informal contexts in which we learn: family environment, workshops, work groups, sports teams, etc.
After all, the motor of learning is curiosity, something deeply emotional and linked to subjective concerns.
Neuroeducation and care
Another of the main psychological aspects that are studied from neuroeducation are attention times , that is, the periods by which a person can focus attention on an information channel without becoming distracted or fatigued.
It is considered that the maximum time that most people can be concentrated in a task is 40 to 45 minutes. Therefore, the master classes that exceed this limit of minutes (most of them, by the way) are not very efficient, since several minutes are wasted.
Attention problems, linked to disorders such as ADHD, are also very relevant, given that they affect many people and that, with relatively simple strategies, this part of the population could be helped to correctly use its potential by directing it to educational objectives, especially during childhood (which is a key stage in psychological development).
Thus, neuroeducation must also respond to people with certain diagnoses that reflect special difficulties when it comes to learning certain skills, and attention problems are one of those battle fronts.
The future development of this field
As a bridge discipline, Neuroeducation still has a long way to go , as much as new discoveries can be made from neurosciences and education sciences.
In addition, it is not always easy to combine the knowledge that is reached by both ways, so the progress that can be made through neuroeducation is not always agile or easy to perform. That is why it is considered that the potential of neuroeducation is still to be exploited.
On the other hand, we must bear in mind that the cultural and social context always has an impact on the way in which we disclose and the contents that we memorize and integrate in our vision of the world. That means that to investigate about learning you can not give up analyzing in environment and the way in which we relate to this.
As a consequence, neuroeducation can not concentrate its efforts solely on purely biological elements, but it must also take into consideration how the economy influences us, the type of people with whom we relate, the cultural and ideological elements that are dominant, etc. .