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Teachers and Learning

Robert McCormick's picture

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Quite sophisticated behavior can result from simple interactions of simple things. Bryn Mawr College Serendip 


When a teacher responds to one student, all of the other students learn a lesson about that teacher.


It is better to appear bad than appear stupid.


When students learn how they learn best, they become better learners.  


The active, experiencing child is a learning child.


The brain is biologically programmed to learn.  We are biological organisms interacting with our environment and changing based on these interactions.


Automaticity puts us/our brain to sleep.  The brain thrives on novelty but we resist change.  Familiar breeds not only contempt but also semblance and numbness.


If you don’t think you area creature of habit, put your wristwatch on opposite wrist and watch how many times per day you look at the wrong wrist.  The brain thrives on mental & physical challenge.  The brain looks for choice, it seeks autonomy.




Brain is a pattern driven processor, it is how it sense of the world.  It seeks patterns and how it makes sense of the world while it functioning on pattern recognition process.  If you do not believe me, try putting your watch on a different arm for a day and see how many times you look at the wrong arm throughout the day.


Or when a person misses a punch line to a story causing everyone in the group to feel uncomfortable.  The brain is constantly looking for the closing of the story.  It is why good writing start with the main idea followed by supporting details ending with a summary/closing paragraph.


How does the discussion of the brain functioning as a pattern recognizer apply to your classroom?




Optimal learners’ are students who look for understanding, curious, enthusiastic, make connections with their learning, they are risk takers, self-learners, place themselves in the learning set, and they repeat and refine, and are in a flow of learning.

How do human get there? Humans are made to get in this space.

But there is a problem. When we teach to cognition, we teach to ¼ of the mind.                     Gessner Guyer, April 2005