Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Title of course:  Neuroscience and the Classroom: Making Connections

Neuroscience and the Classroom: Making Connections

Interactive: Measuring Learning


The goal of the second interactive is to introduce teachers to the important difference between implicit learning and rote learning, a difference that is highlighted in the text in terms of a difference between, for example, "school science" and "real science."

Trafalgar Square and National Portrait Gallery London, copyright: Clive Grainger

Background information

The human brain is wired for learning, and whether we are aware of it or not, we are learning all the time. For example, imagine touring an unfamiliar city. As you walk from your hotel to a nearby site, you are building a sense of the land, picking up information you need to find your way back. Though some things are learned explicitly ("turn left at the monument"), other things are learned implicity ("this street is shady"), without conscious awareness. In 1998, researchers Marvin Chun and Yuhong Jiang from Yale devised a technique known as "contextual cueing" to measure implicit spatial learning. Their technique is based on the idea that learning improves efficiency: information learned implicitly will get you back more quickly. Try your hand at measuring your own ability for this type of learning.

 interactive button for measuring learning



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