How Educational Neurosciences can help teaching statistics
The exciting field of neuroscience is revealing new insights that are challenging current teaching practices by highlighting the social and emotional nature of the brain. Educators need to gain understanding into how to create the ideal conditions to help students learning. The Social Brain Institute provide approaches that have gained scientific acceptance and credibility and are authentic advance in education. The key brain concepts leveraged during this presentation are the mechanisms behind motivation and attention in learning. Although both are critical to learning, knowing how to activate these constructs in the classroom is rarely part of educator preparation programs. Understanding the neurological processes behind motivation and attention and how to utilize this knowledge in the classroom will increase the educator’s ability to engage all students in learning. We will also discuss the importance of considering fixed and growth mindsets especially when teaching statistics to students that might think about themselves as being bad in math. We will also view the importance for the student to set personal learning goals that will aid their development of self-efficacy, which will affect learning and motivation. Finally, we’ll introduce a method that has very robust scientific evidence and was intuitively described more than a century ago (Decroly, Freinet) but still poorly applied: active engagement of students. Thus Educators should no longer be talking machines passing existing knowledge to their students but their major task should include structuring an environment where students are able to obtain information from the Internet. Educators are now challenged to assist students in creating new knowledge and applying knowledge in new ways which will lead to greater engagement.