Learning How the Brain Learns – My response

Is emotional thought the platform for learning, memory, decision making & creativity?  Through experience, do we establish such beliefs?
About education: have you watched this?
Neuroscience research, cognition process, a person’s mind, school, education….these sound related, and seem interconnected.  But how did we conclude with those researches? More activities (physical, cognitive, thinking), more neurons in action, in connection, more learning?  That sounds great, based on our past life experience, with games providing rich learning experience, isn’t it?  But this comes with also great assumptions behind…
How could we “isolate” one factor in learning from another?  The emotions and cognitions are always part of the learning equation. Without emotions, the thinking would rely much on the pure analysis, and this would be similar to a machine or a computer program, which gives you the “perfect answer”, the (MCQ) MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION type of answer.  Doesn’t it sound right in education?  May be for examination and tests.   But, what has or hasn’t been learnt?  When I was young, someone who “rolled” a pencil and got the right answer in MCQ could get the same results as me thinking through the questions and then answer.  What can I claim from such an experiment?  One who rolled the pencil didn’t learn, but I did.  However, it is the outcome that we seem to be interested, and we conclude that the one who rolled the pencil did learn (or performed as good as I did) because we got the same result. Right?  Wrong!
The marshmallow experiment did show the effect of the importance of self-control in leading to successful learning (or even a successful life), to some extent, I think, but what are the cause and effect of self-control to emotional intelligences and personal successes?  What were the assumptions behind that experiment?  How would the scientists conclude with those who exercise “self-controlled” did better?  Was that so simple?  Who exercises the control, or the self-control? At work, is self-control that easily isolated for study – in terms of EQ?
In summary, I think there are lots of great findings and new discoveries with these scientific researches.  However, have we identified the factors that have led to “effective” and “successful” learning as yet, based on the neuroscience research?  What assumptions have we (you) made in the claims? What are our experiences and perceptions on these findings, education and learning, in schools settings, and in social networked learning?  Are those findings reliable?

7 thoughts on “Learning How the Brain Learns – My response

  1. How did the neuroscientists conduct their “experiments”? Were they conducted under laboratory conditions? Who were the subjects? Were the samples based on adults only? Were they representative of the general population? Were they just random samples? Were they students or researchers? There were many variables which might affect the outcomes, as it could be hard to control the factors which study the brain. The sample size was relatively small in most experiments. The technology is relatively new (i.e. within the last two decades only), and so I would be cautious in their interpretation and generalization of the findings.


  2. Hi John. I find interesting that you would ask quantitative questions regarding neuroscience, suggesting interpretation must be cautious because it is new (<2 decades in) yet accept connectivism as a theory, absent of quantitative measures and even newer.

  3. Hi Ulop,
    Thanks for your comments. I am cautious in the interpretation of the findings of neuroscience based on the science reports and articles.
    I have raised questions on connectivism as a theory and am still exploring its application through continuous research.
    Would you be suggesting that it is not a theory, and that there are absence of quantitative measures? This would be an interesting exploration on whether connectivism is a theory or not. What sort of quantitative measures would we (you) like to consider in a learning theory?

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