Researchers have come a long way in recent years toward uncovering how dynamic the human brain can be. And that has major implications for how we educate our kids.
“Brains are incredibly plastic,” said Bruce McCandliss, a professor of educational neuroscience at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education (GSE). “At certain levels of development in children, there may be extra plasticity, which provides new resources and new ways of thinking about how we can help children.”
Take a child’s experience of learning to read, which requires the visual system to interact in a brand-new way with the brain’s language system. “We can study how kids are learning to read, how they differ in their approach to reading—even how a teacher’s influence might change the brain circuits that are being formed,” said McCandliss. “The brain has to do a lot of work in the blink of an eye for you to become a skilled reader, and now we can eavesdrop right into the process.”
In this episode of School’s In, McCandliss joined GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope to talk about how different kinds of experiences drive changes in the brain, and how educational interventions might be tailored for children with learning differences and difficulties.
Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.
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