Neuromyths and neurofacts: information from cognitive neuroscience for classroom and learning support teachers.
Bellert, A & Graham, L 2013, 'Neuromyths and neurofacts: information from cognitive neuroscience for classroom and learning support teachers'. Special Education Perspectives, vol. 22, no. 2, pp.7-20; 2013.
In the past quarter century cognitive neuroscience has emerged as a field of enquiry with great potential to inform and shape research and practice in education. Although findings from cognitive neuroscience constitute an area of considerable interest to teachers, there is a need for caution in embracing this new knowledge and a particular need to question the veracity of commercial programs that overstate claims about the effectiveness of their 'brain-based learning 'approaches. This paper examines literature relating cognitive neuroscience to education, and highlights its potential relevance to many aspects of teaching and learning. Key relevant findings from cognitive neuroscience research, referred to as 'neurofacts' are explained, and 'neuromyths' and their damaging influence on educational practice are discussed. Research into teacher knowledge about educationally-relevant findings from cognitive neuroscience is briefly reviewed and results from an Australian survey about this topic reported. Findings suggest that teachers too readily accept neuromyths and that they may benefit from professional learning opportunities focusing on the cognitive processes of learning, basic facts from neuroscience and identifying neuromyths.