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July 13, 2020 63 min

Learning is a complicated process. Several thousand years ago, the primary job of the human brain was to figure out how to find food, avoid getting eaten by a predator, and to find a mate. Today, in addition to those three basic functions, our brains are inundated with other tasks and facts that need to be learned. 

And now, thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience research, we can observe how the brain responds during learning. And these new insights into how the human brain learns makes it clear that many of the learning practices that faculty currently use or have used in the past, are highly inefficient, ineffective and just plain wrong.

One of the prolific writers / researchers in this area is Dr. Judy Willis who was a practicing neurologist before she became a teacher. The book "Upgrade Your Teaching: Understanding by design meets neuroscience" that she co-authored with Jay McTighe is one I reference in this podcast episode. A few other recommended resources that I reference in this episode are the books, "How we Learn" by Benedict Carey, "The Art of Changing the Brain" by James Zull, and "The New Science of Learning" by Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek.


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