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Benefiting Students Through A Brain-Based Learning Environment Essay The question of nature versus nurture as it pertains to human development has been a debate among psychologists for years. And after decades of research, there is still no definitive answer as to whether nature (genes) or nurture (environment and upbringing) are responsible for certain characteristics of an individual. However, many researchers now believe that environmental factors play a more significant role than genetic factors. The acceptance of this belief has many implications for teachers, because it directly affects the teaching strategies they will use in the classroom. In addition, recent findings in brain-based research are providing educators with an understanding of how the brain learns, and how it learns best. As a result, in order to optimize student motivation, involvement, and retention, teachers can no longer ignore the importance of brain-based learning in the educational environment (Wilmes, Harrington, Kohler-Evans, Sumpter, 2008). In the text, Brain-Based Learning The New Paradigm of Teaching, Eric Jensen emphasizes the correlation between studentsâ€™ emotional states and their learning potential. Adjacently, of the various emotional states a student experiences at any given time, distressed is the most detrimental. A brain in distress results in a long list of negative impacts on learning, including the loss of the ability to correctly interpret subtle clues from the environment, the loss of the ability to index and access information, diminished long-term memory, loss of the ability to perceived relationships, and a lessened capacity for high-order thinking (Jensen, 44). Therefore, managing classroom stress through brain-based strategies is an enormous advantage for students. Childhood stress can be caused by any situation that requires a person to adapt or change (Larzelere, 2010). These changes can be positive such as a new sibling or a new pet, or negative such as poverty, abuse, and separation. It is understandable that the negative stressors are the most harmful to a childâ€™s development. One of the greatest challenges for teachers that aim to alleviate studentsâ€™ stress is that not all stress-related symptoms are directly measurable or obvious to others (e.g., worry, headache), thus unrecognized symptoms are likely to go untreated (Shah, 2011). Still, there are many brain-based strategies that teachers can incorporate to help reduce the amount of stress a student experiences in the classroom. First of all, educators can increase a studentsâ€™ sense of security at school by opening a dialogue with them about their fears. In fact, sometimes just the opportunity to talk about these issues helps reduce the burden (Jensen, 49). In addition, by incorporating small group activities and the use of teamwork among students, a teacher can strengthen a studentâ€™s ability to communicate and problem solve. Another example of how a teacher can encourage positive relationships among their students is to offer as much choice and autonomy as possible. Research has shown that creating a classroom environment where student expression and choice are solicited provides a welcoming atmosphere for children to grow at independent rates (Rushton, 2008). There are many ways in which a teacher can afford their students the opportunity to express themselves. Incorporating art, dance, poetry, singing, journal reflection, sports, and debate into a studentâ€™s classroom experience are all productive ways of giving students choice. They are also great ways to introduce rituals of positive affirmation. For example, by creating traditions of applause and team cheers, teachers can help bolster a studentsâ€™ confidence and improve their self-esteem. Another type of negative stress that some students feel is performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is a fear of not being able to complete a task to the best of oneâ€™s ability. As a result, students often experience a â€œmental blockâ€, or an inability to retrieve stored information or think creatively. It is very common for students to have performance anxiety before test taking, often times negatively affecting their test scores. Studies show that emotional self-efficacy appears useful in managing negative effects of anxiety (Galla, Wood, 2012). Teachers can help to lessen the occurrence of performance anxiety in their students by regularly activating prior learning. For instance, reviewing previous lessons, offering generous feedback, and establishing mechanisms for self-evaluation and peer review, are all strategies a teacher can use to reduce learner stress and increase confidence immediately (Jensen, 50). While stress management is an important aspect of supporting a brain-compatible learning environment, stress is not the only emotional state that students cope with. There is a myriad of emotions that a student can feel from one time to another, and a myriad of external stimuli that can trigger those emotions as well. The childâ€™s brain receives stimuli from the learning environment via each of their senses as the stimuli are transformed into a chemical electrical reaction that is the beginning of all learning (Rushton, 2008). One example of such stimuli is classroom acoustics. Poorly designed classrooms that fail to address and reduce ambient noise, echo effect, reverberation, and other acoustical problems cause a decrease in student attention and an increase in off-task behaviors (Jensen, 73). Students whose learning style is predominantly auditory are at the biggest disadvantage. As a result, discipline problems increase and student learning is negatively affected. Such problems are an enormous issue for schools today.For example, many schools across the country have classrooms that exceed the maximum background noise level of 30 to 35 decibels recommended by the Acoustical Society of America (Harris, Lambert, 2011). Therefore it is important for teachers to implement brain-based strategies to counter-act the negative effect of a poor acoustical learning environment. This can be done simply by moving around the classroom while speaking. Also, changing the location of students around the classroom can help those at a disadvantage. Using music appropriately in the classroom is another brain-compatible way to positively affect studentsâ€™ emotional state throughout the learning process. In fact, recent research suggests that music may be a powerful tool in building reasoning power, memory, and intelligence (Jensen, 76). A teacher can change a negative emotional state simply by playing upbeat music in the background periodically throughout the day. Lesson plans can also be enriched through the use of music to elicit certain emotions relevant to the subject matter. Such emotional involvement greatly helps the student comprehend and retain the lesson. Music not only affects students emotionally, but physiologically as well. Musicâ€™s potential effects on the body include, increase muscular energy, increased heartrate, reduction of pain and stress, relief of fatigue, and stimulation of creativity, sensitivity, and thinking (Jensen, 75). Another example of external stimuli that can affect learning is classroom aroma. Aromas are especially important because they take one of the most direct pathways to the brain (Jensen, 72). The sense of smell affects brain chemistry and has the ability to change moods in powerful ways. Certain types of scent stimulation like food can disrupt the accelerated learning functions of our brain, and chemical smells from air fresheners, perfume, and even some essential oils can be distracting and block learning (Rogers, 2010). However, certain aromas, such as peppermint, basil, and lemon, enhance motivation, attention, and creativity. And aromas such as chamomile, lavender, orange, and rose calm nerves and encourage relaxation (Jensen, 72). By using aromas appropriately in the classroom, and keeping aware of aromas that are disruptive or distracting, a teacher can optimize their studentsâ€™ learning environment. Light in the environment is an additional example of external stimuli that can hinder a studentsâ€™ learning potential. Lighting strongly influences vision, which strongly influences learning, thus anything we can do to make our eyes more comfortable in the classroom contributes to optimal learning (Jensen, 57). Classrooms that receive a lot of natural sunlight are the most advantageous for students. Natural sunlight helps studentsâ€™ mood and motivation by delivering vitamin D through uptake by the skin, and in turn raising mood-elevating serotonin. In fact, studies have shown that students with the most sunlight in their classrooms progressed 20 percent faster on math tests and 26 percent faster on reading tests compared to students with the least lighting (Jensen, 58). However, on the other side of the coin, too much morning sunlight can have an adverse effect. Thus, it is important for educators to have an awareness of the effect classroom lighting has on their students learning and strategize accordingly. By providing a variety of lighting types in the classroom and giving learners a choice in determining where they sit can help with student comfort in the classroom (Jensen, 58). Color also plays an enormous role in creating a productive and secure learning environment. Color is an important factor in the physical learning environment and is a major element in interior design that impacts student achievement, as well as teacher effectiveness and staff efficiency. Research has demonstrated that specific colors and patterns directly influence the health, morale, emotions, behavior, and performance of learners, depending on the individualâ€™s culture, age, gender, and developmental level, the subject being studied, and the activity being conducted (Harrington, Kohler-Evans, Sumpter, 2008). Therefore, educators wanting to take advantage of the benefit of brain-based environment can implement classroom color schemes that maximize student involvement. For instance, like aromas, some colors elicit feelings of alertness and inspiration, while others elicit feelings of relaxation. Teacher can enhance student participation and motivation by use of color in hand-outs and power point presentation. In addition, teachers can use colors to elicit appropriate emotion in regard to subject matter in lessons. Such as sullen blues or vibrant reds, depending on the subject matter. Again, this greatly helps to emotionally bond the student to the lesson.Another external stimulus that greatly affects a studentâ€™s classroom environment is room temperature. Take for example, a student coming back to a warm classroom after eating a good lunch. A classroom environment that is too warm can makes students feel lethargic and unmotivated. Classrooms that are too warm are often the culprit for students falling asleep in class. On the other hand, a classroom that is too cold can make students feel distracted due to feeling uncomfortable. Based on a survey given to teachers, it was concluded that classroom conditions improved by air conditioning included reduced annoyances, improved visual display and flexibility, and comfortable conditions (Gallo, Wood, 2012). In final, teachers who understand the affect of stress and external stimuli in the learning environment and the advantages of brain-compatible learning strategies, visualize a developmentally appropriate brain- researched learning environment which allows an educational focus to preside while student autonomy prevails. Effective teachers support brain development by encouraging children to make discoveries in well-planned environments that support student autonomy (Rushton, 2008). With the benefits well outweighing the required teacher effortt and iniitiative, brain-compatible learning strategies offer far more advantages than hindrances. Students can only win in the long run when teachers utilize these strategies. References Galla, B. M., Wood, J. J. (2012). Emotional self-efficacy moderates anxiety-related impairments in math performance in elementary school-age youth. Personality Individual Differences, 52(2), 118-122. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.09.012 Harris, B., Lambert, C.. (2011, May). Impacting Learning. School Planning Management, 50(5), 44. Retrieved December 19, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 2382182351). Jensen, E. (2008). Brain-Based Learning The New Paradigm of Teaching. (2 ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press. Larzelere MM, Jones GN. Stress and Health. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. December 2008;35(4). Rogers, D. (2010). Mmmmmm . . . Peppermint and rustling leaves. Times Educational Supplement, (4887), 3. Rushton, S., Juola-Rushton, A. (2008). Classroom Learning Environment, Brain Research and The No Child Left Behind Initiative: 6 years Later. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(1), 87-92. doi:10.1007/s10643-008-0244-5 SHAH, N. (2011). Students Stress Linked To Class Environments. Education Week, 30(24), 5. Wilmes, B., Harrington, L., Kohler-Evans, P., Sumpter, D. (2008). COMING TO OUR SENSES: INCORPORATING BRAIN RESEARCH FINDINGS INTO CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION. Education, 128(4), 659-666.
12/12/2019 0 Comments
The Sedition and Alien Act - Essay Example
The act also brought an end to protesting to the government, restricted immigration into the United States, denied citizens freedom of speech, and also gave room for the arrest of the lawmakers. These laws were under national security guise; however, the bottom lines was that they were signed to decrease the number of people especially voters who were against the Federalist Party. It should be noted that at this point, many immigrants especially the French and Irish most of which supported the Democratic republicans and Thomas Jefferson and Madison who were the main Federalists opponents.
Notably, Thomas Jefferson opposed the terms of these acts and this led to his 1800 election and brought to the end the effects of Alien and Sedition acts by 1801 (Kellogg 81). Many nations and political systems are still applying this situation or often introduce laws that favor their rules opposed to the advances of their opponents. In most cases, these have led to war and rebellion across many nations across the world. Thus, it is vital for political leaders to act or introduce acts and laws that benefit the country and the people as opposed to their personal gains especially retaining them into
Exploring Personal Choices in Toni Morrison's Beloved
At the climax of her book Beloved, Toni Morrison uses strong imagery to examine the mind of a woman who is thinking of killing her own children. She writes,
"Because the truth was simple, not a long-drawn-out record of flowered shifts, tree cages, selfishness, ankle ropes and wells. Simple: she was squatting in the garden and when she saw them coming and recognized schoolteacher's hat, she heard wings. Little hummingbirds stuck their needle beaks right through her headcloth into her hair and beat their wings. And if she thought anything, it was No. Nono. Nonono. Simple. She just flew. Collected every bit of life she had made, all the parts of her that were precious and fine and beautiful, and carried, pushed, dragged them through the veil, out, away, over there where no one could hurt them. Over there. outside this place, where they would be safe. And the hummingbird wings beat on." (163)
A full analysis of the book, or even of this passage, would be more extensive than is justified by the constraints of this paper. To a large extent this book is about the victims of the system of slavery. However, Morisson uses this and other passages to comment on issues that are still present even after significant changes in social and economic systems. One statement Morisson is making here is that there is a dichotomy between what we should do to obey our personal spiritual laws and what we should do to exercise "common sense" or "be normal." Also that often neither of these is what we actually do nor what we want to do as a person trying to live life. She makes it implicitly clear in this sentence, as she does in other parts of the novel, dealing with other characters. It is va...
...uate all the options we have for dealing with it.
Perhaps Toni Morrison wrote this book to explore choices that we all have made between what is right for the "reasonable man" and what is right for us in the context of what we believe and feel, and how we reconcile those things as we deal with society afterward. God judges the heart of every person, but other people can only judge and deal with us on the basis of what they see and hear us do and say. That is a major challenge for each person: expressing his or her true feelings clearly, before and after the action, and expressing them to a sympathetic person who is also able to parse that expression. Perhaps the "hummingbirds" in this passage were all the reactions by people who closed Sethe in rather than allowed her to express herself openly.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Plume, 1997.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.