Jensen’s focus is entirely on brain-based research and education. Brain-based research involves describing the terms, range and task of brain research in education and how this research can aid in education. According to Jensen (2008), ‘brain-based education is the engagement of strategies based on principles derived from an understanding of the brain’. My understanding of the above statement involves discerning the reason as to why one strategy is preferred and not the other(s). Educators need to clearly identify why they do and the underlying reason since ‘it is more purposeful and professional’, according to Jensen. In my opinion, Jensen gives too much credit to brain-based education because using it exclusively narrows down the spectrum of thought. The brain is an essential component and must be considered at every juncture, but not as a sole entity or factor.
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At the genesis of brain-based education and research, the focus was entirely on launching a particular set of vocabulary. Jensen mentions terminologies such as axons, serotonin and amygdalae. The journals of nature, science and neuroscience are but a few journals that form the base of brain knowledge. Brain-based education involves many disciplines; it is interdisciplinary, such as nutrition under Nutritional Neuroscience and psychiatry under the journal, Biological Psychiatry. If the brain’s role were removed, there would literally be no discipline whatsoever. The brain is a large part of our actions, mind, emotional states, body and their specific settings, and separating them is impossible.
The brain structure and intricate intellect can be elucidated by a thorough combination of concepts and supplemented by proofs about the functioning of the nervous system. Education centers perform to the extent of the working of the brains involved. Jensen (2008) postulates that ‘stress, exercise, nutrition and social conditions affect the students’ brains in terms of attention, cognition, discipline, attendance and memory’. In light of these factors, educators are laden with the task of establishing connections between the factors and the brain so as to be able to make programs and activities that allow for a conducive learning environment. To make these connections, teachers need to understand a few facts. Chronic stress among the students and staff hampers the learning experience, and should be dealt with as soon as it is discovered. Also, social conditions influence students’ brains since it is the brain that controls affinity, agony, stress, pleasure and acceptance. The brain is capable of transforming and remapping itself by neuroplasticity and can be enhanced by meditation, skill-building and technical education. Jensen (2008) goes on to clarify that, ‘brain-based disorders like autism, strokes and fetal alcoholism syndrome noted in the journal of Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Research have innovations that ensure that special learners can advance.
In his book, Teaching with the Brain in Mind, there are practical strategies to improve and enhance student comprehension and achievement, and what parents and educators can do to help. The most interesting part about his research is how the brain can grow via developing critical thinking skills, taking note of environmental factors, understanding the social brain and dealing with emotions. After reading the book, one appreciates that tapping into the brain reward system and realising the reward for prior knowledge is possible.
If neuroscientists and educators link up, brain-based education and research will soar. The scientists will conduct research on how brain behavior is improved and the teachers will implement them; for example, educators need to couple exercise with neurogenesis, since neurogenesis develops learning and memory. They will also understand that the brain changes with experience.
I noted that Jensen’s research was met with criticism. He mentions a Thomas Kuhn, who, in his work, The Structure of Scientific revolution, said that any shift made is most often met with denial and opposition. Sarcasm is also used to criticize Jensen’s work, linking it to being ordered by aliens. Such disrespect to those who have dedicated their lives to giving education more worth shows ingratitude. Another critic claimed that Jensen did not take into account differences such as those of gender. Positive criticism suggested that brain-based education become a domain, with clarified sets of values and criteria can show validity.
In conclusion, Eric Jensen’s brain research gives tangible evidence that the brain is very much an important aspect in the education systems. Students also need to be informed of how their brains work and how their efficiency can be improved and enhanced. This places a sense of purpose and becomes motivation for them to better their lives. To a very large extent, education shapes the future of a myriad of people; if the education can be accompanied by factors that improve memory, esteem, health and positive social tendencies, then Jensen’s system need to be implemented all over the world. Jensen, in spite of the criticism has been able to conduct comprehensive research and has applied it almost effortlessly into the education system of the United States. I am willing to be exposed to such a method of learning as it is an unbeatably superior and expanded mode of acquiring education. In accordance with the information I have been able to grasp about Jensen’s research-based education. I wonder whether his system can succeed if applied to third world countries, where education resources are scarce, and so many problems ail the populations.
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