Teaching with the Brain in Mind

October 01, 2007 | John Gatchet

"Eric Jensen, Eric Jensen, Eric Jensen” was the chant at the conclusion of a well-received one-week workshop Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Nationally renowned speaker Eric Jensen focused on what we know about how the brain works and how to apply practical strategies to learning, memory and student performance.

It started in the Portland Adventist Elementary School gymnasium on Aug. 6 as 215 Oregon Conference teachers, administrators and interested pastors gathered to learn more about connecting with their students. The group had many opportunities to get together and interact, and many teachers said this was the first time they had been able to really get acquainted with other educators in the conference.

One of the topics helped teachers discover how movement is key to better learning. To illustrate that idea, the teachers took a walk each morning with a partner during which each one shared what made them happy, what they had learned, and what they hoped to do with their learning.

Some of the other topics discussed were repetition, learning in small chunks, environment, memory aids, emotional state, feedback, and diet as important factors that teachers should consider when dealing with their students.

One of the most helpful things for teachers proved to be experiencing the overload that students sometimes feel in the classroom. Jensen allowed them to experience this over the week. As the school year begins, the students in the Oregon Conference will meet teachers who have new tools to promote learning as they teach with the brain in mind.