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NEUROSCIENCE & LEARNING DIFFICULTIES/DISABILITIES

The following provides a background introduction to the area of study and a basis for experiment that is simple enough to be completed by primary school students. Completion of the project requires no understanding of the background information provided for teachers (below)

The problem:

Table 1. List of 15 Neuromyths with correctness of responses for each myth assertion The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among education professionals.

A survey containing 32 statements about the brain and its influence on learning included 15 “neuromyths”. Though these so-called “neuromyths” are loosely based on scientific facts, they may have adverse effects on educational practice.

Results showed that on average, teachers believed 49% of the “neuromyths”, particularly myths related to commercialized educational programs.

Does it help to stay current?:

Of all teachers, 93% were interested in scientific knowledge about the brain and its influence on learning. Further, 90% of the teachers thought that this knowledge was very valuable for their teaching practice.

Teachers who read popular science magazines achieved higher scores on general knowledge questions, but more general knowledge also predicted an increased belief in “neuromyths”.

These findings suggest that even teachers who are enthusiastic about the possible application of neuroscience findings in the classroom find it difficult to distinguish pseudoscience from scientific facts.

Possessing greater general knowledge about the brain does not appear to protect teachers from believing in neuromyths.

This demonstrates the need for enhanced interdisciplinary communication to reduce such misunderstandings in the future and establish a successful collaboration between neuroscience and education. Sources: Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA) and Psychol., 18 October 2012

Example Learning Disability - Dyslexia:

Dyslexia is a definite learning disability that inhibits the learning process in spelling, reading and/or writing:

The social and emotional difficulties of dyslexia: “are part or a manifestation of the same disorder as is responsible for academic failure.” (Bruck, 1986 p. 362 1)

A 2010 Roper Poll showed that four out five Americans associate dyslexia with mental retardation. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines dyslexia as “a brain-based type of learning disability.” 2)

A strong correlation between dyslexia and entrepreneurship has long been a subject of scientific inquiry. In 2004, 20 percent of UK entrepreneurs polled said they were dyslexic, while managers “reflected the UK national dyslexia incidence level of 4 percent.” In the U.S., however, the results were even more persuasive: the same researchers behind the U.K. study found that 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed identified themselves as dyslexic.

“The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely than non-dyslexics to delegate authority and to excel in oral communication and problem solving and were twice as likely to own two or more businesses,” according to The New York Times, which first reported the earlier (2007) research.

Though graduates are proven more likely to be hired than someone without higher education, many on the world's most successful companies are run or were started by education dropouts.

A study 3) of the top 100 US corporations found that only just over half of those CEOs attained a recognised education qualification at tertiary level:

  • Fourteen (percent) of the CEOs had law degrees.
  • Sixteen (percent) held a Batchelor (BA) or similar graduate level qualification.
  • Thirty three (percent) of CEOs held an MBA, which was the most common graduate degree among the executives.
  • More than thirty (percent) of the CEOs did not attain any kind of formal tertiary education qualification. This proportion is in fact understated as a significant number of these 'dropout' CEOs appear in other categories above as a result of having been awarded 'honorary' degrees following their later commercial success.

In a study of the world's most highly successful entrepreneurs, it turns out a disproportionate number have dyslexia. In the US, 35 percent of the entrepreneurs studied had dyslexia.

Take this resume. This guy's parents give him up for adoption. He never finishes college. He job-hops quite a bit, goes on a sojourn to India for a year, and to top it off, he has dyslexia. Would you hire this guy? His name is Steve Jobs. 4)

Entrepreneurs are not the only ones who have been diagnosed as having learning disabilities at school:

School work did not go well for young Albert. His poor facility with arithmetic, his lack of special ability in any other academic subject, and his great difficulty with foreign language led his teacher to predict that “nothing good” would come of the boy (Sullivan 1972). Nevertheless, Einstein worked carefully and diligently and persevered in doing his arithmetic homework, even though he often came up with the wrong answers. 5)

An Experiment:

Introduction

Neuromyths in Education: Strategies to help overcome teacher misconceptions and to improve learning outcomes for students with learning disabilities (dyslexia).

HYPOTHESIS #1: There is an estimated 4%(UK) to 10%(US) 6) of the population that is dyslexic. There is a normal distribution of IQ / intelligence across dyslexics. So it's hardly surprising that a few end up as CEOs.

HYPOTHESIS #2: Dyslexic are over-represented amongst successful CEOs (more than 35% in USA) because many are outstanding real-life problem solvers who thrive in complex scenarios and are particularly good at dynamic reasoning ( recognizing patterns and trends), and then being able to make predictions about the future. 7)


 
 
teaching/learning-difficulties/home.txt · Last modified: 01/02/2017/ 17:31 (external edit)