Neuroscience and Neuromyths for teachers

Professor Paul Howard-Jones | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Background and scope

This MESH Guide introduces some initial concepts that can be applied immediately in your practice, highlights some pitfalls worth avoiding, and identifies sources of further information for finding out more. More detailed Guides on aspects of Neuroscience research and its relevance to teaching will be developed in time.

Worldwide, neuroscientists are researching how the mind and brain work in the context of education. Work is ongoing (OECD, forthcoming) to link the findings from neuroscience research with pedagogy. This is a rapidly moving field and research findings have implications for the structuring of the school day and of individual lessons as well as for many aspects of pedagogy – timing, repetition, pacing of activities, types of activities as well as for advice to parents eg on sleep, motivation, behaviour. Specifically findings relate to literacy, mathematical development, creativity, adolescent brain development, cognitive enhancing drugs, as well as the understanding, early identification and treatment of development disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD.

In the context of such change, it is easy for too much weight to be placed on what are tentative findings. MESH Guides are intended to give an overview of the weight of evidence for common practices and concerns and are updated periodically as new findings emerge.