[Zoom Session] Helping the Brain Build Better Links for Learning - Week 2

Join our second Zoom session starting at 2022-01-24T15:00:00Z.

(If you want, you can us join 30 minutes before the session starts to chat and save your spot)

Session Q&A: To ask questions during the session, you can access our event on Slido.

In this meeting we’ll be discussing the topic for week two: Helping the Brain Build Better Links for Learning.

“This week, we’ll dive into the brain’s two major “superhighways” of learning. The declarative pathway wends its way through the hippocampus and onto the neocortex. This pathway is for new information students are trying to figure out or learn. A tiny, fun, metaphorical choir will help you better understand how the hippocampus (a glib character named Hip!), the neocortex (a capacious singer named Neo), and working memory (the Conductor) all interact to help students learn declaratively. And you’ll learn how Beth used this type of learning, along with the underlying, all-important consolidation processes—to help her recover her ability to read the words she can now speak so eloquently.

The more mysterious procedural pathway involves information, skills, or activities that we use or do so often that we don’t want to have to waste cognitive resources in having to think about them. Think that drill means kill? Think again—we teachers ignore the value of the procedural pathway at our peril. As we’ll discover, smartly done drill leads to skill!

We’ll also cover important issues related to lack of focus, including task switching, dual tasking, and continuous partial attention. But unrelenting focus isn’t always the answer—as we’ll see, there are tricks to help students get around the cognitive fixation that can cause them so many problems on tests. Finally, we’ll show how using a neural approach to understanding the effects of your teaching can also help you to understand the value of seemingly unrelated ideas and approaches like physical exercise, and of metaphor, when it learning. It’s going to be a fun, action-packed week!”

Session recording: here.

Session notes and links:

@shr47k Usually, when teacher stopped for questions, my class tended to tense up rather than relax :slight_smile:


Kristina Hakansson: Here is a recent article claiming that using phonics is not so good:

@rajeshginkala2678109 can we have recommended book list please?


@nielda you can find all Barb’s books here
Books - Barbara Oakley

@Fabio Every week she sends more recommendations on the newsletter from learn how to learn

@shr47k i had an interesting experience with Math.

I prepared really well for a test( last 2 days at least ). While giving the test, there was a question that i worked out on the spot. But as i got to the numerical result( wrong ), memory struck me and i knew the final result was wrong. And then proceeded to retrace the steps and get to the answer. But i felt afterwards that it didn’t seem right and remember talking to friends about it.

So i can kind of get the reason of that ideology of not practicing Math too much. There probably isn’t a right or wrong way.

@hhliu I voted for talk about it, because as Brené Brown and Laurie Santos both talk about, we can’t avoid negative emotions.

Rabbi Bell: Even something that affects the whole class is experienced differently by different individuals.


@nielda Haihao, the happiness lab is fantastic!

@jakupiec At work we do questions to check in at the start of the meetings. It helps understand how people are arriving. It brings them mentally to the space. (Inspired by the Circle Way approach.)

@Daniel The problem with discussing the problem or the mixed approach, is that the group easily tend to get lost int the problem, it is difficult to get them out of the negative narrative.

@Fabio Hey Jake, I used to have this experience in a creative writing group I was part of… The facilitator built the whole experience using NVC

@rajeshginkala2678109 we have a course called Gandhian peace studies in India which also includes non violent communication

@hhliu Laurie’s newsletter this week, just came today

That's it for today!
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Unanswered questions from Slido:

1 - I really like metaphors when teaching. How do you communicate the limitations of metaphors?

2 - @keremkart According to the course, hippocampus overloads after 15 mins of information. what do you suggest to deload the hippo? How we can utilize pomodoro technique?

3 - Naina: Can you share an example of procedural learning for topics such as introduction to philosophy, or finance or neurobiology?

4 - @hhliu Follow-up, do we ever learn anything procedurally then gain deeper insight declaratively?

5 - Once you store information in your long-term memory, it becomes hippocampi independent. But do hippocampi play any role to bring back your old memories back?

6 - How do I maintain my consistency in the process of learning?

7 - What is your view on learning\teaching for adults with autism spectrum disorder level 1 (asperger’s). When e.g. working in small groups may not work.

8 - Jorge: Hello Barb. Is it good to rote memorize without understanding? (as scaffolding a declarative learning and patter recognition)? I remember LHL and the blurred puzzle

9 - I understand that retrieval practice helps with the transfer of knowledge from our working memory to our long-term memory.Does it also help with consolidation?

10 - @madeleine Can the two procedures happen simultaneously or do the switch back and forth?

11 - When the links simplify, do you forget the details or are they just more neatly encoded in the brain?

12 - Is it possible to strength the links in the declarative pathway without active reviewing the material? Just sleeping on it?

13 - I have a tendency to do multi tasking but I get confused it in the process ? how do I avoid it? - Rajesh

14 - Favourite first word in Wordle?

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