Brain-Based Learning


Brain-based learning is becoming popular since it provides a good framework that helps to raise students’ performance. Brain–based learning provides an opportunity for the students to link their prior knowledge with the current content area learning; hence, it facilitates learning process for every student (Jensen & Jensen, 2008).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the fundamentals of the brain based learning, and the brain dominance. It will shed light on how a classroom teacher can optimize students’ learning.

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Fundamentals of Brain-Based Learning

The Concept of How a Student’s Brain Learns

Jensen & Jensen (2008) affirms that learning process of the brains depends on the emotions of the child since the power of cognition has a correlation with emotions.

Emotions affects the learning process since the student under threats releases some chemicals in the brain that inhibits understanding of content. A teacher should therefore pay close attention to students with physical disabilities since these students have high chances of developing negative emotions that may result from peer rejection.

This can be achieved by teaching social behavior publicly as it enhances social acceptance through emphasizing on the importance of diversity in classrooms. Through this acceptance, children with physical disabilities will demonstrate positive emotions that facilitate content area learning.

The teacher should also note that there are students who have learning disabilities that are neurological in origin, hence affected in understanding the content of new concepts (Jensen & Jensen, 2008).

These students demonstrate a problem in processing new information. It is therefore paramount to be flexible during teaching since the neural connection is responsible for stimulating the appropriate learning style, which is experienced when current passes along the nerve cells in the brain.

Jensen & Jensen (2008) affirms that introducing of new concepts can be enhanced by accommodating prior knowledge of these students.

For example, teaching students that the world is round can be introduced by accommodation the notion of students who believes that the world is flat, and then coming up with information that will help them to analyze and criticize their prior concepts. The teacher can also ask the students to compare the previous leadership with the current leadership style.

Creating this link helps the students to understand the concepts of new content. Another example involves the use of body movement in order to enhance understanding of language such as standing up and sitting down to demonstrate the difference between consonants and vowels (Willingham, 2004).

Brain Dominance

The Paradox of the Left Side Processes and the Right Side Processes of the Brain

There are diverse ways of enhancing brain dominance during the learning process. One of these ways is enhancing memory. This results from the fact that brain comprises of several parts, which are used to store different types of memories.

For example, while listening to the music the brain can store the composition of the music separately. In this case, the melody of the song can be stored in a different part of the brain from the lyrics of the song (Jensen & Jensen, 2008).

Retrieval of the stored information is however affected by individual’s learning style. It is paramount to note that children with disability exhibit different learning styles from the normal children. For case in point, students with reading disabilities depict characteristics of visual processing since they are unable to shift the brain from the right to the left side (Jensen & Jensen, 2008). This shows that there is a relationship between poor visual processing and reading disability.

However, critics claim that the different parts of the brain are independent rather than correlated; hence, there is presence of limitation while activating different parts of the brain (Willingham, 2004). This separation puts across the point that the mathematical skills do not have any relationship with the verbal skills as a student can demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and poor verbal skills at the same time.

Willingham (2004) affirms that different parts of the brain are characterized by different developmental history; hence provide no room for substitution. For example, a student who possesses high musical skills cannot substitute his music intelligence for understanding mathematics. Hence, the student must adopt the appropriate learning style that enhances understanding of mathematical formula.

How a Classroom Teacher Can Optimize Student Learning

Despite the fact that the left side and the right side process of the brain is faced with a contradiction, it vital for a teacher to note that a student can exhibit multiple intellectual abilities since to some extend, these abilities have a correlation. He/she can use various ways to enhance student’s learning which include

involving the students in repetition of the content area as this facilitates build up of their memory,
enhancing learning of difficult content by using supportive words such as “for example,”
activating the right side of the brain by stimulating visual material such as the balance scale as this enhances visualization of the mathematical algebra equation, and the left side of the brain by using graphs as this helps to demonstrate the relevance of text,
using music in order to enhance spelling capability for students suffering from dyslexia, and
activating the mind of the students suffering from ADHD by using art therapy as it helps to stabilize erratic moods and builds their self-esteem (Jensen & Jensen, 2008).


Jensen, E., & Jensen, E. (2008). Brain-based learning: The new paradigm of teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Willingham, D. (2004). Reframing the mind. Education next, 4, 1-15. Retrieved on November 24, 2010, from


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