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What can neuroscience offer to educators? Much of the debate has focused on whether basic research on the brain can translate into direct applications within the classroom. Accompanying ethical concern has centered on whether neuroeducation has made empty promises to educators. Relatively little investigation has been made into educators’ expectations regarding neuroscience research and how they might find it professionally useful. In order to address this question, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 educators who were repeat attendees of the Learning & the Brain conferences. Responses suggest that ‘brain based’ pedagogical strategies are not all that is sought; indeed, respondents were more often drawn to the conference out of curiosity about the brain than a desire to gain new teaching methods. Of those who reported that research had influenced their classroom practice, most did not distinguish between neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Responses indicated that learning about neuroscience can help educators maintain patience, optimism and professionalism with their students, increase their credibility with colleagues and parents, and renew their sense of professional purpose. While not necessarily representative of the entire population, these themes indicate that current research in neuroscience can have real relevance to educators’ work. Future ethical discussions of neuroeducation should take into account this broader range of motivations and benefits.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12152-012-9159-3.
educational neuroscience, neuroeducation, classroom instruction
Hook, C. J., & Farah, M. J. (2013). Neuroscience for Educators: What Are They Seeking, and What Are They Finding?. Neuroethics, 6 (2), 331-341. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12152-012-9159-3
Bioethics and Medical Ethics Commons, Cognitive Psychology Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Medical Education Commons, Medical Neurobiology Commons, Neuroscience and Neurobiology Commons, Neurosciences Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons
Date Posted: 15 May 2015
This document has been peer reviewed.