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The Learning Success Blog

Urana Public School: 5 Years of Success - Fast ForWord Brain Training

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 9, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Peter Barnes

Dorothy Dore, principal of Urana Public School spoke with The Learning Capacity Podcast about how the school is building student learning capacity with the Fast ForWord neuroscience program.

Urana Public is a small primary school of 26 students (K- 6) located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, 600 kms south west of Sydney.

The school has implemented Fast ForWord for the past five years with excellent results, according to Dorothy.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts, For Principals

A New Way to Measure & Predict an Individual's Attention?

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 4, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Peter Barnes

To learn, you have to “attend”.

Attending does not mean you just have to show up to the class or lesson. You also must pay attention - to the teacher, to the material you are reading, or the video you are watching.

Neuroscientists have recently been putting a lot of their attention on what happens in our brains when we pay attention.

Some new research from Yale University, USA has revealed that brain connectivity patterns can predict the strength of a person’s attention.

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Topics: Attention, Brain Science

5 Signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder & 4 Ways to Help an ODD Child

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 28, 2015 at 6:05 PM

Peter Barnes

Does your child argue a lot – with you or teachers?  Does he or she seem to anger easily?  Is this behaviour worrying you?

It could be quite normal – just a phase your child is going through. On the other hand they may have oppositional defiant disorder, also known as ODD.

There are five signs which can point to ODD, according to Dr Martha Burns, Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation.  In a recent conversation on the Learning Capacity Podcast, she described the signs and discussed how to help a child who has this disorder.

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Topics: Brain Science, Podcasts, Behaviour, Oppositional Defiant Disorder

How Technology Can Help Early Primary Students Improve Reading Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 15, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Peter Barnes

What do we do about students who are having trouble learning to read when they are in early primary school? 

How do we help them improve reading skills?

There are a multitude of programs and approaches used in Australian and New Zealand schools, and schools around the world to try to solve this problem. One well known program is Reading Recovery but its effectiveness is doubtful according to various studies.

Other approaches have not been really helpful - we still have way too many students in primary and secondary schools whose deficient reading skills are limiting their capacity to learn, and to achieve in school and beyond.

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Topics: Brain Science, Reading, Learning Capacity, Learning

Educational Neuroscience:  A Wave of Change for Teachers & Students

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 23, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Peter Barnes

Is educational neuroscience a legitimate area of knowledge which can help teachers and students, or is it mostly "neurobabble" as some articles in the Melbourne Age and in The Conversation have recently suggested?

The authors of both these articles correctly point out that there is an increasing amount of brain-based language in education discussions. And also that much of the 'brain' and 'neuro' language being used has little scientific basis.

But that does not mean all discussion of the role of neuroscience in education should be dismissed as useless "neurobabble". In fact educational neuroscience is now a recognised scientific discipline which is being studied in some of the world's leading universities including Stanford, Columbia and Vanderbilt in the USA and Cambridge University in the UK.

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Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity, Educational Neuroscience, For Principals

Is Educational Neuroscience for Real? Dr Martha Burns explains

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Peter Barnes

What is educational neuroscience? Is it a specialist area of knowledge or just a general title for intellectual sounding conversation? Can it help teachers get better learning outcomes for their students?

Maybe it's just "the latest thing" which will fade away in a year or two, just as many educational ideas that initially sound good, turn out not to be very useful.

Dr Martha Burns, Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning corporation answered these questions, and more, in a discussion on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

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Dr Burns explains that educational neuroscience is a new branch of neuroscience.

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Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Can You Have a Maths Brain? Dr Martha Burns explains.

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 18, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Peter Barnes

Maths is not fun......

Most of us easily and naturally use language, but when it comes to maths many people struggle, and find it is not so “natural” to work in numbers or maths concepts. Why is that?

Do we have brains that are wired for language from birth, but not for maths? Or is there such a thing as a “maths brain”? Do some of us have it while some don't, and if we don’t, how do we activate it?

Dr Martha Burns, expert in the neuroscience of learning, author of over 100 journal articles and three books, and Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation answered these questions in a conversation on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

She explains: “One way to think of it is that maths is a different language. It involves a different symbol system.

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Topics: Brain Science, Maths, Podcasts

Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 18, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what this means?:

"Brain wave oscillation bands appear to be a major mechanism co-ordinating billions of nerves across different brain regions to perform even basic cognitive tasks such as paying attention to someone who is talking and understanding what they are saying."

It's about brain science, langauge learning and reading, and it may help your children or students.

For most of us brain science is mysterious, a field of knowledge open only to neuroscientists. Much of what we read about how our brains work, how brains learn and what can go wrong with them is written by people who have no special knowledge of brain science. They are generally reporting summarised conclusions of scientific research.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Struggling Readers Need Programs Based on Science - Melbourne Age & Fast ForWord

Posted by David Stanley on September 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

David Stanley

A recent article in the Melbourne Age newspaper titled “Children with learning difficulties need programs based on science, not anecdote and neurobabble”makes some valid points but misses key information about how the neuroscience-based program Fast ForWord helps with Dyslexia.

The author focused on children with reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Literacy

Improving NAPLAN Results: Learning Capacity vs Accelerated Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 19, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Peter Barnes

"When we build a student's Learning Capacity by using appropriate, validated neuroscience-based brain training exercises, is this the same as accelerated learning?"

An educator, who had read our blog, NAPLAN 2015: How Fast is it Possible to Improve Literacy & Numeracy?  asked this question recently. She was concerned about possible negative consequences for students who are pushed too hard to accelerate their learning, and wondered if improving the students' ability to learn could 'backfire'.

She said,"Unfortunately people consider ‘accelerated’ learning to be the answer to poor student performance. But this is counterproductive in the long term. I have seen too many students suffer from ‘burnout’ by they time finish high school, because they have been subjected to high performance syndrome and have lost motivation to continue learnng. They have been stretched prematurely".

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Topics: Brain Science, Reading, Learning Capacity, Learning, Literacy, Maths, NAPLAN

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