1300 203 104 AU
0800 451 959 NZ
blog-btn  podcast3  

The Learning Success Blog

It Hurts to be Excluded - Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conferences

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 12, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what it feels like to be discriminated against, to be excluded?

I hope you don’t, it’s not nice.

It happened to me recently.  A travel insurance company told me they would not renew the annual travel insurance policy I’d had for years.

The reason?  I’ve had a birthday.  I’m a year older, and they don’t insure people my age on that policy.

Every day in our schools some kids feel discriminated against, feel excluded.  Because they are different in some way from the group. They may be physically different. They might have learning challenges and can’t keep up with the rest of the class.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Learning, Educational Neuroscience

Monkeys Don't Eat Salad: Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conference

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Peter Barnes

A friend of mine lives in a community in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. High above a fast-flowing, snow-fed stream which feeds into the mighty Ganges river.
 
It’s a remote clearing in the jungle-clad mountains, teeming with monkeys.
 
The residents had a long trek down the mountainside to the village in the valley below to buy vegetables. The village vegetables were not always fresh. So they tried growing their own.
 
But the monkeys ate everything. 
 
Except for leafy green salad vegetables.
 
Monkeys don’t eat salad.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience

How You Can Spot Weak Cognitive Skills in Your Classroom

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 22, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Peter Barnes

What’s happening in your students’ brains when they can’t follow your classroom instructions? What if a student doesn’t want to answer your question? And why do some students struggle to tell a story?

These are all signs that a student may have a weakness in one or more key cognitive skills. Skills essential for learning.

As well as language skills, we all need four key thinking skills for effective learning. They are: memory, attention, processing, and sequencing.

Here are some behaviours you might notice if your students have a weakness in these skills:

Read More

Topics: Learning Difficulties, Following Instructions, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience, Early Learners

The times are a-changin' (at school too): Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 22, 2017 at 11:12 AM

Peter Barnes

In 1964, Bob Dylan sang:

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam….for the times they are a-changin'

Do you know the song?

Last year Bob Dylan received a Nobel prize for literature. It was for the lyrics he wrote, like “The Times They are –a Changin”.

He was right about that way back in 1964.

And the times are still changing. Especially in education. That’s thanks to educational neuroscience. It’s changing education in ways we could not have imagined.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience

When did you finish school? Does it matter for your brain?

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 30, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Peter Barnes

Did you finish school last year?  Last decade?  Last century?

Does it matter when? 

It might, if you want to keep your brain sharp and agile.

It’s unlikely you completed school last year. Most readers of this blog are older than that. You might have finished in the 2000’s. Or last century -  in the 1990’s, 1980’s, 1970’s or even earlier (like me!).

You learnt new things almost every day when you were in school.  Your brain was very active, building new neural pathways and strengthening existing ones.

If you finished school last decade or last century, it is likely you haven’t been learning new things nearly every day since then, and it’s the new things, the novel things, are best for keeping your brain sharp.

Read More

Topics: Attention, Educational Neuroscience

3 Famous Neuroscientists: How Brain Plasticity Helps Human Potential

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Peter Barnes

“The science of neuroplasticity is slowly but surely transforming how we think about ourselves and our brains, and how we can build a stronger brain that provides us with a better life,” said Dr Michael Merzenich.

He was speaking in a roundtable discussion with Professors Eve Marder and Carla Shatz following the trio’s receipt of the $1million 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

The three scientists discussed how their work disrupted a central dogma of neuroscience and how it offers the promise of plasticity-based treatments for people who are struggling to learn, have brain damage or who have brains at risk of mental illness or dementia.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

What is Neuroplasticity & How Does It Impact Education?  (Infographic)

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 5, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Peter Barnes

“Everything having to do with human training and education has to be re-examined in light of neuroplasticity". (Norman Doidge, author of "The Brain That Changes Itself”)

What is neuroplasticity? It is the understanding that experiences are able to change our brains, and that our brain’s structure and capacity are not fixed. The eminent neuroscientist, Dr Michael Merzenich, widely known as “the father of neuroplasticity”, recently shared the $1million Kavli Prize for his contribution to this understanding.

Neuroplasticity offers the prospect of new ways to improve learning and education, physical rehabilitation, mental illnesses and addiction.

An excellent infographic explaining neuroplasticity has been produced by Alta Mira, a San Francisco rehabilitation and recovery centre.  

 The infographic includes this comment about education:

Read More

Topics: Educational Neuroscience, For Principals

5 World Firsts: Fast ForWord Brain Training & Reading Programs

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 4, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

By the start of 1996, four neuroscientists had spent 25 years researching both how our brains learn and also ways to help people with dyslexia, autism and specific language impairment.

The scientists were Dr Michael Merzenich - now known as “The father of neuroplasticity”, Dr Paula Tallal, Dr Bill Jenkins and Dr Steve Miller. They co-founded the Scientific Learning Corporation (SLC) and Fast ForWord is the registered trade name of the platform SLC built to translate basic neuroplasticity-based training research into clinical and educational products.

In doing this they established 5 “world firsts”:

Read More

Topics: Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

Educating with Neuroscience Conference 2016, Melbourne 26 August

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 26, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Peter Barnes


Educators have been a bit late in applying the immense value of neuroscience, but it’s here in education right now, according to Dr Steve Miller, keynote speaker at the Educating with Neuroscience 2016 conference (ENS 2016) in Melbourne on Friday 26 August.

“It's here now, and if you haven't looked you may not have noticed it,” he says. “Here's the examples I give people:

  • Pro athletes are doing neuroscience training to be better at being competitive athletes. 
  • The military in a dozen countries uses brain training to make their elite teams more consistently elite. 
  • Every hospital has a neuroscience team that uses neuroscience technologies in neurology to help assess things. 
  • Companies around the world, if you look at the Fortune top 100 companies, half of them have done a neuroscience study to see what they should be doing to make something more effective, or improve decision making, or to make decision making work among their consumers. 

The place where it's last, to be honest, is in the learning space, in education.”

Expert and experienced speakers at ENS 2016 Conference

Read More

Topics: Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Educational Neuroscience Helps Students: Special Needs to Mainstream

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Peter Barnes

Peter Carabi, vice president of Global Business Development for Scientific Learning has been watching how educational neuroscience is changing learning for students around the world.

He sees how this relativey new brain science, which is the foundation for the Fast ForWord brain training, language and reading programs, opens new opportunities for students regardless of their country or ability.

Peter recorded an interview with the Learning Capacity Podcast in which he discussed English language learning and educational neuroscience.

This blog is a transcript of his comments about the latter.

Read More

Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Educational Neuroscience

Subscribe to Email Updates

LearnFast Blog

All about Neuroscience & Learning

Are you interested in trends in learning, learning technology, education, neuroscience, or treatments for learning difficulties – including auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, attention, autism and others?

Do you have children or students you want to help achieve more from their education?

Does literacy enhancement or English as a Second Language interest you?

Find out what’s happening on these and other topics related to neuroscience and learning, read comments on the latest research, and join the discussions.