Neuroscience, cognition, and physical Activity

As you read this week, there are connections between neuroscience and education. As highlighted by Dr. Judy Willis in the article A Neurologist Makes the Case for Teaching Teachers About the Brain (Links to an external site.), Teachers who are prepared with knowledge of the workings of the brain will have the incentive and motivation to follow the ongoing research, as well as the ability to apply their findings to the classroom (Willis, 2015). With this knowledge, teachers can help children build their brain potential, “bridge the achievement gap, and reach their highest 21st century potential starting now” (Willis, 2015, para. 5). Neuroscience tells us that as educators, we have the capacity to literally help students change their brains and intelligence. That is a tremendous opportunity and one that we must not take lightly. How will you impact the brains and intelligence of those children in your care? That is the focus of this discussion this week.
To prepare for this discussion, read the article A Neurologist Makes the Case for Teaching Teachers About the Brain (Links to an external site.) by Dr. Judy Willis.
Describe the connection between neuroplasticity and cognition and how your understanding of neural development and cognitive processing will guide your work with children.
Analyze the role that science and math have on cognition in early childhood education and in guiding children on becoming 21st-century learners.
Propose a physical activity that will promote changes in brain structure and function and will increase a child’s capacity for learning. Explain how your activity does each and how it can be modified to accommodate children with disabilities. Be sure to also include the appropriate age range for the activity and support your activity with your primary text or Dr. Willis’ article.
Tip: Remember to connect to your chosen thematic unit.

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