Brain Matters: Translating Research Into Classroom Practice

Front Cover
ASCD, 2010 - Education - 247 pages
5 Reviews

Everyone agrees that what we do in schools should be based on what we know about how the brain learns. Until recently, however, we have had few clues to unlock the secrets of the brain. Now, research from the neurosciences has greatly improved our understanding of the learning process, and we have a much more solid foundation on which to base educational decisions.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Patricia Wolfe clarifies how we can effectively match teaching practice with brain functioning. Encompassing the most recent and relevant research and knowledge, this edition also includes three entirely new chapters that examine brain development from birth through adolescence and identify the impact of exercise, sleep, nutrition, and technology on the brain.

Brain Matters begins with a "mini-textbook" on brain anatomy and physiology, bringing the biology of the brain into context with teaching and learning. Wolfe describes how the brain encodes, manipulates, and stores information, and she proposes implications that recent research has for practice--why meaning is essential for attention, how emotion can enhance or impede learning, and how different types of rehearsal are necessary for different types of learning.

Finally, Wolfe introduces and examines practical classroom applications and brain-compatible teaching strategies that take advantage of simulations, projects, problem-based learning, graphic organizers, music, active engagement, and mnemonics. These strategies are accompanied by actual classroom scenarios--spanning the content areas and grade levels from lower elementary to high school--that help teachers connect theory with practice.


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Review: Brain Matters: Translating Research Into Classroom Practice

User Review  - Jo - Goodreads

My daughter left this book at my home by mistake and I picked it up read the back cover and knew my daughter had met the author, so I decided to read it, although I am not, nor have I ever been a ... Read full review

Review: Brain Matters: Translating Research Into Classroom Practice

User Review  - Shaymaq - Goodreads

One of the easy books to read about this topic. Highly recommended for non science major students!! Read full review


Part 1 The Structure and Function of theHuman Brain
Neurons and Subcortical Structures
The Cortex
How Neurons Communicate
Part II Brain Development from Birth Through Adolescence
The Early and Middle Years
A Work in Progress
The Role of Exercise Sleep Nutrition and Technology
The Brains Storage System
Part IV Matching Instruction to How the BrainLearns Best
Making Curriculum Meaningful Through Problems Projects and Simulations
Using the Visual and Auditory Senses to Enhance Learning
A Toolkit of BrainCompatible Strategies
A Final Note on BrainCompatible Teaching and Learning

Part III From Sensory Input to Information Storage
Getting Information into the Brain
The Conscious Processing of Information
About the Author

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About the author (2010)

Patricia Wolfe is an independent consultant who speaks to educators in schools across the United States and in international schools. Her professional background includes public school teaching at all levels: staff development trainier for the Upland School District, director of instruction for the Napa County Office of Education, and a lead trainer for the International Principal Training Center in Rome and London. Her staff development experience includes workshops in Madeline Hunter's Elements of Effective Teaching and Clinical Supervision, Anthony Gregorc's Mind Styles, Carolyn Evertson's Classroom Management and Organization, and peer coaching. She has been featured in a number of videotape productions and satellite broadcasts. Wolfe's major interest over the past 20 years has centered on the educational implications and applications of current neuroscience, cognitive science, and educational research for teaching and learning. She can be reached at Mind Matters, Inc., 555 Randolph Street, Napa, CA 94559, Phone and Fax: (707) 226-1777, Web site:

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