How Brain-based Teaching Improves Focus and Memory Retention
January 6, 2021
One of the challenges that teachers encounter is the inability of students to retain information after a lesson or even long term. This often affects performance, especially if an exam is given weeks or months after the lesson. Brain-based offers a solution because the lesson designs, teaching methods, and school programs are influenced by scientific evidence of how the brain works.
Brain-based teaching takes into account factors, such as neuroscience and cognitive development. This shows why students process information differently and how age and maturity affect cognitive development.
During the annual Singapore professional development for teachers training, one of the issues tackled is how to structure lessons to appeal to all students. Since students have different levels of understanding, brain-based teaching is ideal because it centres of how the brain functions, and how to take advantage of the brain cycles to help improve focus and memory retention for learners.
Sets a positive tone about the lesson
Students often decide a few minutes after the lesson begins if this will be a simple or difficult lesson. This is why teachers need to set a positive tone as soon as the lesson begins. Doing this prepares the students, both physically and emotionally, for the lesson. Once students feel safe in the classroom environment, they are likely to maintain focus throughout the lesson.
When the teacher is inviting from the moment the lesson starts, students will be more willing to engage in the subject matter. Setting a positive note is not just important for any given lesson, but for the day or week. Teachers, especially those who teach the first lesson of the day, often influence how students feel during the day. So, welcoming children in the morning, and maintaining the same set up is likely to improve the children’s outlook about education.
Student engagement helps with memory retention.
Students are more likely to remember what they said and did over what the teacher says. This is why brain-based teaching emphasizes the importance of student involvement during the lesson. This could be done through a Q&A session where students set and ask one another questions regarding a given topic. Having a session of student engagement at the end of every session will ensure students focus on the lesson, and even retain the memory, largely due to the class discussion after the lesson.
Most students are likely to remember visual learning.
Did you know that at least 65% of students are visual learners? Even those who can easily understand written notes find it easier to rein information that included visual elements, such as posters. Teachers must find creative ways to educate students using visual materials. For example, simple graphs can help children process information much faster.
Include brain breaks during lessons
Although this may initially seem like a waste of time, including moments of relaxation a few times between lessons is great for improving focus and memory retention. The breaks don’t always have to be when the teacher is speaking. People with expertise in the professional development of teachers consider breaks to be equally important in written notes.
When writing, teachers should encourage students to break long passages into smaller paragraphs. Doing this not only makes reading easier, but it also helps students to maintain focus and memory retention.
There are several ways through which teachers can help students to improve focus during lessons. Brain-based teaching has been widely adopted in Singapore, and it may be the reason behind the extraordinary performance in education.