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Robert Sylwester offers educators an introduction to "the only mass of matter in the known universe that can contemplate itself," the human brain. We all know that the brain is where learning takes place, but how many of us understand the brain's basic workings and use that understanding in our work with students? How many of us keep up with new developments in brain research that might have implications for teaching and learning? How many of us can even identify the basic parts of the brain and when they mature?
After reading this book, you'll be able to identify the basic parts of the brain. You'll also be able to discuss scientists' theories about how our brain functions, how it interacts with the outside environment, how it determines what's important, how it solves problems, how it adapts itself to its environment, and how it learns, remembers, and forgets.
"A Celebration of Neurons" is more than an introduction to the brain, however; it is also an urgent call for educators to become actively involved in discovering useful applications for brain theory and research in the schools. Developments in brain research have already provided scientific support for educational practices such as cooperative learning, and new developments will almost certainly influence other aspects of teaching and learning, from the content of the curriculum to the layout of the classroom. The question we must ask ourselves now, says Sylwester, is whether the education profession as a whole can continue to ignore the significant role that brain research can play in improving teaching and learning.
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