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Resources – Bath Spa University

We've developed teaching and learning resources for students and for tutors to use in their sessions.

Student resources

This is a teaching and learning resource designed for trainee teachers.

Looking at brain-based claims in education

To get started, we recommend you follow one of the five links below. 

You'll first be presented with a common claim or question that you might encounter in a school setting. To begin with, think about how you might initially answer or react to this question.

In the rest of the presentation, you will be prompted by critical questions to explore the underlying research of the claim or query. You will also be asked to consider the implications for your teaching practice. Be ready to share what you've found with your fellow students. 

Tutor resources

In this section, you'll find resources that address the learning sciences in different areas of the ITE curriculum. They've been designed for initial teacher education of primary and early years teachers but could be adapted for other groups.

Interactive Seminar: Theories of Learning including Science of Learning

This interactive seminar places the Science of Learning as offering one lens on learning alongside behaviourism, cognitive constructivism, social constructivism and sociocultural perspectives.

Science of Learning Quiz and answers

This quick 'Is it true?' quiz explores brain-based claims and unpicks current understanding from neuromyths. It could be used online as part of blended learning or integrated into a teaching session.

Interactive Workshop: Science of Learning Critical Thinking

This interactive workshop aims to help trainee teachers develop a critical but open minded response to brain-based claims about learning. For this workshop, you will need the following tutor resources:

  1. Workshop slides with tutor notes that raises questions about the ‘seductive allure’ of neuroscience-based claims and students explore and critique current issues about how science is applied to learning.
  2. Stimulus sheets
  3. Student Responses to Stimulus Sheets - download a copy of this blank template to fill out.
  4. Data collection spreadsheet (for tutor use).

There are also five sets of student resources available for this workshop.

The workshop has two parts:

Mock experiment

First the trainees will take part in a (mock) cognitive psychology experiment that raises questions about the ‘seductive allure’ of neuroscience-based claims. It will also give trainees an example of the kinds of research methods used in cognitive psychology.

Classroom-based group work

Secondly, the trainees will be invited to consider the validity of some claims they might encounter during school placements. A group of trainees can be allocated each claim to explore and feedback with accessible resources such as articles provided.

This section challenges prevalent neuromyths and introduces some current thinking about the brain and learning while helping trainees learn key strategies in critical reading of claims, such as checking whether the claims have been trialled in classrooms as well as tested in laboratories.

For this section, students will need to access the online resources. In order to access these resources in class, students will need to bring an internet enabled device, such as a laptop or tablet.

The Learning Sciences and ITE Primary Science

This document (also available in PDF format) presents a discussion on cognitive neuroscience in relation to primary science education.

In this section is a presentation that helps to develop science literacy by considering claimed benefits of fish oils and water on children’s learning, and exemplification of how a workshop on the human body can be modified to develop ideas about the brain as part of the whole body.

The Learning Sciences and ITE Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

This presentation discusses the limits of working memory, taking the view that every brain is different.

The slides were originally used within a longer session on SEND and Inclusion. They show how concepts from cognitive psychology can (and should be) thought about with an inclusive mindset, and should focus on the whole child as a unique person.

Previous versions of our materials can be downloaded from BathSpaData.

Image CC-BY, Wellcome Collection, Henrietta Howells, NatBrainLab

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