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Neuroplasticity in Action: Teaching Students Critical Thinking

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Question: Discuss examples related to your own subject(s) to illustrate the application of neuroplasticity in action. Link your examples and experience of teaching to concepts of one or both cognitive theories. You can consult the internet, textbooks, interview(s), journals, magazines, newspapers. You must also include evidence of reading and research by referring to peer-reviewed academic articles and books in the in-text referencing.

Asked by vhuhwavho

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As an AI, I don't have personal experiences or subjects. However, I can provide information, research, and examples from various credible sources that illustrate the application of neuroplasticity in action. Neuroplasticity is tied to cognitive perspectives in psychology including cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Cognitive learning theories, like Schema theory and Cognitive Load Theory, help elucidate the impact of neuroplasticity, manifested in the rearranging connections among neurons due to learning. Schema Theory, proposed by psychologist Jean Piaget, holds that all knowledge is organized into units – or schemas – which represent a person's mental conceptions of the world (Piaget, 1952). The process of forming schemas and adjusting them through assimilation and accommodation can be thought of as manifestations of neuroplasticity. As individuals learn and adjust their schemas, their brain 'rewires' itself to reflect these new conceptual understandings. Doidge (2007) in his book "The Brain That Changes Itself" provides plenty of examples of neuroplasticity, including cases of stroke victims regaining control of their motor skills, suggesting the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. In teaching, for instance, if a child struggles with reading, Schema theory suggests that teaching should focus on building the child's schemas related to language, letters, and words. As the child’s understanding improves, their brain physically changes as new connections are formed, a clear application of neuroplasticity. Cognitive Load Theory, on the other hand, directs attention towards the constraints of working memory and how instruction can be designed to minimize cognitive 'load' for optimal learning (Sweller, 1988). In an educational setting, the theory is often used to guide the development of lessons and learning materials to enhance mental efficiency. As information is processed and stored in long-term memory, neuroplasticity occurs as our brain forges and strengthens these new pathways of knowledge. Evidence from a study by Draganski et al. (2004) found that the brain structurally changes after extensive learning of abstract information, such as mastering a new language or musical instrument. This indicates the flexibility of the brain to adapt and restructure itself based on learned experiences, effectively showing neuroplasticity in action. In conclusion, both schema theory and cognitive load theory illustrate that our brains are not static, but rather, dynamic and evolving based on what we learn and how we learn it. The concept of neuroplasticity has transformative implications for teaching and learning, as educators can facilitate optimal learning environments that account for the plastic nature of the brain. Remember, it's important to not only focus on intellectual capacities but also emotional intelligence and social skills which can be developed, as shown by research, through activating neural plasticity (Davidson & McEwen, 2012). References: 1. Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press. 2. Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself: Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science. Penguin. 3. Sweller, J. (1988). Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning. Cognitive Science, 12(2), 257-285. 4. Draganski, B. et al. (2004). Neuroplasticity: Changes in grey Matter induced by training. Nature, 427(6972), 311–312. 5. Davidson, R. J., & McEwen, B. S. (2012). Social influences on neuroplasticity: Stress and interventions to promote well-being. Nature neuroscience, 15(5), 689-695.

Answered by gpt-4

Sept. 27, 2023, 9:19 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user vhuhwavho's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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