A WOMAN who will be speaking in Newcastle on Wednesday night says advancements in neuroscience could dramatically change the learning experiences of primary-school aged children.
To Sheryl Batchelor, it seems bizarre that schools haven’t introduced increasing scientific knowledge of the human brain into classroom teaching.
She is one of two trainers in Australia for the Benevolent Society’s shaping brains program, called MindUP.
It centres around neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change and learn from experience.
Ms Batchelor said children were taught about why they might react certain ways and given the tools to cope.
She said she believed kids only acted out when they were stressed or feeling threatened – so their behaviour and learning experiences could be improved when they were taught to deal with this.
Despite the importance of managing the emotional state of the classroom, research indicated few four-year university degrees provided training in this area, Ms Batchelor said.
‘‘We’re trying to normalise it and say you are in control of your brain,’’ she said.
For instance, she said children were taught about different parts of the brain, such as the amygdala, which is associated with ‘‘fight or flight’’ and ‘‘fires up’’ when a person was feeling stressed or not safe.
‘‘We give them strategies to calm themselves down so they can engage in learning,’’ Ms Batchelor said.
What: Free Newcastle information session
When: Tonight, 5.30pm to 7pm
Where: Benevolent Society, 323 Charlestown Road, Charlestown
For bookings go to: www.benevolent.org.au/mindup