The learning brain needs “uprightness” for greatest efficiency

Human neurology thrives on color, movement, gentle music, and “uprightness” for the most efficient learning

The learning brain needs “uprightness,” in addition to color, movement and gentle music (discussed in my previous article, June 12, 2010). If you wish to review that previous article, just click on the title below:

A learning brain learns best with color, movement, and gentle music

Teacher Helping Student at Blackboard -  <i>bonniej</i>
Teacher Helping Student at Blackboard – bonniej; image from the following website:
http://teacher-mentorship.suite101.com/article.cfm/reflective-teaching-strategies-for-more-effective-k-8-instruction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What is meant by “uprightness” for most learning efficiency?

The ideal of “uprightness” occurs when the student is at a blackboard (greenboard).

The brain is so constructed neurologically that it is most efficient when the material to be learned is “above the noseline,” so to speak, as in the photograph above.

In other words, the best brain “registration” for memory occurs when the material to be learned is located above a line straight out from the students nose.

Why is “above the noseline” best?

We are not sure why. It seems that human neurology  is arranged vertically, somewhat analogously to a vertical four-drawer filing cabinet.

(1) The top drawer registers and files visual material, the pictures we see with our eyes.

(2) The second drawer down registers and files auditory material, the things we hear with our ears.

(3) The third drawer down registers and files haptic material, the tactile sensations we encounter with our hands, and the rest of our body. It also includes the proprioceptive system, the internal sensations of the muscles, joints, tendons, and inner ear, that accompany body movement.

(4) The bottom drawer registers and files affective material, the emotions we feel in our “heart,” or “gut,” if you like.

Thus, when we are presenting visual material to students, and almost all of academic learning is visual (reading for example, or math worksheets, or whatever), we need to get as close as we can to the ideal of being “upright” at the blackboard (greenboard).

Some teachers have wall-mounted “Smart Boards,” connected to their classroom computers, and these follow the ideal even more than blackboards (greenboards). The student is “upright” before the “Smart Board,” the student is moving his hands to manipulate the material appearing on the “Smart Board,” it is in color, and presumably gentle learning “baroque” music could be added as background, although I have not seen this yet.

Voila! All the best items needed for best learning:

– Color

– Movement

– “Uprightness,” to provide material “above the noseline”

– Gentle “baroque” music (about 1 beat per second, or 60 beats per minute)

– Not to mention a caring teacher close at hand 😮

Yes! Caring!

Doc Meek, Thursday, June 24, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

P.S. Now the question becomes:

“How do we approach the ideal of “uprightness” when the student is seated at his or her desk?”

This is a good topic for a future article. This would ideally include the use of fairly steeply-sloping “drafting board” type desks, or barring that, simply using clipboards propped up on a stack of textbooks, or on the student’s upraised knee. Think about this. Use your imagination–your top drawer. 😮

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