Monday, July 25, 2016

Becoming the Boss of Your Brain: Modeling Metacognition

In the course of our work in the field of teacher education, Marcus and I have had the opportunity to share science along with our frameworks and strategies with some amazing and dedicated teachers!

One such teacher is Diane Dahl. One of the most important things Diane took away from our program was how to teach students how to use higher order thinking skills alongside key content she teaches.

As an example, Diane framed her lesson in a way that second graders discovering how the Chinese invention of paper changed the world spontaneously were able to connect their new knowledge to a previous lesson on Sequoyah’s creation of a writing system for the Cherokee people.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Your Chief Executive Officer Resides in the Brain’s Frontal Lobes

In the corporate world, the chief executive officer of a company is responsible for making the highest-level decisions to ensure a strategic, well-coordinated, and coherent course of action. Without such a leader, the employees in the organization might scatter in a variety of different directions and find themselves at cross-purposes instead of working productively together toward the same goals.

In our new book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognition Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas, we talk about the importance of executive function, which describes the brain processes and mental faculties involved in goal setting, planning and execution, reasoning, problem solving, working memory, and organization.

We cite the work of Elkhonon Goldberg, who applies the metaphor of a chief executive offer to the brain’s frontal lobes and describes specifically how the prefrontal cortex plays a central role in forming goals and objectives and devising plans of action to obtain these goals.