Course of Mind

What makes learning happen?

June 11, 2019 Season 1 Episode 5
Course of Mind
What makes learning happen?
Chapters
Course of Mind
What makes learning happen?
Jun 11, 2019 Season 1 Episode 5
ISTE
Dr. Bror Saxberg explains how human learning works. In this compelling interview, he identifies common roadblocks to learning and how teachers can overcome them.
Show Notes Transcript

 How do humans learn? How does technology help understanding how the brain works? Dr.Bror Saxberg, an engineering doctorate, a medical doctor, and Vice President of Learning Sciences at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative explains how human learning works and identifies common roadblocks that teachers encounter. Unsurprisingly, learning is a complex process that involves not just academic skills but a person’s entirety including their social, emotional, physical and mental health. Even sleep, hydration and hunger play a role in students’ ability to learn. Despite the complexity, Bror offers ideas that teachers can use in their classrooms to identify what’s holding students back and come up with strategies to overcome barriers.

This podcast is produced by NarayanKripa Sundararajan (@KripaSundar) as part of the Course of Mind project, an ISTE initiative made possible in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.





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Speaker 1:
0:00
What is learning? How does it work? How might we build a visual image of what happens when someone learns something? Think about your own students. When you teach and they learn what is actually taking place. Equally important, what motivates a mind to learn? Think of someone you know who hasn't appeared motivated. How might learning sciences help to unlock that motivation and move learning forward? Hi, I'm Shana White and I'm [inaudible] and you're listening to course of mind, the learning sciences podcasts for misty so far in our journey to understand how learning sciences can practically inform teaching in our schools and classrooms. We've learned the importance of general and specific teaching efficacy, feelings of social safety, cultural competency, key awarenesses, and the importance of involving teachers and learners as partners in the process. In this episode, we take a step back to understand how each of these parts is related to a larger whole, specifically how learning works. We talked to Dr. Brewer, Sacs Berg, vice president of learning science at the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. We asked Dr Sachs Berg to help us better understand how learning works from a 30,000 foot view and to provide some insights into what teachers can do to better understand and move students who seem to lack motivation to learn what is learning and how does it work. Let's find out. Welcome to course in mind.
Speaker 2:
1:45
10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.
Speaker 3:
1:52
Thank you so much for joining us on course of mind. My pleasure to be here. So, uh, we're going to jump right in. Uh, you have, uh, kind of amazing list of credentials coming into this work, uh, starting with electrical engineering and then mathematics and then more mathematics and then a phd in electrical engineering and computer science from Mit, which is where most people would stop I think. And then you went on and, and earned an MD from the Harvard Med school. So when you come to learning sciences, I, that you have that rare balance of the brain kind of things and how the body works. And then also the, the sciency, uh, deep science background. That's, that's more I would say it then than the metal medical perspective.
Speaker 4:
2:35
Well, what's fun is you have exactly described why I did the MD and the PHD, which was to get that combination of uh, not just, you know, what's known about information processing or how the mind works, but actually to get a more comprehensive view of the whole biological system because it turns out, uh, the body is a bit of a trickster, that it tends to reuse all over the place. You know, gut proofed proteins get reused in the brain and vice versa. And so I just figured it made sense to really go big and try to get a comprehensive run and how the whole body works and just struck me that an MD was probably the most intense way to do that.
Speaker 5:
3:16
Wow, that's astonishing to me. I actually used to be a health and PE teacher, so it's amazing to just kind of hear both sides of the coin in the sense of really understanding how the body works. But then that also kind of impacts learning. So based on such your wealth of knowledge, can you explain to us how does learning actually work?
Speaker 4:
3:38
Yeah. Yes, that's a good question. They're going to start as my lung and we will get to the tough stuff. Yeah. I'm, I am glad you asked an easy question first just to soften me up here. Um, so, uh, the, the good news is we've actually learned a ton about how learning actually works over the last few decades. Um, and interestingly, it, it comes not from understanding the brain and neurons. It really comes a lot of it from a cognitive psychology starting in the 1950s and sixties. Um, and more recently a lot of other areas, social psychology, developmental psychology and, and other areas too. Um, one of the really interesting, uh, waystations was in the 1950s when people began using computers and, and move from being able to watch the vacuum tubes fire off and kind of know where every bit was. As they got more and more complicated machines, they realized they could write programming languages to describe how information was being processed without knowing exactly which vacuum tube or which transistor was actually holding a bit anymore.
Speaker 4:
4:52
And they were able to, with 100% accuracy, describe information coming in, describe what processing was going to happen and get the actual output. That's what computer programming languages were a way of describing information processing independent of the hardware. So a group of very smart people, a von Neumann and herb Simon and others who were involved in that. Suddenly you recognize, Hey, wait a minute, why can't we apply the same idea of information processing to how minds work? Because one of the things that had gotten in the way of people understanding how learning works and expertise works really from, you know, for the 100 years before then was nobody could figure out what each neuron did or what the neurons were. And so they felt like they were just stuck at this big black box of the brain. So if on Noi man and others started to say, let's see if we can understand how information is processed and began to have some very good results that are called the cognitive revolution.
Speaker 4:
5:59
So this is kind of a reverse of biomimicry, right? So is what it sounds like that we understood kind of here we can figure this thing out of the machine and now let's turn to the biological processes. Is that the yes, that's, that's what you're charting that. Yes. That's fascinating. His, it is really interesting because, and, and we can talk more about this later if you'd like. There's this really interesting interplay back and forth now over decades between technology, uh, our use of it, our understanding of how to use it and learning and, and mind and how we can help or understand how minds work and what we can do to help. So it's, it's just so interesting that in the fifties and sixties that cognitive psychology was basically restarted in part because of these ideas that came from working with computers. So, and it worked better than anyone could have imagined.
Speaker 4:
6:54
So this is a bit of the model that I'm going to be, I'm going to talk you guys through if that's okay. I think this is actually pretty helpful for understanding and actually practical work too. I am in a sense, I am by training in nature an engineer. And so I, I really think about, um, learning engineering. How do we apply the science of learning in practical ways to help teachers or developers or administrators sold a learning development and motivation problems in the real world in practical terms. So the, the, the rough view of learning I'm going to give you in no way reflects the richest complexity of what researchers have begun to understand, but is a set of frameworks and ideas. Um, that seemed to have been helpful for a lot of people doing practical instructional design work and thinking about learning in a practical level.
Speaker 4:
7:50
So does that sound helpful? Is that useful? Certainly, yes. Absolutely. I'm so excited to find out. Yeah. To me it's interesting from my computer science background, so that's almost like getting all the way down to binary, just, it's either a one or a zero. Um, and also building to that algorithm stage where you're understanding kind of the processes as it's going through. And I always find it intriguing because I tell my students all the time that their brain is a machine, um, and that they have their own tiny computer in their head. Uh, so it's interesting to see how the process of the cognitive learning has come along aside of really understanding that it literally is similar to how a computer works. Yeah. And that and that for us to understand and take and make best use of how a computer can work. We've had to abstract up from the actual hardware to something that is more about information.
Speaker 4:
8:42
And that has also turned out to be very useful in thinking about learning. So, so, uh, so a couple of things. Let me start kind of at the biggest level. When you think about learning and think about really comprehensive student as my colleague here at Czi, Brooke, Steph or Broussard likes to talk about it. It's not just academic, uh, skills that you need to think about. You know, you have to think about academic skills. You have to think about identity development. You have to think about, um, social and emotional skills. You have to think about a actual cognitive capabilities like, um, executive function like metacognition. We can come back to those things if you like. But even physical and mental wellness all together are part of what affects our learning. Um, and both in terms of what do we need to know about to be good learners, but also what we'll get in our way or help us, um, as we're trying to learn.
Speaker 4:
9:40
So as a simple example of this, it turns out there's some research that suggests if you are under hydrated, if you're not drinking enough water, you're problem solving can go down by 20 to 30% and you won't even realize it. Wait, what? Yes. So you said drinking enough water. Yeah, 20 to 30%. I, yeah. I, those long pauses are because I'm rearranging the furniture in my brain based on what you just said. Okay. All right. Yep. So hydration is important. That's not just for runners anymore. No, I'm correct. And, uh, another example of this is a sleep. There was a, a controlled trial experiment done in the, I don't know, 15 years ago or more, um, taking sixth graders and randomly separating them into two groups. One group and the researchers got the parents to let the students stay up an extra half an hour. Lucky students and the other group had the harder task of getting the kids to bed half an hour earlier than normal.
Speaker 4:
10:44
And something like six weeks after they began the experiment, they then compared, uh, academic outcomes, uh, across the two groups. And they were able to see, I believe it was a full year of academic difference between the students who had more sleep compared to the students who had Leslie. Wow. And that was a 30 minute difference, right? A net one hour difference. Cause it was net one hour different because it was a half an hour earlier and a half an hour later. Right. And so when we get all concerned about, hey, I can't afford laptops in all classrooms and do I need really expensive materials? You know, if you can start by getting kids to sleep an hour earlier, you could make a heck of a change. Now let's be true. Let's be clear. That's not so easy is no. But nonetheless, when you think about all the things that we think we need to do to help with learning extra sleep isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
Speaker 4:
11:42
But it actually is a key part of this. Another one example that many schools are actually aware of his hunger. You know, that that's why you have all these breakfast programs that exist is you are in school hungry, you are thinking about that. And so sometimes the best learning intervention is just a good breakfast or some kind, right? So, so I, you know, I don't want to over index on these things, but I just want to make sure it's clear that there's a lot of different factors and features that all together have to come together to allow learning to take place. Um, so now if we dig back down to, you know, kind of how does a learning machinery, if you will, really work, there's kind of several major components to it. So one is just sensory inputs. So let's talk about, you know, visual inputs and audio inputs, even though we also have touch and smell and all that.
Speaker 4:
12:34
But we'll focus on the visual audio inputs, those, those two sources and information, they first come together in what's called working memory. So that's the part of your mind that, um, is verbal. It's where you're talky, talky, voice lives. It's also, as people have often talked about, it's very narrow. It can't hold too many things at once. Um, it tends to be error prone when it's processing. It's a bit slow. Um, but it is the most flexible part of our mind. It is the part that does new things that that can be creative, that can come up with new approaches. So working memory all by itself would not be very effective as a way of getting through our lives if it weren't supported by another really large a source of a skill and patterns and all that that you can think of as longterm memory.
Speaker 4:
13:31
So longterm memory has very different characteristics. Uh, things get stored there for a long time compared to working memory stuff disappears out of working memory pretty quickly. Longterm memory can last for days, weeks, years. Um, longterm memory is also able to do many things in parallel. Um, it does them very accurately and fast if it's been trained to do them accurately. Right? So if you train the system did not work well, then it won't work well. But if it's trained accurately, it will mostly fire, often find a pattern in, in, in a good way and deliver it to working memory. So we're talking about longterm and short term memory. Can you give an a, like what would be a practical piece that, that a teacher listening might say, you could say, this is short term in your classroom and this might be longterm in your classroom that, that we would see operating everyday with students.
Speaker 4:
14:22
Sure. So I can give you an example and it's, and it's interesting to give an example of two students who have different things in longterm memory to kind of highlight what's going on. So, uh, let's say you're teaching a little bit of math, a little Algebra, and you write up on the board x squared Plus Bx plus c equals zero. So one student looking at that, you know, smacks their forehead with her hand and says, oh, she's just written a quadratic equation. On the, she's gonna make me factor this quadratic equation. I hate factoring quadratic equations. My life is over. The other student looking at the exact same sensory input is wondering why are there letters and numbers on the same line. So they are having two completely different cognitive experiences based on what is in longterm memory. One student has already burned in a whole bunch of things about what those, the, those symbols on the board, meaning that it is a quadratic equation that that's associated with actually factoring quadratic equations. And even the fact that they have a negative emotional reaction to factoring quadratic equations is burned into longterm memory. It is immediately pushed to working memory from the longterm memory and is present right there for the mental, you know, a monologue to to pick up and say, my life is over the other, the other person has nothing in longterm memory. And so it's just seeing the sensory input recognizes them as letters and numbers and, and, and things, but has no meaning attached to them.
Speaker 3:
16:03
Shana and I come at all of these conversations as classroom teachers. What you just described though. Uh, right when I get that quiz back, if it's a quiz or a piece of work that's expected of those two students are expected to do. And if I see both of them got the wrong answer. If I'm in a traditional classroom setting, I have no way of knowing, right? They had a wrong answer. It doesn't tell me, oh student a miscalculated. But student B had no idea what was going on on the board. Well and, and this, this is a really important point because imagine if you actually watch them work out the problem as you might do if you gave them a quiz in the class and we're watching them do the work, right? One student is kind of digging in and expertly trying to do whatever
Speaker 4:
16:53
in a way that you recognize as, yeah, that's, that's the way you would get at it. And they might've gotten it wrong cause they made a sign change or they did something wrong in their computation, right? The other student is clearly clueless. I mean, you can just look at them and see, hmm, this person is not making any progress at all. They really don't know what the meaning of these symbols is. So this is what's interesting about, if you think about what teachers do all the time is they're evaluating a whole lot of evidence coming to them. Not simply picked answer d, but actually watching students react to the lessons and what's going on. When you get them active and you watch students try to work and soul, you get information about which students seem to have some expertise built up in long term memory that's really helping them and which students are missing things.
Speaker 4:
17:47
Now what you'd like to do over time is get more support for that, right? That you, you know, as we begin to develop our tools and supports for teachers to do their best work, wouldn't it be great if some of the practice things that students are doing, uh, maybe with technology let's say, uh, begin to actually provide information to teachers about, you know, who seems to be doing work in ways that are more expert regardless of the answer. And who seems to need more help because parts of the work they're trying to do, they're clearly flailing. So one-to-one tutors sees that right away. But you guys have busy classroom teachers with 30 to 35 students that may be a lot harder for you to appreciate, um, during the course of a, of your, your time with them. And You bring up a good point as far as the leveraging of technology.
Speaker 4:
18:41
And so in your opinion, based on just this example of the two students struggling with the quadratic equation, what are the ways that technology can kind of play a positive role in applying kind of this learning sciences and understanding the working memory and the longterm memory for teacher practice? Yeah, there's some, there's a range of things. What I think one key areas, what we were just talking about, which is information flow back to teachers to help them, uh, see, uh, and, and, and flag for them, uh, which students are having, you know, which kinds of difficulties with the reasoning in the process. So just information flow back to teachers I think is, is going to be a really important area to help teachers but also to help students. So, um, as, uh, as students are working on a practice in learning environments, those environments themselves may be able to see this one needs a hint, you know, we gotta, we gotta do something a little extra here and begin to kind of go backwards to figure out, wait, what's missing?
Speaker 4:
19:43
Um, and that is what a very good one to one tutor would do much harder to do in a large classroom setting. But a student with, uh, some help from the technology may be able to then back up and begin to fill in not just kind of a conceptual understanding of things that came before, but maybe even begin to have enough practice and feedback, whether in class or out of class, at home or you know, an afterschool sessions. So they begin to build up some of those fluencies that they might've missed out on before. Because that's the other key thing about longterm memory. The only way to build those capacities in longterm memory is repeated practice. And feedback. That's how you really develop those kind of instantaneous patterns that you notice a ways of working, um, that and then, and also just the way what's in longterm memory works with working memory that only comes through practice by actually trying it multiple times.
Speaker 4:
20:45
So I think technology can help, uh, you know, provide more practice and that can be targeted in the right way as well as information flow to teachers. A third thing which is interesting is especially when you change the form factor of the technology. So it's not just laptops, but it could also be, you know, handhelds, mobile, smartphones, if you have access to those, um, they then may provide a, at least some forms of practice, not every kind of practice a while students are on the go. So it allows students potentially to leverage time in different ways and they've been able to do in the past. And so that's actually another way in which I think technology can be helpful too, to students and teachers to does it. That would also seem to me that that changes the, the location. Right? So I'm thinking about, um, oh, I did this learning here.
Speaker 4:
21:36
And so by changing that form factor, students can start to associate knowledge or learning with multiple different locations. So it's not place specific. And think about my own students when I would, uh, I taught kids English and I would, uh, they would be there and I would, we would have to do math, a math problem as a part of something and they're just, they're there. It was like all of a sudden they had no idea how to do math ever. Like the, nobody had ever talked to them about math before. And I always thought, wait, is this just because this is in their brains coated as the English room? And so that piece, their brains kind of shut down those, those components. Well, it's actually such a valuable insight and this is something that you can generalize. One of the key things that comes out of learning research is, um, you know, how, how do you get more general learning principles and concepts and, uh, and things like that so that, you know, the right things emerge from longterm memory at times when they are useful.
Speaker 4:
22:35
And one of the key things is just what you're saying, which is to practice the ideas in very different settings. And so the more settings that you practice the same idea in or, or point out the same concepts and approaches in, the more likely it is a student on their own will then later recognize, oh, this is another one of those settings. If you've used those skills in a lot of different environments already going into yet another new one, it's more likely that the, those capacities will be available to you. So, um, and, and this is, this to me is one of the really interesting things about, uh, learning science. There's a whole range of principals that had been researched that can actually be valuable for teachers, uh, to help guide their work. Um, and some of it has to do with this, uh, working memory and long term memory piece.
Speaker 4:
23:24
This notion that you really got to do a lot of practice and feedback to get things into longterm memory. Um, some of it is this idea that, you know what, it's not about talent. There's a kind of myth around if you're not good at this now, maybe you shouldn't keep doing it and you should do something that you're good at now. And that's kind of backwards. That if you're not good at it now, it's more likely, very much more likely. It's because you have not had a lot of practice and feedback of the right kind up until now. So if this is something that you really need or want to use or interested in, far from giving up, just because right now you're, you're, you're, you're not at the level that you wish you were. This is the time to dig in and begin doing the practice and feedback needed to build up those fluencies and the use of working memory with those fluencies and use your interest as the fuel to power that.
Speaker 4:
24:26
A second part of this simple model of how learning works has to do with a motivation. So even if you, uh, understand, uh, how to get the right kind of practice and feedback, how to make sure you're not overloading working memory by drawing on what's already in longterm memory, um, and kind of building up new longterm memory traces through practice and feedback. Even if you lay that all out, if a student just doesn't want to get started or persist or putting mental effort, the best design learning activity in the world isn't going to have any impact. So, um, there's a very good, a cognitive psychologist, a Richard Clark who did a, a survey of a wide range of different research traditions on motivation, uh, cognitive psychology, social psychology, behavioral economics, um, motivational psychology, a whole range of these things and was able to synthesize this. Again, this is an engineering synthesis for purposes of use.
Speaker 4:
25:32
Um, to, to indicate, look there it looks like across all these disciplines there's four main ways that that things go wrong and cause people not to start, persist or put in mental effort. So the first, the first reason that people don't start, persist or put them in the Lefferts is if they don't value the outcome or the way they're trying to get to the outcome. So if you're a dancer in an Algebra class, you don't see the point possibly and, and you are simply more interested in thinking about Swan Lake then you are in thinking about, you know, the, the variables and factors and all this. So the treatment for this not surprisingly, is to try to find the link. How can you put it in a setting that the dancer finds interesting too? And there could be many ways to do it. It could be talking about dance foundations, you know, how do you have enough funds to run a dance company?
Speaker 4:
26:30
Well that involves the money and growth rates and you know, costs and all of these are all, all of that ends up being Algebra suddenly. But now in a context that might be more interesting for a dancer, a second thing that goes wrong is you just think you can't do it. So I'm a second dancer in the same Algebra class, but I'm convinced I can't do math. So now if you come to me as a teacher and you've got all the arguments about how important this is, well that isn't my problem. I get that. It could be important but I can't do math. So the treatment is different. You know, you have to, as a teacher, you have to not agree that you can't do it. You want to bring to the fore, um, uh, examples of others just like you who have actually thought they couldn't do it and who managed to go through it. You have to, you know, provide examples and ways of going backwards to show you have done things like this before. Even if you didn't recognize us, what this was, and then create a strategy that with extra work, you know, you can start to build up what you need to do. So very different treatment of that reason for motivation failure.
Speaker 3:
27:44
So we've, so the first two again, are don't see the value, the, the kind of why do I have to learn this? Yep. Right. That's, I don't Shana, I don't know if you've ever heard that from, from your students. Oh, I think almost on a daily basis. Okay. So that, that one is just what, why, how does this tie to me? And I would imagine that gets amplified and I don't even know if there's any as, as you enter into adolescence and you start to develop sure. Her own independent identity. So that's number one is why do I have to, why do we have to do this? I'm just trying to get the tone exactly right as I remember it. And then the second one, again, going back to that second student of a, of bringing things to working memory. I just can't, I just don't have what it takes right now. I am no good at this just period. I'm no good at this. I can't do this. Right. Okay, great. And then the last, and what are the other two?
Speaker 4:
28:32
The third one is, uh, you blame something, uh, outside of you for why you can't start persistent putting mental effort. So my teacher hates me. That's why I can't do this. Or have you seen this textbook? Nobody could read this, I can't do this or, and this is true of professionals too. I don't have time. I just don't have time. And so I don't start, I don't persist. They don't put in mental effort. So this one, it's a little bit like the second one in that, you know, the teacher or someone else has to kind of sit down and say, no, no, let's have a look at what you think is in your way and begin to problem solve around. Well, let's look at, you know, is there a different teacher? If this textbook is horrible, can we find other materials that are better for you?
Speaker 4:
29:22
Um, if you don't have time, let's look at your schedule. If you don't have place to work, let's see where you go. Let's see if he can find the place for you to work. So part of it is to problem solve with the student. Part of it is to model that this can be in your control. You know, you, you should not give up. You can actually take of this. So that's the third thing that goes wrong. It's you blame something in your environment. And then the last thing that goes wrong, uh, is the, probably the hardest of all. It's negative emotional states. If you are angry or scared or depressed, boy is it hard to start persistent, putting mental effort into something. And, and that, the solution to that is just as complicated as it sounds. It could range from just a good conversation about what's going on in your life and how could be, you know, figure out a way around what that is.
Speaker 4:
30:13
All the way to professional services and all the rest of it as well. But that's also, that's a very different from the other three. So you know, you don't value what you're doing. You don't think you can do it. You blame something in your environment or you're in a negative emotional state, right. For different things. And you know, those four things, you can actually look. So you know, there is broader, he's a lump today, but he's not just a lump, he's a type of lump. Right. So what type of lump is broad today? Well, we gotta ask some questions. Maybe we know something already that helps guide us and depending on the kind of limp that brewer is today, I would take action. So it's not, I, I shouldn't just dismiss him as, yeah, he's just being a lump again. And what can you do with lumps? It's rather the type of lungs suggests some actions that I could take or others could take to be helpful.
Speaker 5:
31:08
And I guess would you say that a lot of these also play on maybe previous class experiences or um, as you talked about the last three environment? More or less is I'm putting blame on my textbook. Um, maybe my class environment, I'm not, you know, a vitamin with the teacher or whatever the case may be. Whereas the last one you mentioned is my personal emotional state. Um, would you say that the teachers first job, I guess entering the classroom that day is to see which of these four is maybe coming into play? Um, with my lesson as far as a hindrance for much my students to be able to learn or grasp a concept,
Speaker 4:
31:45
I think, I think that's, that's right. Especially as you come in for the day and you see how students really are as they even come in. You know, some may be right from the get go, uh, looking as if they're just not going to get engaged. And so then that's the question, well, how come, what's what's in the way here? Some for a particular topic may suddenly turn off and, you know, stop focusing, stopped putting in energy. And so then it's more topic specific. And again, yes, what you'd like to be doing is, okay, which of these things is going on? And as you get to know students, um, there may be patterns that you can recognize and that over time you can support. So things like I'm no good at math as I think one of you said that is an identity problem, right? That over years of schooling, uh, and the wrong of feedback, you may just have developed in longterm memory the sense that I'm no good at math.
Speaker 4:
32:46
So there's real work to be done to help you see that. No, you can do this kind of work, we can go backwards and sort it through. You've done similar things in the past. Let's get going on this. And so there it's a kind of a continuing project over potentially an extended period of time, uh, to bring someone up to, to realize that, no, actually you can do this. Um, whereas the thing about not valuing something, again, that's also a longterm project, but it's kind of different. It's about even having the student begin to think about, well, where would this be useful to you as a, as a dancer or as a sporting person? Um, or in, in an industry that is close to what you do. You know, as a dancer, there's all kinds of industries that are close to dancing as a sports person. There's all kinds of industries that are close to sports and as soon as you move into that world of planning and people and resources, there's math and there's writing too. I mean you know many subjects can begin to come alive when you put them in that context. It's closer to students interests. So just thinking about a simple framework like that can start to suggest a possible uh, reasons for a kid's not starting, persisting in putting in effort and, and some actions to take.
Speaker 1:
34:09
Sure we can think about the brain as a machine, but we need to remember that machine is inside a person and that means we need to remember the whole learner and thinking about teaching and learning or as Dr Sachs Berg and his colleagues at Czi. I think about it, we need to take the position of comprehensive student development. This means considering more than what we want students to be learning and remember mental health, cognitive development, social emotional development, identity development. I could DEMEC development and physical health are all key factors at play in supporting or impeding a student's learning progress. If the brain is a machine, it is a distinct and uniquely human machine and we would do well to approach learning engineering. With that in mind,
Speaker 1:
34:59
what are you taking away from our conversation with Dr Sachs Burg? For us, one of the key takeaways was this comment on the importance of giving learners opportunities to apply and practice what they're learning in multiple settings. One of the key things is just what you're saying, which is to practice the ideas in very different settings and so the more settings that you practice the same idea in or or point out the same concepts and approaches in, the more likely it is a student on their own will then later recognize, oh, this is another one of those settings and this list of the key factors standing in the way of motivation got us thinking about how a label of unmotivated covers a much more complex issue than it seems on its face. You know, you don't value what you're doing, you don't think you can do it.
Speaker 1:
35:51
You blame something in your environment or you're in a negative emotional state. What about you share your thinking? On our conversation with four sox Burg with us on Twitter. You can find us and information and conversations about all of our episodes at of course of mind. We'll talk to you there. Come learn what we're learning and join us for our next episode. When we talked to doctor Pooja Agarwal about the importance of retrieval practice in helping students make learning stick, of course of mine is an Isti podcast made possible in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, Daf and advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Our producers Krypolis, Sundar, our editor and music maestro is Trevor Stout. You can find Shana on Twitter at Shana v White and you can find Zach at him are chase and Crypto is at purpose. Sundar and as always for more on how the learning sciences can inform our practice. Check out the course of mine, Twitter feed that course of mine where you can learn about how other educators have applied learning sciences in the classroom and learn what we're learning.
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