Sticky Learning

Sticky Learning: How Neuroscience Supports Teaching That's Remembered

Holly J. Inglis
Kathy L. Dawson
Rodger Y. Nishioka
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Sticky Learning
    Book Description:

    Despite the introduction of new technologies for classrooms, many seminary courses still utilize primarily auditory methods to convey content. Course outcomes may include opportunities for learners to demonstrate knowledge and skills gained but may not include opportunities for learners to begin to embed knowledge and skills into their long-term memory. Educators are engaging with neuroscientists to reshape classroom practices, content delivery, curriculum design, and physical classroom spaces to enhance students’ learning and memory, primarily in elementary and secondary education. Why not in seminary education? An overview of how learning occurs in our brain, what the different types of memory are, and how memory is created serves as a framework for suggesting pedagogical tools. These brain-friendly tools are specifically applied to individual academic disciplines, enabling instructors to make concrete modifications in the structure and content of what is taught, making learning more ‘sticky.’ Inglis’s synopsis of the use of neuroscience in the classroom and suggested action is followed by a collaborative dialogue with Kathy L. Dawson and Rodger Y. Nishioka. Dawson and Nishioka provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Inglis’s proposed approach. As a group, Inglis, Dawson, and Nishioka create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8965-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Part One: Where We Are

    • Chapter 1 The Changing Landscape
      (pp. 3-8)
      Holly J. Inglis

      What’s the stickiest thing you can imagine? Maybe it’s pine pitch, or wallpaper paste, or duct tape, or a burr in your pets’ fur. Have you ever gotten a song or an advertising jingle stuck in your head? Have you ever wondered why that tune won’t go away but you can’t remember the three things you wanted to get at the grocery store? Why do certain things stick with us either temporarily or over time? Intangible things, like concepts and ideas, can be sticky, too, but what makes one idea sticky and another idea seem to disappear? Since its release...

  4. Part Two: Where We Are Headed

    • Chapter 2 The Nature of Learning
      (pp. 11-22)
      Holly J. Inglis

      How does learning happen and, more importantly, how do you, as the teacher, know when learning is occurring? There are many different ways to understand the nature of learning, but this chapter will examine a cognitive way to understand and approach the nature of learning.

      Cognition is simply the process of how we know what we know. The field of cognitive psychology, which examines processes such as attention, memory, problem solving, and creativity, has become an important conversation partner to education, helping educators to understand learning as processes in the brain that identify how knowing and remembering occur. The process...

    • Chapter 3 How the Brain Works
      (pp. 23-38)
      Holly J. Inglis

      Hopefully, your mind (read brain) has been changed, or altered, by the fact that you have been reading this book and thinking about your students and yourself. The assertion that learning is change is more than a claim by cognitive psychologists. It is, in reality, a physical fact of the brain. As we learn, our brain changes.

      The brain has traditionally been identified in three basic parts: thereptilianbrain, themammalianbrain, and thehumanbrain. Of course, the brain is a highly complex system and, therefore, our discussion of the brain here will be simple, providing us with...

    • Chapter 4 How Memory Works
      (pp. 39-54)
      Holly J. Inglis

      Which came first—the chicken or the egg? The same kind of question could be asked of memory. Which comes first—learning or memory? There are two aspects of memory:retrievalandstorage. A cognitive definition is primarily interested in retrieval, while a biological definition of memory is primarily concerned with how the learned information is stored.

      Some educators, as well as cognitive neuroscientists, define memory as learning, using memory as the evidence or assessment of learning and retrieval as the assessment of memory. The purpose of learning is therefore to remember, to retrieve information, and so teaching methods and...

  5. Part Three: The Courage to Change the Things You Can

    • Chapter 5 Tips for Sticky Learning
      (pp. 57-78)
      Holly J. Inglis

      In the 1939 filmThe Wizard of Oz, the tornado deposits Dorothy’s house at the beginning of the Yellow Brick Road, which eventually leads her and her companions to the Emerald City in the Land of Oz. You may not have noticed this, particularly if you have viewed the film in black and white, but there is another road, a red brick road, that can be spotted starting at the same point as the Yellow Brick Road but going in a different direction. You may also recall that after Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, there is a three-way fork in the...

    • Chapter 6 The Artistic and Even Risky Endeavor of Teaching: A Narrative Response to “Tips for Sticky Learning”
      (pp. 79-90)
      Rodger Y. Nishioka

      I so appreciate my colleague and friend, Holly Inglis, and her fine work in helping us all better understand and grasp sticky learning, particularly through her thoughtful examination of what we are coming to know about the brain and how neuroscience is helping us develop a deeper understanding of how we learn. As she does in her first chapter, Holly opens her final chapter using the iconic 1939 American film,The Wizard of Oz. She reminds us that, at significant moments in the film, those on the journey had more than one choice before them. As Holly tells us, there...

    • Chapter 7 What’s a Teacher to Do?
      (pp. 91-96)
      Holly J. Inglis

      With a basic understanding of the nature of learning, how our brain works, how memory develops, and specific tips for sticky learning, our final destination is to consider the changing role of the instructor in a brain-friendly classroom. The concept of “brain-based learning” arose in the 1980s as Leslie Hart, Howard Gardner, and Geoffrey and Renate Caine began to connect cognitive processes with classroom methods and developed new models of thinking about and practicing education. “Brain-based learning” has a myriad of suggestions and approaches, but the overarching theme is that when teachers teach and students learn in accordance with how...

    • Chapter 8 Reimagining Course Design: A Case Study
      (pp. 97-112)
      Kathy L. Dawson

      What is the riskiest thing in your dissertation?” This was a question posed to me at the end of my two-hour dissertation defense at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002. Having drawn on many of the theorists so eloquently brought to our notice in Holly Inglis’s work, what I really wanted to answer was, “I wonder what theological education would look like if we were to take all of this seriously.” I figured at that point, however, that the assembled professors and I would be there another two hours or more if I voiced this, so I settled for something less...

  6. Works Cited
    (pp. 113-115)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 116-116)