Although neuroscience has much to offer education, in recent years its potentials have been somewhat obscured by a climate of unrealistic expectations. Now the “neuromyths‟ that were prevalent have been decisively dismissed by neuroscientists, a more accurate assessment may be possible. Neuroscience uses a range of research methods including animal and lesion studies, but much contemporary research now uses one or other form of brain imaging. Each of these methods has its own limitations, and the requirements of research design, necessary to produce robust data, impose further restrictions. Moreover, these methodological limitations are bound up with, and sometimes both obscure and magnify, various conceptual limitations. The “mereological fallacy‟ is an ever-present danger, as are problems of reductionism, reification and unsupported normativity. Cognitive neuroscientists have made striking progress with respect to the basic skills underpinning abilities such as reading and number. Social and affective neuroscientists have similarly identified neural systems involved in aspects of emotion and social cognition, and shown their possible relevance to various educational tasks, although their work has yet to be widely taken up.
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