Educators educating Educators

May 26

Plasticity



The picture below illustrates structural changes associated with Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) in hippocampus. The cells are filled with fluorescent dye. In B, one hour after stimulus, one can see the sprouting of new dendritic spines to connect to neighboring nerve cells. This structural change is part of the cellular basis of learning.

John Ratey, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, refers to the picture below “as porn to a neuroscientist.”

 

Ratey X-rated movie

How the Brain changes


John Ratey refers to teachers as “plasticity guides” and “brain surgeons” because when a student learns as the result of their teaching, the student’s brain is physically changed forever.

“Plasticity of the brain is a fact.  Teachers are what I call: Plasticity Guides”

Dr. John Ratey, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

 

Ratey Actual Growth

 

Ratey A-B-C

 

Synapse

 

Synapse spines

 

Synapse diagram




News

Read April's Ed Tip to understand how using video game design principles will improve instruction.  Moreover, educators should not view video games as the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching practices. When educators design instructional strategies, they must keep in mind the principles of video games, namely achievable challenge, and the role of dopamine in education.