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Brain cultureShaping policy through neuroscience$
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Jessica Pykett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447314042

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447314042.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Teaching the learning brain

Teaching the learning brain

Chapter:
(p.97) Four Teaching the learning brain
Source:
Brain culture
Author(s):

Jessica Pykett

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447314042.003.0004

This chapter investigates neuroeducation and brain-based teaching models. These practices have been subject to considerable public debate regarding the controversies of ‘smart drugs’ or fish oils used to improve exam performance, the psychopathologisation of children with ADHD, and the adoption of commercial brain-gym and cognitive-training programmes by teachers and schools. A significant amount of educational research has embraced the turn to the cognitive learning theories and the learning brain, whilst UK government-funded research programmes have also attempted to sort the ‘neuro-myth’ from scientific reality. This chapter examines how educational psychologists are developing new roles as sceptical intermediaries between neuroeducational research and school-based practice. It is argued that neuroeducation remains blind to broader historical and cultural transitions as well as the specific neighbourhood geographies of unequal schooling which produce specific norms for learners, citizens and subjects. In so doing it risks forwarding problematic medicalised explanations of learner behaviour and reductionist visions of how learning works.

Keywords:   brain based teaching, neuroeducation, neuro-myths, cognitive learning theories, educational psychology, medicalisation, reductionism

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