- Published: November 14, 2012
Today we know more about brain development and learning than ever before, but many schools around the nation lack the tools to teach children properly. Although some have recently made strides in the area, most public schools do not offer customized care for those with mental handicaps; school teachers do not understand the biology behind these disorders that make learning more difficult. Neuro-education, a new interdisciplinary field, tries to tie these two branches (biology and education) together. Neuro-education is the use of scientific findings about learning to create more effective teaching methods and curricula, as well as influence educational policy (1). In the future, we would hope to use neuroscience to change the way early childhood education functions in the nation.
Neuro-education allows science to influence education and public policy through the application of knowledge gained across multiple disciplines that have not yet worked together. If efforts in Neuro-Education are implemented, they may help some children overcome learning challenges and will help to produce children that are better learners. Neuroscience, specifically studies on brain development, has the potential to change certain aspects of childhood education and policy. Neuro-education initiatives try to use discoveries about learning, memory, language, and cognition, to inform educators on how best to teach. Teachers need to know more about how students think and learn - the purpose of neuro-education (3).Perhaps standards could be set in place to ensure that education is improving and that certain learning disabilities are taken into consideration (2).
Another consideration in education policy reformation is how we could use neuroscience to understand how best to teach students with mental handicaps or special needs. Using neuroscience, we might be able to understand how mental dysfunctions can affect a student’s learning and how best to overcome these challenges. Education can be customized for those with special learning needs, which are not often available in today’s public education system. Neuro-education could encompass a wide variety of learning disabilities, allowing educators to improve teaching methods to students with mild to more severe mental handicaps (4). This is a reformation that would have innumerable benefits.
Perhaps neuroscience is the best avenue in which we can improve our early education system. Using scientific knowledge about brain development, cognition, learning, and memory, we might be able to reform our education system to produce children that are better learners. Although current prospective programs foresee large expenses, the benefits of such an altered system could easily be worth it for the future.