Module PPP-4027:
Educational Neuroscience

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Paloma Mari-Beffa

Overall aims and purpose

A recent survey in 2014 by Welcome Trust found that 91 per cent of teachers have used their understanding of neuroscience to inform at least one aspect of teaching and learning. Although there seems to be in education an appetite for neuroscience, the discipline seems to also be populated by beliefs about the brain which are not supported by research (e.g., right handed pupils have better language skills). The aim of this module is to review and integrate evidence from all scientific areas of research that can contribute to education with special emphasis in developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, genetics and technology. In addition, input from educators is essential to guide research by highlighting achievable end goals. This is a highly collaborative enterprise where professionals from different disciplines work together to form Educational Neuroscience. By the end of the module, students should be able to integrate evidence from all these different areas to support specific educational interventions.

Course content

The contents of this module include: - The Science of Learning - Learning and Motivation: From Curiosity to Persistence - Perception: The use of perceptual stimulation during learning - Attention: Arousal, Orientation and Focus - Intelligence and Mathematics - Memory encoding and forgetting - Skill learning I: Habits, practice and error correction - Skill learning II: Testing - Language and Learning: Food for thought - Future Directions: The magic pill.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold would approximate to the C grades:

Blogs, essays & presentations: Student provided an adequate response, but answers were largely based on lecture material and essential reading, with no real development of arguments, critical evaluation or evidence of study beyond the basics (basics = lecture material and essential reading). Structure and organisation of material was adequate.

good

Good would approximate to the B grades:

Blogs, essays & presentations: Student provided a comprehensive response. Material was well-organised and well-structured. There was clear evidence of a good understanding of the material, and that a deeper understanding of material presented in lectures had been achieved due to relevant further reading and self-study. There was some evidence of appropriate critical evaluation and discussion, and some evidence of novel synthesis between psychology and the consumer world was presented.

excellent

Excellent would approximate to the A grades:

Blogs, essays & presentations: Student provided a comprehensive and accurate response, with sound clarity of argument and expression. Distinction-level answers evidenced a depth of insight into material presented in lectures, and relevant further and additional reading. Appropriate critical evaluation of evidence and discussion of material supported all responses. Novel application of psychological understanding to consumer issues was clearly evident (synthesis) throughout response(s), and was relevant, appropriate and interesting.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate how to best inform educational techniques using Educational Neuroscience

  2. Critically evaluate how different neurocognitive processes contribute to learning

  3. Analyse and evaluate educational techniques according to principles of Educational Neuroscience

  4. Evaluate classroom limitations when applying knowledge from Educational Neuroscience

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Educational Technique Presentation

The grade for this Assessment is the result of 24 hours of seminar participation. 25% will be the grade given by the MO and the GI on the presentation of the technique. This has to include a) 15 minutes full analysis of the theoretical framework with enough information for the rest of the students in the class to start working on the design of an application for an extra 30 minutes; b) 15 minutes presenting their own individual application with special emphasis on target evaluation, assessment and classroom limitations. 10% comes from peer feedback and assessment, and 5% on contribution to group debate during presentations.

40
ESSAY Final Exam 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 156
Seminar

During these seminars student will present a theoretical framework from Cognitive Neuroscience to find an application in education. During these seminars the leading student has over 15 minutes to present a particular theory. After this, the rest of the peers will start working on an application for education. The leading student should be ready to answer any question and help the peers in the design of an application. After 30 minutes, the peers present what they consider to be a good application of the theory. During a second phase, the leading student presents the application that has been prepared in advanced with a full analysis of the theoretical underpinnings. Depending on class numbers, each seminar may contain one or two presentations.

33
Lecture

The contents of this module include: - The Science of Learning - Learning and Motivation: From Curiosity to Persistence - Perception: The use of perceptual stimulation during learning - Attention: Arousal, Orientation and Focus - Intelligence and Mathematics - Memory encoding and forgetting - Skill learning I: Habits, practice and error correction - Skill learning II: Testing - Language and Learning: Food for thought - Future Directions: The magic pill. These will be delivered through weekly lectures

11

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Use a range of statistical methods with confidence.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Resources

Resource implications for students

Students are welcome to purchase the textbook used in this module, but they should be able to access most of it from library short loans and lecture material (powerpoint slides and notes) available free of charge on weekly basis

Reading list

Neuroscience in Education (2013) Sergio Della Sala and Mike Andreson (Eds). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: