Opinion on Brain Friendly Learning
I am a professor of special education, employed as a teacher of special needs children. In my line of work, I constantly face the challenge of how to better explain the learning topics to children with learning difficulties and other special needs, while at the same time encouraging students to prepare for learning at home and in school as independently as possible.
In our organisation, I was offered an opportunity to acquire new knowledge at a workshop entitled ‘Brain Friendly Learning’ – the name itself says a lot, doesn't it? Of course, I immediately grabbed the opportunity and looked forward to learning new ways of teaching and other facts.
The course was very intensive and demanded active participation. At the end we had to prepare and give a presentation on a certain subject in a way that showed what we learned on the workshop. This task required considerable dedication and similar to all things people do with such intensity, increased the likelihood that what we learned would stay in our memory for a long time – we often learn best from our own experiences.
On the workshop, many different learning strategies and learning paths were introduced, such as multisensory learning, which involves all senses – visual, kinesthetic, auditory etc - depending on which type of learning you find the easiest and which is the predominant learning style both for the teacher and the student. We also learned about how the brain functions and how we can memorise certain information more easily. However, the functioning of the brain still remains largely unexplored, and many possibilities and challenges are yet to present themselves in this field.
In agreement with the management, I prepared a short presentation for my colleagues after the course, in which I gave a brief summary of the topics covered at the course and suggested some new ways of working and teaching children in the class.
In my job, I often use some of the learning methods that I learnt on this workshop. I also descovered that learning can be quite fun and not as dull as we often think.
Nataša Biber, professor of special education, Osnovna šola Dobrova (Dobrova Primary School)