This week on www.dana.org, we feature news and commentaries (with more coming) on “neuroeducation,” the effects of arts training on the brain and the use of what we know about the brain to improve how we teach. Stories include:
News: Attention May Link Arts and Intelligence
Arts education causes “profound changes” in the brain and may improve cognition by enhancing the ability to focus attention, experts said at the first of two neuro-education conferences, held in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this past week.
News: Music Training Changes Brain Networks
Music training in childhood improves related cognitive function, according to research that for the first time demonstrates brain plasticity as a result of music instruction.
Commentary: The Arts Will Help School Accountability
Federal and state policy makers should expand their view of what constitutes an effective school based on the evidence of science and of experience, proposes Mariale Hardiman, a neuroeducation specialist at Johns Hopkins University. For example, at the school she ran in Baltimore, “as teachers designed arts-integrated lessons that fostered creative thinking, a transformation occurred in the school.”
Commentary: Why the Arts Matter - Jerome Kagan Gives Six Good Reasons for Advocating the Importance of Arts in School
“It is not possible to live by rationality alone,” said the cognitive-research pioneer during the Learning, Arts, and the Brain conference in Baltimore.
And see our blogs, above and below, including: Neuroeducation: What To Do Next?
The Learning, Arts, and the Brain conference offered a chance for scientists to tell teachers what they know—and also for teachers to tell scientists what they want them to find out. Also, a composer’s musical meditation on the mind and a Learning & the Brain conference presentation both ask “big questions” of neuroscience. And at the neuro-education conference in Washington, D.C., researchers suggest that gifted people seem to have slightly different patterns of brain development and use different brain areas to do cognitive tasks.