________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 12 . . . . February 16, 2001

cover Brain-Based Learning With Class.

Colleen Politano and Joy Paquin.
Winnipeg, MB: Portage and Main Press/Peguis Publishers, 2000.
170 pp., paper, $23.00.
ISBN 1-894110-48-X.

Subject Headings:
Learning, Psychology of.
Teaching, Psychological aspects.
Brain-Study and teaching.


Review by Meredith MacKeen.

**** /4



Our memories are the fragile but powerful products of what we recall from the past, believe about the present and imagine about the future.

Daniel L. Schacter, Search for Meaning

Our brain does not store memories of whole events; it recreates them. Our memories are not neatly packaged miniature videotapes; they are engrams that, when activated, come together to allow us to recall information and experiences. The aspect of memory that is of greatest interest to most people is retrieval. Memory and retrieval cannot be separated. "Memory is determined by what kind of retrieval is activated." (Jensen, 1998b, 102) There are pathways for specific types of learning and some types of memory are easier to retrieve than others. It is better to think of memory in terms of a process rather than in terms of a specific location.

Brain-Based Learning with Class is an innovative workbook that addresses discoveries in brain research and that is designed to help teachers develop brain based teaching strategies. After the introduction, the authors analyse the brain, both in terms of its parts and its functioning. From a physiological perspective, issues such as emotional state, nutrition, individual differences, brain body coordination, memory and stress are reviewed. Part 2 makes suggestions about ways that students could be taught about the brain, starting with "What's in it for me" and how is the brain like...a cabbage, a raisin, grapefruit, etc.; and Part 3 reviews a myriad of classroom activities focussing on the topics studied earlier. For example, in the discussion of the change of state, all sorts of activities are reviewed which could change the emotional temperament of a room. Part 4 offers suggestions for assessing ourselves and our learning. The book ends with very clear black line masters that can be reproduced. After a general overview of the physiology of the brain, the authors introduce readers to many practical classroom strategies, based on the theories introduced earlier.

      The detailed table of contents is very helpful and the bibliography includes a separate children's book list. Sections begin with memorable quotes related to the topic and many very clear diagrams are useful in understanding the functioning of the brain. This book is a teacher's resource and provides a clear view as to why the strategies suggested in quantum learning strategies work.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith MacKeen is the teacher-librarian at Glen Stewart School in Stratford, PEI.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364