Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

You are viewing a resource record entry from SEDL's Annotated Bibliography Database.

  • Caine, R. N., & Caine, G. (1991). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This is the first of three books on brain function and the process of learning, what Caine and Caine call brain-based learning. They feel that educators must consider the way in which students learn and the type of environment that promotes learning when curriculum is designed and schools are structured. Each person's brain is able to detect patterns, memorize, self-correct, learn from experience and create. Teachers should actively take advantage of these natural processes by designing and orchestrating lifelike, enriching and appropriate experiences for learners, and ensuring that students process experience in such a way as to increase the extraction of meaning. The authors have developed twelve principles of brain-based learning: (1) the brain is a parallel processor capable of doing multiple tasks; (2) learning engages the entire physiology; (3) the search for meaning is innate; (4) the search of meaning occurs through Ôpatterning'; (5) emotions are critical to patterning; (6) the brain processes parts and whole simultaneously across and within hemispheres; (7) learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception; (8) learning always involves conscious and unconscious process; (9) there are least two types of memory (spatial memory system and a set of systems for rote learning); (10) people understand and remember best when facts and skills are embedded in natural, spatial memory; (11) learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat; and (12) each brain is unique. In order for teachers to make effective use of these principles, Caine and Caine suggest that they begin by investigating their own understandings. Once educators have changed their way of thinking about curriculum, then they can begin to successfully integrate these concepts into classroom practice.

Return to: Annotated Bibliography Search Page