Those students born since 1975 create a new challenge for traditional education methods. It seems that every hour of multi-media experience for a child has accelerated their new brain synapse development….resulting in students that we label ADD learning disadvantaged. It is no wonder students don’t focus on the teacher’s lectures, their brains expect so much more!
In the spring of 2005 the University of Washington released a long-term study on three-to-nine year old learners. The University of Washington study defined that new brains are indeed reaching the classroom in majority numbers. Additional new brain publications that report the latest whole brain learning theories can also be found at the website on Super Teaching.
The University of Washington multiyear trial included a large learner study group with published papers released in April 2005. They defined the new neural pathways in all new brains for the entire study group, which explained fixed hard wiring changes in the new brains. They demonstrated MRI-confirmed synapse path changes in all learner brain neural pathways. Such synapse path changes were not seen in earlier trial studies of brains less impacted by multimedia at critical brain growth ages. By moderating control groups for the defined age categories it was specifically demonstrated that every hour of multimedia usage accelerated new brain synapse development in unexpected patterns.
The study proved a long held theory by educational theorists about the impact of technology. They found that every hour of exposure beyond two multi-media viewing hours per day, produce a 10% per hour minimum increase of ADD learner disadvantage later in their lives.
This data is important because the average western child is experiencing six to eight hours per day of multimedia in the form of multimedia led books, games, computers, television, movies, and teaching aids in the home. These new “iPod generation technologies” are developing new brains with a hard wiring propensity to learn differently. All recent studies confirm multimedia conditioned new brains learn differently than earlier generations. The brain itself has been altered, perhaps forever. The new brains (age forty and down as of Feb 2011) are now reaching classrooms and learners are demonstrating common new brain learner characteristics.
The learning disorder evidenced by new brains is now “epidemic” affecting classroom learning. Dr. Lee Pulos, Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia, reported that one problem with new brains is not that the students cannot concentrate and learn in normalized fashion. Rather the problem is that the new brains cannot continue to concentrate in old brain classrooms. Because these students learn differently, the old brain classrooms (traditional classrooms) present challenges to new brains that experienced faculty find increasingly frustrating to manage.
Across all learner groups where new brains (everyone age forty or lower) comprise the student body, the curriculum was not adjusted for new brain classrooms nor was the faculty retrained or redeveloped to facilitate normalized learning. Research shows that only the reconstruction of the old classroom design resulted in up to eleven learning disorders being normalized.
It has been proven that existing curriculum employing existing lesson plans and existing faculty technique, when “supported” by pattern reinforcement behind the live faculty, produced a radical test score improvement for the new brain study group.
- Unassisted in old brain classrooms, the same material caused the new brains to perform at below standard in all learning categories.
- When pattern-reinforcement-support technology was utilized behind the live faculty member, new brains achieved superior test scores. New brain classroom design produces superior learning results for all categories of learners.
Over a twenty-two year research effort, the International Learning Trust concludes that the design of classrooms is much like a model T Ford. In our view, the new brains are expecting education equivalent to the Star Ship Enterprise. Old brain classrooms are steadily moving a top-ten learning performer nation (the United States of America – perhaps the most advanced new brain multimedia factory) to ever lower standards in nation-to-nation comparison of learner performance from 1976 to the present, as reported by the US Department of Education.
A discussion in public education on the impact of retro-fitting classrooms with new brain pattern-reinforcing automation can help American learners lead in science and math in a reasonable time frame. The investments to create “new brain friendly” classrooms are small given the cost to miss the opportunity to modernize classroom design.
BJ Dohrmann, Inventor of Super Teaching, a Patented Technology www.superteaching.org