Brain-Based Learning and Learning Theories

See also Math Education Research and a Plethora of Committee and Government Reports

Brain-Based Learning

1. Brain-Based Learning


  1. Brain-Based Learning Highlights - by Andrea Spears and Leslie Wilson
  2. What You Should Know about Your Brain - by Judy Willis. For students. 3 pages. Some technical information along with 'what you can do.'
  3. Guiding Principles for Brain-Based Education: Building Common Ground Between Neuroscientists and Educators - by Eric Jensen.
  4. Brain-Friendly Learning for Teachers - by David A. Sousa, from ASCD
  5. 11 Rules for Engaging Students' Brains - A nice (infographic) summary from brain-based learning research (source).
  6. - 12 rules nicely organized
  7. Mindset - Book (2015) by Carol Dweck, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist.
  8. Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning - 1. Create a Safe Climate for Learning, 2. Encourage a Growth Mind-set, 3. Emphasize Feedback, 4. Get Bodies and Brains in Gear, 5. Start Early, 6. Embrace the Power of Novelty.
  9. Overview of Brain-based Education - very nice article by Leslie Owen Wilson.
  10. The 12 Brain/Mind Principles of Natural Learning developed by Renate and Geoffrey Caine
  11. The Divided Brain - RSA cartoon video on the two sides of the brain, and the importance of using both.

Websites and Articles

  1. YouCubed - Focuses on the Growth Mindset. Their mission is to "Inspir[e] Math Success for all Students through Growth Mindsets and Innovative Teaching." Headed up by Jo Boaler, at Stanford University. Has 9 findings about brain science and lots of courses and resources.
  2. Resources on Learning and the Brain - list of lists from edutopia
  3. How The Memory Works In Learning - by Dr. Judy Willis, from TeachThought. Nice summary for teachers.
  4. Judy Willis blog - Neurologist and Teacher.
  5. How The Brain Works–And How Students Can Respond - from TeachThought
  6. - blog. Has a weekly neuroscience update.
  7. 10 Brain-Based Learning Laws That Trump Traditional Education by Jeff Hurt
  8. How to get - and keep - the brain's attention in any learning environment. The brain is hard-wired to notice 4 things: Novelty, Contrast, Meaning, and Emotion. By Sharon Bowman.
  10. Reticular activating system - RAS.
  11. The Virtues of Daydreaming And 30 Other Surprising (And Controversial) Research Findings About How Students Learn
  12. See Willingham section in the American Educator journal. From AFT.
  13. I Am What I Choose To Become: Mindset Monday - 2 minute video on the power of the growth mindset.


  1. @anniemurphypaul - Author who write on learning and the brain
    1. Where Visual Expertise Is Located In The Brain
  2. @DTWillingham - Daniel T. Willingham writes for AFT's American Educator "Ask a Cognitive Scientiest."
  3. @JoBoaler - Big proponent of the growth mindset. On the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.


  1. Learning and Brain Research (mine)
  2. Growth Mindset & Brain Based Learning
  3. Brain Friendly Learning


  1. 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain
  2. The Exam Cram
  3. Music and Learning
  4. Smart Teaching - The ABC's of Sticky Teaching
  5. Rewiring the Brain: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
  6. Why Teens Forget

2. Learning Theories

  1. Learning Theories - a short summary of over 50 learning theories. From Instructional Design
  2. Bloom's Digital Taxonomy - by Andrew Churches, 1/4/2009
  3. Understanding by Design (UbD) - sometimes called backward design. Paper, by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggens, titled, "Improve Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Using the Understanding by Design® Framework."

3. Other - Interesting

  1. The Power of Networks - RSA video
  2. Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson - RSA video
  3. Learnist Board on Understanding
  4. Sticky Teaching - slideshare by Chris Lema.

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James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
updated: July 18, 2016