We Can with Two Rules: Based on Research of the Brain

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Ever considered the brain's role in learning? Dive into the world of brain chemicals and discover the untapped potential they hold in our classrooms. Let's explore one of the key players: dopamine. Nestled in the pleasure and reward center of our brains, dopamine isn't just about feeling good; it's a catalyst for learning.

Here's the breakdown:

  1. Motivation Boost: Dopamine fuels our drive. It's the spark behind our desire to chase success and revel in accomplishment. By triggering dopamine, we create a cycle of motivation that keeps students eager to learn and excel.
  2. Engagement Amplifier: With dopamine on board, attention spans stretch and engagement soars. Learning becomes efficient, and students navigate challenges with ease. Plus, dopamine enhances spatial learning, knitting together concepts for a deeper understanding.
  3. Memory Enhancer: Say hello to sharper recall! Dopamine turbocharges memory, sharpening focus and strengthening working memory. Past events and lessons become vivid, extending the reach of learning far beyond the classroom.

So, how do we tap into this powerhouse for learning? Here are six strategies:

  1. Embrace Creativity: Encourage artistic expression to ignite dopamine. Let students paint, compose, or perform, fostering a realm of imagination where dopamine thrives.
  2. Team Up: Foster collaboration and teamwork. By tackling challenges together, students find purpose and camaraderie, triggering dopamine along the way.
  3. Set Goals: Empower students to chart their path to success. Goal-setting, progress tracking, and celebrations create a dopamine-rich environment of achievement.
  4. Feedback Matters: Offer constructive feedback that fuels progress. Timely praise and encouragement unleash a flood of dopamine, reinforcing positive habits.
  5. Fun and Games: Inject humor and playfulness into learning. Break routines, crack jokes, and turn challenges into adventures to keep dopamine flowing.
  6. Challenge Accepted: Introduce exciting challenges that demand effort. Simulations and explorations provide the perfect playground for dopamine to thrive.

And let's not forget the foundation of it all: Lead with Two Rules. Building a safe, supportive environment lays the groundwork for dopamine to work its magic. As Horacio Sanchez aptly puts it, "Humans have automated emotional values that drive their actions." Safety, love, and success form the core of our decision-making—values nurtured by Lead with Two Rules. Everyone is part of working to have an environment where everyone feels good and feels safe. Students learn to practice the skills daily they need to form the habits for lifelong success.

In a world where learning is a constant quest, dopamine emerges as our steadfast ally. So, let's harness its power, ignite curiosity, and sculpt a future where every student thrives. With dopamine as our guide, the journey to learning excellence is boundless. Reinforcement, consistency and understanding the power of choice, provides the critical elements of importance the brain needs to develop habits.

I thank Horacio Sanchez for his research, knowledge and expertise in the area of neuroscience. I appreciate so much his endorsement of my book. I sight his book The Poverty Problem, but he has several books that I have which are a great resource for educators.

I will continue to share more information and help to provide everything I can to help all of you. You matter, your work matters and you are needed to help all of our children.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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