K.A.R.A.T. ® School of Learning – Suggested Readings
Annotated Bibliography The following sources are highly recommended for all parents and educators who teach our precious children. All sources listed represent the cognitive, physical, and social and emotional domains.
Amen, D. (1998). Change your brain, change your life. New York: Crown Publishing Group. 337 pages including references Dr. Amen’s book discusses how to overcome anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness, and impulsiveness by learning how the brain works. This book is full of actual medical cases in order to see firsthand the underlying brain problems and how they were treated.
Amen, D. (2004) Which brain do you want? Video DVD. In this powerful video, Dr. Amen shows us the actual brain scans of people who use drugs, alcohol and caffeine. He discusses with four teenagers their choices and how it affects their brain. Powerful visual for all ages to see how they can change their life by learning major lessons about the brain.
Amen, D. (2005). Making a good brain great. New York: Crown Publishing Group. 313 pages including extensive references and appendixes Dr. Amen gives nine brain-centered principles to change a person’s life. Making a Good Brain Great gives the reader tools he or she needs to reach the brain’s fullest potential. Dr. Amen’s book has categories such as Eating and Thinking Right, Protecting Your Brain from Injuries, Nourishing Your Brain with Vitamins, Critical Component of Physical Exercise, and How to Rid Your Brain of Negative Thoughts, in order to make this book a positive and practical book to learn about how to improve the brain.
Boyd, C. (1994). Different children, different needs. Sisters: Multnomah Books. 219 pages, includes reference page. The author of this book discusses the different needs of children and how important it is that we understand those needs in order to truly appreciate the child . Written from a
Christian perspective, Different Children, Different Needs looks at the “bent” of the child, or how our Heavenly Father has uniquely designed us all, based on the scripture from Proverbs 22:6. When the child is taught according to his “bent,” he or she will grow up to be a much more responsible adult. The author uses a DISC method of learning the styles of each child. “D” meaning Determined; “I” meaning Influencing; “S” meaning Soft-hearted; and “C” meaning Conscientious child.
Films for The Humanities and Sciences. (2004). Anything you can do, I can do better: why the sexes excel differently. Video DVD.
This powerful video shows why men and women are not equal when it comes to accomplishing the same tasks. Researchers have debated this topic and draw some conclusions in this video on the brain’s architecture. Experiments shown in the video are funny and enlightening.
National Research Council. Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R., Ed. (2000).
How people learn. Washington: National Academy Press. 374 pages including extensive references and appendixes. How People Learn takes into consideration the Brain, Mind, Experience, and School and helps experts learn what we can do to help children learn more effectively. This book is especially helpful in taking a close look at findings for how schools are teaching our children, and the implications therein. This book is full of research about the mind and the brain that includes a 63 page reference guide to resources a teacher can use in order to help him or her understand how to better teach children in the classroom. Actual studies and experiments help the reader to understand the concept of the brain and mind experience.
Curwin, R. & Mendler, A. (1988). Discipline with dignity. No City: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 267 pages, including appendixes on Behavior Management Inventory and School Discipline survey. Includes extensive bibliography and references.
This book is full of practical techniques on how to discipline. Curwin and Mendler discuss the relationship between consequences and punishment. Strategies are presented that keep the dignity of students intact. The authors recognize our society’s lack of compassion at times, and they give the reader a “means of aligning our discipline policies and procedures with those larger, long-range educational outcomes.”
Curwin, R. (1992). Rediscovering hope: our greatest teaching strategy. Bloomington: National Educational Service. 209 pages including references.
An absolutely must read for all educators, Rediscovering Hope is by far the best tool an educator can have for learning how to motivate “hard to motivate” students. The book is full of hands-on answers for how to instill hope in our struggling students. The reader is given powerful strategies and techniques on how to handle consequences for students. It’s rich; it’s practical. It’s full of powerful tools on how to reach the unreachable student.
Gurian, M. (2001). Boys and girls learn differently. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 332 Pages plus Index.
This book documents the differences between boys and girls, focusing on what influences learning. This book follows the children from pre-kindergarten all the way to high school and includes special education. The author includes information on brain-based theories as well as discipline techniques that include character education. Excellent resource to have for teaching both genders.
Jensen, E. (1995). The learning brain. San Diego: Turning Point Publishing. 349 pages including references and index.
This book discusses how our brain works best with all the latest research and strategies for teachers, students, parents, etc. A plethora of information, Jensen’s book does not read like a narrative. The information is packed in each page with a ton of research to accompany it. Each chapter has a Summary of Action Steps at the end to help the reader solidify in the mind what was said. Topics include music to nutrition to pregnancy.
Jensen, E. (2005) Teaching with the brain in mind. 2nd Edition. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This is the “crown jewel” of books to have on your shelf. Dr. Jensen gives a plethora of ideas, facts, anecdotes, and all- around “must have” information for every teacher, no matter what grade is taught. Twelve chapters, 127 pages, and an extensive Glossary and Reference pages, you’ll wonder how you taught without it for so long!
Pink, D. (2006). A whole new mind. New York: Riverhead Books. 275 pages including references.
A Whole New Mind discusses why right-brainers will rule the future one day. This book goes into detail regarding the brain’s two hemispheres and what each is responsible for. Pink discusses logic, sequence, analysis, as well as emotional expression, context, and the big picture. One chapter discussed the importance and art of storytelling.
Copyright © 2010 by K.A.R.A.T.® School of Learning, All Rights Reserved.
K.A.R.A.T. ® School of Learning – Facts for Success
Cognitive: “The brain will not adapt to senseless tasks. As a teacher, you have to constantly reaffirm the relevance, value, and meaning of the skills taught” (Jensen, 2005).
Critical thinking skills take time because you are asking the brain to make changes in both cortical organization and interregional connectivity. Learning new skills literally reorganizes the brain" (Jensen, 2005. p. 116)
Girls’ brains develop earlier and are more active than boys’ brains from an early age. Girls have stronger neural connections in their temporal lobes than boys. Boys brains have more cortical areas for spatial mechanical functioning. Boys’ brains work with less blood flow than girls’ brains which makes them physically more impulsive (Gurian, 2001).
What counts is how much you use your brain, not how much you know. To keep your mind sharp, you must challenge it and keep it active. Your brain is a muscle. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Do challenging reading, cross word puzzles, playing of music, etc. each day to keep the brain sharp (National Research Council, 2000).
Thirty years ago, educators, mostly women, stated that boys acted up because of poor socialization, but now scientists are attributing boy behavior to male brain chemistry (Tyre, 2006).
Boys’ disorganization problems are hard wired, medical specialists say (Tyre, 2006).
Emotional responses in the limbic system of the brain slows down or shuts off completely most thinking, depending on how graphic the emotion is (Amen, 1998)
Students learn better when they are asked how they would like to learn and what the teacher can do to help them learn (Lehmann, 2005)
A unit of learning that is high on critical thinking skills is pedagogically strong and will create the ability to synthesize and apply information in the students’ brain (Martin-Keip, Feige, & Soodak, 1995).
Students must see connections to their learning and their life. These connections create greater intelligence (Burton, 2001).
Students must be challenged and challenged appropriately in their studies. “Absence of challenge or disequilibrium creates boredom in gifted students, and overdone challenge for excessive durations can discourage slower students” (Hetzel & Stanske, 2006/2007).
Teachers have a real challenge themselves learning how to balance the two.
The brain is made up of two hemispheres: the right and the left. The left is sequential, logical, and analytical. The right is non-linear, intuitive, and holistic. Language resides on the left side of the brain, and handles what is said. But, the right side of the brain focuses on how it is said (Pink, 2006).
Boys generally have more development in certain areas of the right hemisphere, providing them with better special skills—map reading, mechanical skills, measuring (Amen, 1998)
Physical: The prefrontal cortex is a “knobby region of the brain directly behind the forehead that scientist believe helps humans organize complex thoughts, control their impulses and understand the consequences of their own behavior.” Prefrontal cortex does not fully mature until the child is well into his or her 20’s (Tyre, 2006).
When students use their hands, it encourages the use of the brain, so mental and physical work together for success. Bodily labor creates physical strength (Stowe, 2004).
Jacque Rousseau, a French philosopher, said, “The greatest secret of education is to combine mental and physical work so that one kind of exercise refreshes the other.” (as cited in Stowe, 2004).
Multiple memory systems are activated when students use their physical bodies to learn (Curwin, 1992).
If they physically do it, they will remember it longer. Adolescent boys are more physical than girls (Jensen, 1995).
Eliminating recess and P.E. runs counter- productive to complete brain development (Amen, 1998).
Children who begin their day with carbohydrates dull their ability to learn, as carbs make the brain turn to mush (Amen, 1998)
Young people must put food in their bodies each day to feed the brain. We are what we eat (Amen, 1998).
A number of studies show that when teenagers eat right, and take multivitamins, their learning increases (Amen, 1998).
Nutrition plays a huge part in a teenagers ability to function physically. The body is made up of75% water and must be hydrated every 45 minutes of the day. Caffeine works as a diuretic (Amen, 1998).
Physical Exercise at least three to four times a week is imperative to brain function (Amen, 1998)
Teenagers need at least 9 hours of sleep at night. Getting any less than that decreases their brain function. Most teens are sleep deprived. Sleep is food for the brain. Without enough sleep, teenagers get moody, depressed, and irritable. Memory and judgment are affected. (Amen, 1998)
Social Emotional: The number of boys who said they didn’t like school rose 71% between 1980 and 2001 (Tyre, 2006).
One of the most substantial reasons a boy fails in school is because of a lack of a father figure in the home or in his life. “Having an teenage boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map” (Tyre, 2006).
All students have the innate ability to help each other, encourage each other, and motivate each other to learn (Wagmeister & Shifrin, 2000).
Music increases concentration, memory, and creativity. Students are more apt to socialize when music is playing (Wagmeister & Shifrin, 2000).
A student feels socially connected with the subject matter when it is relevant to him or her (Martin-Kniep, Feige, & Soodak, 1995).
In the real world, we are not separated into compartments, so it makes sense that students emotionally connect to a lesson when it is integrated (Czerniak, Weber, Sandmann, & Ahern, 1999).
We want to see our young people not only grow intellectually, but we want them to grow to make good moral judgments, have servant’s hearts, and so on (Snowdon, 2006/2007).
It is important that educators match students’ thinking ability with their emotional ability. Students need to be comfortable working with one another so that they can hear their peer’s viewpoint, empathize, and then express their own point of view (Hetzel & Stranske, 2006/2007).
We need to create in our students, “salmon-like tenacity.” In the face of difficulties and struggles, our students need to be shown how to hold on and not give up, no matter what (Hetzel & Stranske, 2006/2007).
Teenagers struggle to manage their emotions: jealousy, rage, withdrawal, all can have deep emotional trauma to the student. When inappropriate emotions emerge, we as educators must be equipped to step in and help them find ways to deal with the situations (Hetzel & Stranske, 2006/2007).
Boys get bored more easily than girls, so they need more varied activity to keep them alert (Amen, 1998).
Boys cannot verbalize their feelings as well as girls; boys depend mostly on non-verbal communication (Amen, 1998)
Children have five basic love languages: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch. When children are taught according to their love language, they respond much better. (Chapman, 2002).
Biblically, socialization and fellowship among young people looks like: Loving one another, Forgiving one another, Accepting one another, Building one another up, praying for one another, and honoring one another (Grace Christian Fellowship, n.d.)
Tobacco presentation by University of Pittsburgh. Incredible!!!