EDUC 7018NA - Neuroscience and Education

Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre - Quadmester 2 - 2016

Learning is central to education. Research in neuroscience is having an increasing impact on our understanding of learning. By looking at the brain, scientists are studying the very complex processes that underpin our memory, speech and language, thinking and reasoning, reading and mathematics. The course explores links between our own experiences as educators, various perspectives from cognitive psychology, and neuroscientific findings. It also addresses several 'neuromyths', where neuroscientific findings seem to have been extrapolated rather too far into educational practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 7018NA
    Course Neuroscience and Education
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions M Ed students only - Singapore
    Course Description Learning is central to education. Research in neuroscience is having an increasing impact on our understanding of learning. By looking at the brain, scientists are studying the very complex processes that underpin our memory, speech and language, thinking and reasoning, reading and mathematics. The course explores links between our own experiences as educators, various perspectives from cognitive psychology, and neuroscientific findings. It also addresses several 'neuromyths', where neuroscientific findings seem to have been extrapolated rather too far into educational practice.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr John Willison

    Dr John Willison
    School of Education
    The University of Adelaide
    Level 8, Room 808
    Nexus 10 Building, 10 Pulteney St
    Adelaide, 5005 SA
    Ph: +61 8 8313 3219
    Email: john.willison@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Draw out links between neuroscience, cognitive psychology and education
    2 Apply knowledge of cognitive neuroscience to classroom practice, school structures etc.
    3 Discuss some of the ways in which the peripheral and central nervous systems operate and the implications for learning and acting
    4 Demonstrate an understanding of how emotion can affect learning
    5 Identify how neuroscience can make a contribution to educational debates about gender and the education of adolescents
    6 Analyse the validity, and usefulness, of educational interventions which claim to be based on neuroscientific findings
    7 Identify factors which can affect brain development and effectiveness
    8 Discuss ethical issues associated with neuroscientific research
    9 Identify, deeply research, and present the relationship between a specific set of neuroscientific findings and educational practice
    10 Summarise the learning theory of an assigned cognitive psychologist, and be aware of the different theories of others
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    6, 9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    4, 6, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    One textbook, currenly Neuroscience and Education (Gazzaniga, et al, 2014)
    All other resources will be available through myuni
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    A flipped classroom design will be used.

    Readings, quizzes and discussion board posts in advance of the 5-day intensive will enable participants to develop a knowledge base around neuroscience and education.

    On this knowledge basis, the in-class activities will be group-based and highly interactive, with a focus on application to participants' teaching contexts.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Workload Total Hours
    1 x 2-hour lecture/seminar/workshop per week 24 hours per semester
    4 hours assigned reading and reporting per week 36 hours per semester
    4 hours personally selected reading per week 48 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    Total = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Lecture Topic
    1 Introduction. The brain, nervous system and senses.
    2 Classifications of memory
    3 Investigating the brain. Reports on cognitive psychologists.
    4 Neuroscience of learning and memory (part 1)
    5 Neuroscience of learning and memory (part 2)
    6 Working memory and cognitive load
    7 Nature of intelligence
    8 Brain development, plasticity and IT issues
    9 Emotions and learning
    10 Can we train/improve the brain? The evidence.
    11 Creativity and the brain. Brain care.
    12 Course summary of educational implications of neuroscientific findings
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Brief summary reports on required readings Reports 10% 1
    Research and present  the views on learning of a selected cognitive psychologist 15 slides PowerPoint group presentation 20% 1, 10
    Research a proposed change to educational practice claiming to be based on neuroscientific findings Essay (750-1000 words) 25% 6
    Major research-based essay on one of 5 provided topics or on a topic self selected of particular interest or relevance Essay (2500-3000 words) 45% 2, 3, 5, 7, 9
    Assessment Detail
    Weekly report on readings (10%)
    A weekly reading will be assigned and students will report on this (weekly) by identifying points of interest or particular relevance

    PowerPoint presentation on a cognitive scientist (20%)
    Groups of up to 4 will research the psychological theory of one of four cognitive scientists and will present their findings to the whole group. (Presentations in class in Week 4)

    750-1000 word essay – proposed educational change (25%)
    Students will research one of several proposed changes (list provided) purportedly based on neuroscientific findings and will evaluate this from both neuroscientific and educational perspectives. (Deadline: immediately following mid-semester break)

    2500-3000 word essay (45%)
    Five possibilities are provided for the content of this essay, though students can also negotiate a topic of special interest to themselves. The aim is to investigate the selected topic from neuroscientific and educational perspectives.
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.