Could Neuro-Discoveries Transform University?

eweber   August 30, 2009   5 Comments

What would it take to renew university learning and draw more brainpower from learners and leaders? We know adult intelligence improves – from MDs such as Dan Siegel, Director of  Mindsight Inst at UCLA School of Medicine, who draws on recent science to harness the brain’s circuitry. The results?

Research offers increased brainpower opportunities that could enrich learning experiences. The problem?

Universities have yet to embrace renewed practices, or welcome improvements based on brain discoveries. Could it happen?

Observing dynamic brain activity promises to be the next great research frontier, but what will that frontier hold for higher education? The University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, for instance, opened another new window into human brain activity with Elekta Neuromag‘s non-invasive way to observe brain activity.

It’s no secret that critics claim university’s focus is more on bureaucracy of the university and tenure than on quality of teaching or on engaging anybody’s brainpower. Others argue there is too much emphasis on mind-bending research. You?

In MITA brain based communities a wider vision draws together circles of scholars and learners.  Interactive roundtables welcome learners to lead and leaders to learn at times. Do you belong to a community that inspires your best?

Lack of vision for community at university, on the other hand, fosters more of what George Douglas described in Education without Impact, as:

rigid walls, upward ladders, a confusing array of offerings to students, a forbidding and meaningless collection of beehive segments, a Mandarin snobbery based on specialization, an unhealthy desire to hoard one’s subject matter, one’s private preserves and achievements.

My question is: Will universities turn  neuro-discoveries into mind-bending  learning and leading practices?  For themselves, for those they mentor or for students they teach?

The term brain based leading and learning evokes a wide range of responses from university faculty, leaders and learners. For some it signifies positive learning dividends in caring circles. Communities that approach every topic, every lesson, and every assessment with learners’ brainpower in mind. For others, fears arise to prevent research about the human brain from transforming higher ed practices such as lectures. Approaches that have been safely guarded from change or questioned much, since the earliest philosophers. What do you say?

Articles for secondary and university race to the top:

1. No Brain Left Behind

2. Death of Education – Dawn of Learning

3. Brain Parts Promote or Stomp out Change

4. Secondary and University with Brains in Mind


17. Retention Lost in Lectures

18. Engage Voices on the Other Side

19. Marks of Brainpowered Workplaces

20. Reinvigorate Brains for Learning Dividends

21. Move to Replace Broken Systems

22. Call for Simplicity that Adds Intelligence

23. Brainpower to Disagree and Prosper Peace

24. New Run ay Old Runways – Space for Renewal

25. Why Brain Based Approaches?

26. Tenure, Brainpower, and Pillars of …?

27. Math and Science can Leak Brainpower

28. Reclaim High School Brainpower

29. Renewal Runs Deeper than Dollars

30. Could Neuro-Discoveries Transform University?

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