Neuroscientist William Jenkins suggests that educators shift the school environment to improve memory and ability to learn.
1. Create a non-stressful environment. And this includes eliminating or reducing bullying. If pupils are angry or frustrated, their “frontal lobe is turned off and executive function skills are not operating,” Jenkins says. When students are comfortable and relaxed, they are more open to learn and retain memory.
2. Instill blended learning in classes. Research has shown that using online learning along with direct instruction in K12 can be powerful. Direct instruction allows students to learn from social interactions from a group of peers in class, and online learning can allow students to go at their own pace of learning, addressing a larger range of student abilities. “There are real advantages to using both approaches,” Jenkins says.
3. Have pupils work cooperatively. Students who work with others on projects can reinforce their cognitive skills. When working cooperatively, “you’re exercising many cognitive skills to stay focused and not become distracted and interact socially,” Jenkins says.