18 July 2010

On neuromyths

The linked site focusses largely on school-based education, but it sets out to produce a balanced account of the rather faddish, fashionable, and often downright misleading or wrong contribution of neuroscience to learning and teaching. Based at the School of Education at Bristol University, it draws on sound research and scholarship both to address myths and to promote neuroscience-based approaches to teaching.

In particular, the site links to an excellent balanced chapter on "neuromyths" (pdf available here) from a recent book by the co-ordinator of the site (Howard-Jones P (2009) Introducing Neuroeducational Research London; Routledge). It's not as entertaining as Ben Goldacre's Bad Science but more comprehensive and informative, covering
  • Multiple intelligences, 
  • Learning styles, 
  • Enriched environments
  • Brain gym
  • Water
  • Omega-3
  • Sugary snacks and drinks
--and even a sympathetic discussion about why there are (so many) neuromyths in education — and how to spot one?  Unfortunately, as simply a pdf of the chapter, the bibliography is not included—you'll have to get the actual book for that!

The site was recommended by Tony Fisher—many thanks.

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