The Brain and Learning

March 14, 2010 tinkisamy

I found many different sites and articles that discuss and provide valuable information in regard to the brain learning. I have decided to post on four of these different resources. They vary from basic, straight forward descriptions, research paper, and articles.

This information by G. Miller provides some basic and foundational information on the  processing theory and “chunking”.  Chunking is any meaningful unit, it can be words, numbers, or people’s faces. Chunking is a basic element related to memory. This idea of chunking can be seen in all levels involved with cognitive processing.

Sarah Ganly explained, “The information processing theory is a theory that explains how people perceive, remember, and store the massive amounts of information they are subjected to everyday.” The article on information processing and its effects on children and learning broke down the multiple parts of the theory and how it relates to children. She went through the changes a child goes through as they grow and proceed through the process. She quoted and references many ideas by Ormond. She is the ..that I am learning from in my Learning Theories class.

As I read through the article I was remembering my various students and how they relate to this process. Most of the students I taught were in the early stage. They were young and easily distracted. They had a very limited knowledge and experiences. As a teacher I had to start building a foundation for their future learning and experiences.

The article identified other factors that influence the processing of information. Two were identified and elaborated on. They are environment and heredity. How someone perceives their surroundings is essential for survival. As children grow their environment expands as well as their knowledge.

 The third resource I discovered was a research paper. This research paper is titled Human Problem Solving by Aalia Rafique

The paper targeted three areas: task dimension, performance learning development dimensions, individual difference dimensions. “The main concern in this study is given to the integrated activities that constitute problem solving and ignores the perception, motor skills or personality variables.” (Rafique, 2005)

The paper gave a detailed overview of the information processing system (IPS) and how it relates to problems. The author clearly describes the theory in an easy way. The information clarified some aspects of problem solving and the processing theory for me. This paper was well written and easy to follow. The paper will broaden your understanding on how we engage in problem solving. Go check it out for yourself!

The final resource I found is an article titled, Long-term Cognitive Dynamics of Fluent Reading Development by Anniek Vaessen and Leo Blomert. This article was the most interesting to me, since this topic is one that I am the most familiar with.  Having fluent reading acquisition requires a shift in reading strategies, the same is to be said of cognitive processes. There are two cognitive processes that occur in reading acquisition, they are phonological awareness (PA) and rapid automatized naming (RAN) of visual items. The article went into great detail discussing these two processes and how they relate to cognitive process and in turn reading acquisition. They conducted a study involving 1423 children from 17 dutch primary schools in The Netherlands. The students completed 6 different tasks.  Those tasks were evaluated for cognitive and reading acquisition skills. 

This article was well written and the research was very thorough. It is a good study and provided lots of insight in phonological awareness, reading acquisition, and cognitive process. It shows how all three are related and are linked together.

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