So much talk about ‘the brain’ in education is meaningless

You may have noticed a steady increase in the use of brain-based language in education recently. You may also have noticed that, beyond the creation of some lucrative learning tools, this language hasn’t done much to meaningfully add to the teaching/learning discourse. The reason for this is simple: although impressive sounding, the majority of educational references to the brain are devoid of any original, unique or prescriptive value. They are what we have come to call “neurosophisms”. “Neuro” meaning neuron or nerve, and “sophisma” meaning “clever device”, a neurosophism is a sophisticated but fallacious application of neuroscientific language. To get a sense of what we mean, here are a few of the more common types of offences. The first type we’ve termed the Sleight of Hand: when someone coyly sneaks…


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