And although it has already been shown that this statement is not true, the myth remains rooted in our society, with implications that especially and negatively affect the way in which parents and teachers educate our children.
This is how the coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Special Educational Needs and Early Attention in the International University of Valencia, Ana Belén Pardo Salamancawho advocates a new learning, based on neuroeducation without myths.
According to Salamanca, there is a high percentage of teachers who believe so, and hence the importance of this group being trained in neuroeducation.
According to this professional, the myth was consolidated after some research from which it was deduced that, at a given moment, only 10% of the neurons were active in our brain.
Another explanation, he points out, could be related to the fact that neurons represent around 10% of brain cells, the rest being glial cells.
But there are other “neuromyths” that also weigh down current education, such as the one based on the belief that children must learn to read or write at a certain stage of their lives, because otherwise they will not be able to do it correctly later on.
And there is also an erroneous acceptance that visual, auditory and kinesthetic information is processed in different parts of the brain.
Neuromyth: learning models
In the educational field, explains Pardo Salamanca, learning models are well known and accepted, classifying them as visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
According to this neuromyth, if the contents are transmitted under that dominant modalitygreater learning will be achieved than if they are transmitted by any of the others.
But the sensory modalities are interconnected.
“And from a physiological point of view there is no separation between the left and right hemisphere, and the transfer of information between the two is continuous through the corpus callosum.”
It is true that some tasks such as facial recognition or language are performed predominantly in the left hemisphere, “but it is essential that both hemispheres work simultaneously to achieve adequate information processing.”
This specialist also alludes to school education based on electronics devices.
«Exposure to screens in young children can cause long-term problems, since a very large amount of dopamine is secreted, and this dopamine «hooks» can become an addiction, in such a way that children are not able to of being in front of a paper, nor of being able to read and understand, and have ease when writing.
Neuroeducation without myths
Dismantling these myths opens “infinite possibilities” in learning, says the teacher, who knows the results first-hand as she collaborates and teaches neuroeducation training courses in various schools.
And he defends the introduction of new methodologies that improve brain functions, such as working memory, decision-making, or emotional management, in order to optimize learning.
“And for example, being aware that the brain is an interconnected system and that it is used in its entirety, multiplies the options for learning.”
The role of memory
Neuroeducation is committed to not overloading the short term memory. In other words, that memory that is used to study a subject for an exam, and after two days we have forgotten it.
Faced with this, teachers are urged to work on the different types of memory so that learning is meaningful, and this is achieved by introducing some processes into education, such as curiosity, motivation, emotion, creativity and physical exercise.
With all this set of practices “it has been proven that the development of memory is encouraged, but the good one, the one that later really helps us.”
Learning is based on motivation.
«This does not mean that all subjects should be presented as super-motivating, because there are some that do not motivate, but there are methodologies that invite the student to be more interested, such as collaborative work»
Also, he points out, there is the inverted class method, in which the students are the ones who have to search for and develop the topic and then expose it to the others. It’s about waking up curiosity.
And what else does neuroeducation affirm?
It states Salamanca Brown that a person cannot be attentive for 50 minutes because “cerebrally it is not viable”, and it is proposed, for example, to intersperse periods in which creativity and even movement predominate, especially in the infant and first cycle stages of primary school.
Having children sitting all the time does not favor learning, it favors order in the class.
«There are already schools in Spain that have incorporated all these advances very well, but this represents an investment because teachers have to be trained, motivated and retrained».
Neuroeducation is trying to obtain scientific evidence to promote adapted public policies, which can alleviate or face children’s learning difficulties and the vulnerability they suffer due to these difficulties, or because they have high capacities.
Now, this specialist details, research is being carried out on what is the appropriate age to startto read and if it is not being forced to be at an early age in which certain areas of the brain should still be allowed to develop more.
Although there is evidence, for example regarding the dyslexia«It is already known which parts of the brain are involved, but now it must be disclosed so that it reaches teachers and the entire educational system».
Education in Finland, he points out, is the mirror in which to look at oneself, since neuroeducational knowledge is very advanced.
In Spain. concludes, there are very few experts in neuroeducation «and it is stated that it will be the profession of the future for the disciplines it brings together: psychology, pedagogy and neurology».
“It is an emerging discipline that wants to be recognized, but it is necessary to have a lot of evidence and very contrasted”.