This post is also available in Dutch.
Researchers at the Donders Institute have developed a kit to teach neuroscience in primary schools. Find out more, and how to order free materials online or by mail.
With the help of comics and games, it’s easy and fun to talk about the brain
Knowing how the brain learns
Recent studies have shown that students who know how the brain works are better able to cope with social differences. If a child can understand that learning is a basic skill of all neurons, they then can also understand that everyone, their peers to their parents, has the ability to learn. It is very useful for children to know how their attention and memory work, so that they know what things can be distracting or drive emotions and stress. Once a child has this knowledge, they can use the tips and recommendations provided in the kit to help better their memory and attention. This
Everyone can teach about the brain
So how do you explain to children how the brain works, when you’re not an expert in neuroscience? The main problem is that there are very few tools that can help you teach the complexities of the brain to young children. Such tools would need to fit today’s teaching curriculum, while being playful, efficient and accurate. For the purpose of creating such a tool, the Donders Institute empowered a team of researchers (including myself) to create such a kit to help teach children more about the brain. Together with teachers, we created fun activities adapted for primary school use. By offering engaging documentation like comics, story tales and games, we are convinced that we can take a brainy complex topic and make it very easy to explain.
Content of the kit
content within the kit has been created by scientists who strictly used information and recommendations fully validated by multiples scientific studies. For this reason, teachers can be confident that they are receiving the most accurate and up-to-date information from the scientific community.
The Donders teaching kit comprises a course of 11 sessions of one hour each. This course allows children to discover the things that affect the learning process. They will learn to acknowledge how they perceive, how they come to understand, and how they might regulate their mental states.
The kit introduces stress, emotions, attention, memory, and executive functions such as inhibition and cognitive flexibility, and much more. It also proposes tips on how to improve learning processes.
Where to get the kit?
The kit is available online on the Donders institute website. If you are a teacher, you can request a hard copy for free. You will receive all documents on a USB drive and a special plastic edition of one of the many board games. There are only 300 hard copies available, so register now!