Brain Rules by John Medina
Semester 1 Book Study
For my book study I choose to read Brain Rules by John Medina. Choosing to reading this book was really simple; it's about how the brain works and how we can use certain rules to give an advantage when working or learning. Not only did the topic of the human brain appeal to me but applying practical ways to enhance learning seemed good to look into, especially for a soon to be college student and a possible future teacher. I've come to hear, and often think myself, the all too famous saying, "I just can't do this." While in some cases it may just be a lack of motivation or effect, I learned in Brain Rules that, sometimes, it can be more.
Brain Rules is based on the study of how the human brain works through survival and through everyday life. It tracks the progress of our brains and the evolution humans have accomplished over the centuries that have altered the brain. Medina does a wonderful job of making the book exceptionally enjoyable while still getting the point across. He adds a great deal of humor to make the book flow. The book did a fantastic job of pointing out the way our brain works and the problems in society we face because of the gaps between the two, but it did not address how to change or fix the problems we can run into. I wish he would have given a few examples as to how we could change certain elements of our lives to better cope with the way our brain works, but by leaving these out, Medina forces the reader to imagine their own ideas.
A few main ideas and take away educators can acquire from this book are:
- Some students work and think a little differently than the normal classroom. You can learn why and how to teach to more than one kind of student.
- There are many ways to teach in the classroom, but some are better than others. In Brain Rules you can learn some tips for teaching that cater to the brain and how it works.
- Medina gives numerous tips to help cognition and energy levels throughout the day. These instructions are simple and can be used by teachers, parents, bosses, everyone.
The Brain Rules
There are many important points mentioned by Medina in Brain Rules, all falling under these simple truths about our brains:
- The human brain has evolved, too.
- Exercise boosts brain power.
- Sleep well, think well.
- Stressed brains don't learn the same way.
- Every brain is wired differently.
- We don't pay attention to boring things.
- Repeat to remember.
- stimulate more of the senses.
- Vision trumps all other senses.
- Study or listen to music to boost cognition.
- Male and female brains are different
- We are powerful and natural explorers.
How does it connect to you as a student/ learner?
How Can Brain Rules be applied to the Classroom?
- Since there are several benefits linking exercising and learning, what are some ways to create a more active, yet practical classroom environment? Medina offered some ideas to make children more active, capitalizing on the benefit of exercise in education. However, many of them would force a complete makeover of the schooling system used in the area. While his ideas are very good, they would be pretty difficult to shove onto teachers and students. I would like to hear Medina's opinion on how to start incorporating the exercise ideas he stated into classrooms.
- With decreased budgets and increased pressure on schools to preform, is changing the education system to better fit the brain a good idea? Is it even possible? I would like to know Medina's thoughts on public education, specifically how to change it to work better for our brains. While he gives many answers to the problems in the education system, there are several ideas that would be difficult to implement. It would be interesting to see if some of Medina's ideas could be executed in the schools.