Student Agency and Neuroplasticity

by Celia Franzè

Teaching about the brain and neuroplasticity can have a profound impact on students’ success as learners. Understanding how the brain processes information, retains memories, and responds to different learning environments can help students become more effective in their  studies. When teachers provide insights into the brain’s functioning, students can develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of effective study strategies such as metacognition and emotional resilience. By learning about the brain, students can also develop a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, which can enable them to tailor their approach to learning in a way that works best for them.

The concept of neuroplasticity can help students develop agency in their own learning. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganise itself and create new neural connections in response to experiences. This means that the brain can continuously adapt and change in response to new learning experiences. By understanding neuroplasticity, students can appreciate the role they play in shaping their own brain and learning abilities. They can understand that they have the power to actively engage with new information and build new connections in their brains, leading to greater understanding and mastery of new skills and knowledge. This knowledge can empower students to take an active role in their own learning, encouraging them to set goals, seek out new challenges, and persevere through difficulty. Ultimately, neuroplasticity can help students develop a learning mindset and a greater sense of control and agency over their own learning.

Additionally, teaching about the brain can also foster an environment of empathy, as students can learn to appreciate and accommodate the diverse learning trajectories of their classmates.

ThinkPlus resources help educators teach about the brain so they can empower students to take control of their learning and become more confident, effective, and successful learners.