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Are "brain claims" about Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) true
Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is an approach based on the philosophy of using the whole brain to engage students in learning. WBT was also known as “Power Teaching” which started to take action in 1999 in the U.SA, by Chris Biffle. Its aim is to activate students’ brain for maximal involvement in the learning process. WBT uses seven major structured techniques/routines that are believed to make the classroom become motivated, engaged, synchronised and collaborative (Biffle 2013).
Research has increasingly designated that involving all parts of the brain in the learning process does, in fact, increase the achievement of a student (Brown 2012). Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is structured around principles that have an origin in brain and neuroscience research (Biffle 2012). Here is how WBT claims to have brain research origin:
1- The “Class-Yes” (the teacher says “Class” and the students respond with “Yes”) technique is accepted to act as an activator for the prefrontal cortex “CEO of the brain” and by awakening this area, we are allowing a lot of learning to take place (Biffle 2013, Padersen 2011);
2- The “Mirror” technique (the students imitate the movement and gesture of the teacher): It is believed in WBT that there are “mirror neurones” distributed throughout the brain are activated when we mimic the behaviour of others (Biffle 2012).
3- The “theory behind the systems” is the most fundamental “brain claim”. It is believed that our brain gets activated by doing a special task and this helps the activated part in involving in actual learning a few minutes later (Biffle 2013).
4- Improving our visual cortex is believed to happen when we stare at “rapidly changing patterns of random colours” for a few minutes (Biffle 2013).
My question is: Is there any evidence in science that these claims are true? If not, why?
Biffle, C. (2013). Whole Brain Teaching For Challenging Kids (and the rest of your class, too!). Whole Brain Teaching LLC.
Biffle, C. (2012). Whole brain teaching. Teaching Challenging Students.
Brown, B. (2012) Bringing brain research into teaching. Principal, 34-35.