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Improving student learning through multidisciplinary perspectives
journal contributionposted on 01.04.2019, 00:00 by Chandana WatagodakumburaChandana Watagodakumbura
This paper looks at improving student learning mainly focusing on important practices related pedagogy, psychology and neuroscience. The author highlights the need that we, as educators, pay attention to learners’ individual psychological and neurological characteristics when we develop curricular and present them to learners. For example, we may identify whether the preferred learning style for learners is visual spatial or auditory sequential. Similarly, we may identify whether the learners exhibit overexcitabilities, such as emotional, imaginational and intellectual. Differentiation of these psychological and neurological characteristics enable us be inclusive in our practices; for example, we will be able to meet the needs of highly sensitive gifted learners in the mainstream education system, instead of requiring special programs. We cannot expect the presence of idealistic learners possessing extreme visual spatial and auditory sequential skills at the same time. From a pedagogical point of view, we need to stress on higher-order learning by having assessment targeting higher-order learning. One of the important aspects when targeting higher-order learning is the timing aspect; that is how much time we spend on elaborating the most important concepts in the subject area as well as the time allocated for assessment, considering that human brain is a parallel processor, not a sequential operator such as a machine, or robot. Another important aspect when targeting higher-order learning is the fact that we are more focused on generalised concepts that can permeate through many areas rather than more specific concepts restricted to a single area. Such emphasis will naturally motivate learners more to better engage in learning as the concepts learned will be useful to them in a more generic sense, or in day to day life situations. We also highlight the need of having a balance between theory and practice as way for improved student learning.