What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains
Getty Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however—much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter Marshall and Christina Comalli began by surveying children aged four to 13 to discover what they already knew about the brain. Previous research had found that elementary school pupils typically have a limited understanding of the brain and how it functions, believing it to be something like “a container for storing memories and facts.” Marshall and Comalli’s questionnaire turned up the same uncertain grasp of the topic, which the researchers attributed to several factors. A 20-minute lesson about the brain was enough to improve knowledge of brain functioning. But the success of their effort opens another possibility.
Related: Brain-Based Learning