Educational Programs Built on the Brain-Based Learning Theory

May 21 2023

Mind, Brain and Education, Motivation

This study investigated the effectiveness of an educational program built on the brain-based learning theory in improving mathematical skills and motivation among students with learning disabilities.

Math Learning Disabilities Are Targeted

The focus of this study is on math, as insufficiency to understand and learn math is considered a form of learning disability that emerges among children in elementary stages, and could continue for the rest of their lives. Studies indicate that approximately 26% of students with learning disabilities have math-based learning difficulties.

Brain-based learning is a theory focusing on the structure and functions of the brain. Such functions make the learning process more consistent with the student’s brain and enable the students to be more productive through elevating their motivation, feelings, and positive attitudes toward learning, focusing on prerequisites of learning, and using activities to stimulate the mental processes of the student.

Positive Results Found in the Intervention Group

The sample of the study consisted of 60 students with learning disabilities in the third, fourth, and fifth grades. The sample was divided randomly into two groups; an experimental group and a control group. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, the researchers developed achievement tests, a motivation scale, and a psychometric scale. The implementation of the program took two consecutive months; 75 lessons, 2 lessons per day with a duration of 45 minutes for each lesson. 

The study concluded that there were statistically significant differences in the post-test of mathematical skills in favor of the experimental group. There was no statistically significant effect for both gender, grade variables, and the interaction between the educational program and grade on the achievement of mathematics skills. There were statistically significant differences in the post-test of motivation to learn mathematics and its sub-dimensions in favor of the experimental group.

Brain-Based Learning Strategies Create Engagement in Learning

The result explains that the program included a variety of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical kinetic strategies, as well as multiple activities which created a suitable environment for the brain to function more effectively, and thus increase the abilities and capabilities of students, which reflected positively on their performance on the achievement tests.

The application of brain-based learning strategies has provided cognitive activities that require mental effort from students in a stimulating environment. These activities play a role in breaking boredom and building links between teacher and student, making the learning environment comfortable and encouraging student achievement.

Notable Quotes: 

“Using this theory in teaching mathematics enabled students to overcome the previous methods of memorizing, recitation, and using high cognitive skills.”

“This theory depends on teamwork and encourages students to interact and exchange ideas and solutions among themselves, making them realize that there was more than one solution to the mathematical problem and encouraged them to think flexibly.”

“Modern trends in teaching Mathematics focus on using activities and strategies that are learner—oriented, where the learner becomes an active in dealing with mathematical experiences.”

Personal Takeaway: 

I am very excited to hear about methods that can help students learn math in an easier and more engaging manner. In my observation, math is one of the hardest subjects for students with learning disabilities, and this leads to a decline in motivation. Reading this study gave me renewed hope for the future!—Shekufeh

Al Onizat, Sabah & Qatawneh, Yayhya. (2019). The Effectiveness of an Educational Program Built on the Brain-Based Learning Theory in Improving Mathematical Skills and Motivation for Learning among Student with Learning Disabilities in Jordan. Modern Applied Science. 13(11), 1-1.

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