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Hawker Brownlow

Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching - Connecting Mind Brain and Education Research to Classroom Practice


This seminal text, grounded in the synergy of five big ideas for connecting mind, brain and education research to classroom practice, empowers educators with an inspiring conceptual framework for effective teaching. It is a compelling vision as well as a firm foundation for implementing curriculum standards. The practical application of the essential ideas – neuroplasticity, potential, malleable intelligence, the Body–Brain System and metacognition – is supported by a wealth of vignettes, examples, inspirational stories from teachers, strategies, reflective questions and connections between current research on how people learn and classroom practice. Effective teaching takes advantage of five big ideas, which are explored in this text:

  1. Neurocognitive plasticity, renewed attention to the discovery that learning changes the physical structure of the brain as it changes the way students think;
  2. The learning potential of every child, or the recognition that nearly every child can learn and improve their academic performance;
  3. The modifiability of intelligence, which stands at odds with the persistent myth that intelligence is fixed;
  4. The role of the body and brain in learning;
  5. The need for explicit instruction on metacognition, or thinking about one’s thinking with the aim of enhancing learning.