The Art of Changing the Brain
Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning

Paper: 978 1 57922 054 9 / $27.50
Published: October 2002  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 920 7 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: June 2011  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
263 pp., 6" x 9"
Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind--thought, emotions, artistic creation--are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the products of a biological process.

This realization, that learning actually alters the brain by changing the number and strength of synapses, offers a powerful foundation for rethinking teaching practice and one's philosophy of teaching.

James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.

"The Art of Changing the Brain" is grounded in the practicalities and challenges of creating effective opportunities for deep and lasting learning, and of dealing with students as unique learners.

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"[The] conclusions Dr. Zull draws with respect to effective teaching and learning are sound. Readers with a background in neuroscience may be particularly intrigued by the application of common neurobiological principles to the practice of teaching and learning. In spite of the complexities of brain biology and teaching/learning theories, Dr. Zull presents a clear and accessible discussion. The text is enhanced by numerous case examples of teaching and learning situations both from Dr. Zull's experience and those of other teachers he has counseled. The Art of Changing the Brain is engaging and logically organized, providing readers with practical suggestions for applying the concepts in the classroom and other learning situations. The final chapters, in particular, reflect more deeply on the nature of teaching and learning activities that have the greatest potential to result in functional changes in neural connections. Readers will feel encouraged and eager to integrate the concepts into their own philosophy of teaching and learning."
- Effective Teaching
"The book is not merely an explication but a thoughtfully crafted, neuroscientfically informed teaching device that obeys the advice offered."
- American Journal of Psychology