Whole Brain Teaching and Its Impact on Students' Learning

What is Whole Brain Teaching?

  • Ayushi Singh
    Ayushi Singh

I always try to give my best to students and to ensure they are getting quality resources to develop their knowledge, I try to refine my teaching styles. I constantly look for new techniques that enhance the mental capacity of my students, and one of the teaching patterns that work wonderfully for them is the Whole Brain Teaching. I recommend every teacher use this process to improve the learning outcome of their students.

Before delving deeper into Whole Brain Teaching and how it works, let us understand how it was introduced in the teaching profession.

What is Whole Brain Teaching?

Whole Brain Teaching was developed in 1999 to keep students engaged throughout the lectures. It is a strategy where we educators use games and motivational methods to encourage students and help them express their thoughts. It is a high-energy and hyper-focused method to make students concentrate on their studies. One of the benefits of the whole brain teaching methodology is that it continually engages students’ minds and keeps them focused. As a result, they do not get involved in any activity that is not related to their learning.

How Does Whole Brain Teaching Work?

This teaching style is developed for students of all ages, from kindergarten to college. The whole brain teaching procedure gives special attention to mimicry, which is a natural way for the brain to receive and retain information. In addition, mimicry is coupled with intense in-the-moment teaching methods that require constant attention from the student side. When using this teaching method, I give clear instructions to my students and encourage them to follow the framework. Likewise, you can also train your students to listen and respond actively and simultaneously follow the rules.

For example, when you address students with ‘Class’ they must reply with a prompt ‘Yes!’ In addition, you can use board games and link the games with rewards to make students attentive. Every activity in a whole brain teaching method is developed to curb inattentiveness and disciplinary disruptions. As students need to respond to anything and everything you are saying, they remain attentive and engaged during the learning process.

How Effective is Whole Brain Teaching?

Different teachers have different opinions about the effectiveness of this teaching method. Some have noticed a remarkable improvement in academic performance after implementing a whole brain teaching strategy in the classroom. They have seen an 11% increase in math and language test scores after implementing this teaching strategy. On the other hand, some educators believe that whole brain teaching is a form of conditioning that affects the individuality of students. Despite different beliefs related to this teaching methodology, whole brain teaching has been adopted by many countries across the globe. Many educators and parents are utilizing this method to improve the learning experiences and attentiveness of students.

Is Whole Brain Teaching Right for Every Student?

Whole-brain teaching may boost the attention of students who find it difficult to get motivated. As they have to respond to everything you are saying in the classroom, they are more likely to concentrate on your words. However, if a student likes to attend the lectures quietly, they may not receive the benefits of this teaching process.

Whole Brain Teaching Strategies

Your students might sit in the class physically, but their minds might wander to different locations. As a result, they might not find the motivation to focus their attention on textbooks and lectures. In such cases, you can implement whole brain teaching strategies to keep the classroom interactive. To begin with, here are a few activities that you can follow to improve the learning journey of your students.

Attention getter

One of the strategies to get students' attention is by making them follow your words. You can use short call-outs to get the attention of your students. For example, if you say ‘Eyes on me', your students should fix their gazes on you. They should respond to the verbal prompts as and when you give them call-outs.

Brain stimulant

Students’ brains collect information from various sources in a variety of ways. For this brain-stimulating activity, teachers can say a specific word and ask students to repeat that word. This activity is effective when teaching phoneme and grapheme relationships to students. During this process, you can use your hands to make gestures or change your voice. Your students may mimic you as mimicry is considered one of the best ways to retain information.

Direct instruction

Direct instruction is crucial when you want to grab the attention of your pupils. However, talking too much can also demotivate them, and they may not pay heed to classroom happenings. To keep students interested, you can break the content into small chunks using mirror words. In addition, you can also use memory gestures to retain students' attention. Memory gestures can improve learning outcomes as it trains the mind to establish a connection between the action and the concept taught in the classroom.

Collaborative learning

To check your students’ understanding, you can ask them to teach their fellows. This way, you will get to know if they have understood the concept clearly. In the whole brain teaching strategy, you can encourage collaborative learning through verbal prompts. For example, you can ask your students to teach their bench mates and give an outline for the same. Students need to follow the guidelines when transferring their knowledge and understanding to other students.

You can make whole brain teaching successful only when your students are actively participating in the activities mentioned above. To engage students, you can include them in the planning process. Moreover, you can tie awards and recognition to motivate students and maintain their interest in studies. I hope this teaching strategy shows a positive impact and helps you connect better with your students.

Suggested Read: Importance of Brainstorming in the Classroom