James Zull explores what scientists can tell us about the brain to help uncover how this knowledge can influence the practices of teaching and learning. 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, (but applicable to all forms of learning, teaching and training).
Our reviewer’s opinion
Some of the science makes me nervous but the Virtuous Learning Cycle is convincing and as Zull developed the theme of learning being physical, my mind kept shooting off to extensions of his ideas in my own work. The main challenge is one of self-discipline i.e. continue studying what he says and don’t dash off to experiment with half-understood teaching ideas. Possibly a seminal work and great learning simply delivered.
“I would say this book is a must for any teacher. He explains the learning cycle and how this relates to the structure of the brain; he discusses how emotions effect the brain; how to promote active learning etc. At each section he explains how that topic effects learning and how it may help us as instructors.” L.Talbot
“This is the best book I have read about the brain and learning. His perspective forms the foundation for a teaching approach that can dramatically improve human learning.” David A. Kolb, Dept. of Organizational Behavior, CWRU
“He does an excellent job of demonstrating his thesis that educators can use knowledge about the brain to enhance pedagogical techniques. Well written – highly recommended.” Choice
“[A] necessary part of any collection of important literature on teaching and learning.” Michael Theall, National Teaching and Learning Forum