Teaching Strategies for Effective Brain-Based Learning

- 5 Minutes Read -

What is brain-based learning, and how does it work?

Teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including factors like cognitive development - Brain-based learning refers to how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature on a social and emotional level, and cognitively also.

You already know that each student learns in a unique way, so it's critical to use a variety of brain-based learning strategies in your teaching practice to appeal to a diverse range of students and their needs.

It is necessary for young brains to apply information in order to retain it. Here are some teaching strategies to help your students develop executive function.

Simple ways to incorporate brain-based learning into the classroom

The International Journal of Innovative Research & Studies lays out a fantastic set of brain-based learning strategies that you can use in the classroom to boost your students' performance and chances of success. Below mentioned are six ideas to help you get started with brain based learning for students:

1. Get off to a good start by setting a positive tone

For real learning to take place, students must often feel physically and emotionally safe in the classroom. You can help your students learn more effectively by creating a positive classroom environment in which they feel supported and encouraged.

Setting a positive tone in the classroom with classroom greetings can increase student engagement, and many educators have found that doing so at the start of the day creates a sense of community.

2. Make time to turn and talk to your classmate

Students are more likely to remember information when they talk about what they've learned. Turn and talk to your classmate" can help students process what they've just read, discuss ideas before sharing them with the class, and clarify any issues they may have encountered while doing homework.

This strategy can be used as a warm-up, during class discussions, or at the end of the day to round out the day. This practice has a lot of resources in the Teacher Toolkit to help you get started. If you're teaching remotely, use the raise hand feature in most video conferencing platforms to keep things more organized.

3. Make use of visual elements

Many people are visual learners, meaning they absorb and remember information best when they can see it. If you're teaching remotely, you probably already have posters and visuals in your classroom, but are they helping your students? 

In a virtual setting, using visual elements to add context to lessons, such as breaking up your slides with a GIF that draws students' attention back during a lecture or finding a quick video of the science concepts you're discussing, are simple ways to keep students' attention. 

Other fun ways to incorporate visual elements into your teaching include changing your Zoom background to match the theme of your lesson or wearing a silly hat or decorative necktie.

4. Break learning down into manageable chunks

Chunking, or breaking down difficult or large texts into smaller chunks, has been shown to aid students in identifying keywords and phrases, paraphrasing, and understanding the text in their own words. Students can better understand and comprehend material by breaking down a large piece of text into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

Chunking can also be used to break down large chunks of text into smaller, more manageable chunks. Work through long instructions with your students step by step to ensure that they understand everything that is being asked of them.

5. Demonstrate higher-order reasoning abilities.

Consider how and when you'll model these higher-order thinking skills in your lessons, and give students opportunities to use their developing executive function networks throughout the learning process.

When this executive function is strengthened, a student's ability to monitor the accuracy of his or her work and analyze the validity of information heard or read is enhanced. Techniques that promote the development of judgment networks include estimation with feedback and adjustment, editing and revising one's own written work and evaluating websites using criteria to separate fact from opinion.

This executive function assists students in distinguishing low-importance details from the main ideas of a text or study topic. When students plan an essay, choose information to include in notes, or evaluate word problems in math for relevant data, they use the executive function of prioritizing. Prioritizing also improves one's ability to put disparate facts together into a larger concept while recognizing degrees of relevance and relatedness.

Possibilities for Activating and Transferring Prior Knowledge
Plan activities that allow students to connect what they've learned in the past to what they're learning now and to the larger concept. When you give students opportunities to apply what they've learned in class to a variety of situations, you're encouraging them to build larger conceptual networks in their brains, making the new information a valuable tool and part of their long-term memory.

When it comes to planning learning contexts that are personally appealing, you have to go beyond textbooks. This can be challenging when you have to teach a curriculum that takes longer than the time required. When you plan and teach with mental manipulation for executive function in mind, your students will become more aware of their own shifting attitudes and accomplishments.

6. Introduce activities that will aid in the development of an executive function

Executive functions such as learning, studying, organizing, prioritizing, reviewing, and actively participating in the class must be explicitly taught and practiced by students. Comparing and contrasting, providing new examples of a concept, spiraled curriculum, group collaboration, and open-ended discussions are all activities that can help develop executive function networks. Additionally, when students summarise and symbolize new learning in new formats, such as through the arts or writing across the curriculum, executive function is developed.

Students will be able to do the following through authentic, student-centered activities, projects, and discussions:
  • Make forecasts
  • Solve a wide range of problems.
  • Make inquiries.
  • Determine what information they require.
  • Consider how they can acquire any skills or knowledge they lack in order to achieve their desired outcomes.
Students' attitudes toward the value of learning are strengthened by this type of student-driven information and skill acquisition. Students put forth the effort, collaborate successfully, ask questions, revise hypotheses, redo work, and seek the foundational knowledge you require them to learn when they are motivated to solve problems that are personally meaningful to them. They do this because they are curious about what you have to say.

The importance of foundational knowledge cannot be overstated. Learning is organized into related patterns, linked in long-term conceptual memory neural networks, and accessible for retrieval and transfer to solve future problems and investigate new concepts.


It's easier than you think to incorporate brain-based learning into an in-person, online, or blended classroom (and you might already be doing so!). Finding new and innovative ways to engage your students can help them see the world as a place where they can learn.

Thanks for reading!