Positive Psychology and Neuroscience

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    • 00:05

      [Positive Psychology & Neuroscience]

    • 00:10

      PATTY O'GRADY: My name is Patty O'Grady. [Patty Grady, PhD,Associate Professor, University of Tampa]I'm from the University of Tampa and today I'mgoing to be talking to you about the neurosciencein the positive psychology classroom.We're going to discuss two topics. [Presentation Topics :What are the essential neuroscience principlesof learning?] What are the essential neuroscienceprinciples and what are the best positive psychology methodsto use in your classroom that are consistent with

    • 00:33

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: the neuroscience? [What positive psychology classroom methodsare based on neuroscience principles?][Essential neuroscience principles of learning]Neuroscience is really important for teachers to understand.They see a great deal of behavior in the classroom.A student squirming in their seat or a student whoforgets to give them their homework,and they're only seeing that behavior.

    • 00:54

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: And now that we have so much more research and scienceto understand those behaviors, teachersare well served in understanding the principles of neurosciencelearning so that they can go beyond justbehavioral strategies like stickersor referring a student to the officeand really understand how the brain learns

    • 01:15

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: cognitively and emotionally so they can be more effective.So let's look at those four essential principlesof neuroscience in the classroom.[Neuroscience of Learning Principles]The first principle that we're going to discussis nervous system directs behavior.[Nervous system directs behavior]That means everything you see, children runningon the playground, children doing their math tasks,

    • 01:37

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: is because their nervous system is functioning in the bestway possible for them to run around the playgroundor to solve those complicated math problems.The second essential principle that teachersneed to understand is that both genes and environment determinebehavior and this is probably the most important

    • 01:57

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: essential principle. [Genes and environment determine behavior]The reason is that experience changes behavior.Experience allows-- changes how the genesthat you inherit and are somewhat unchangeable,but how they are expressed can be changed.Therefore, life experiences and especially theexperiences that a child, an adolescent, a young adult has

    • 02:20

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: or even a person who's being trained in a businessorganization, the experiences that theyhave in that classroom really will change literallytheir genetics.So you or the experiences that youwant to create in that classroom areintended to create an environment thathelps that student to learn optimally

    • 02:41

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: and helps them become accomplishedin not only their academic world but also in their socialand their emotional world.The third principle is that the brainis the foundation of the mind. [Brainis the foundation of the mind] The brainis sort of the of your behavior, but your mind is the software.What you create from your brain, the art you create,

    • 03:04

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: the stories that you tell, all of those thingsbecome your mind, your consciousness, who you are,what you are, and how you interact with others.So it's very important to understandthat how you train that brain, how you nurture that brain, howyou create positive experiences enable that brain to learn best

    • 03:25

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: is going to create the mind of that student,in terms of how they think about things, how they feelabout things, and what actions they choose to takeor sometimes not to take.And the fourth essential principleof neuroscience that's really important for teachersto understand is that the neuroscienceis a living science. [Neuroscience research isa living science] What I tell you today

    • 03:46

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: may be something very different than you know tomorrow.If you're a young teacher, you aregoing to have so many new discoveries in termsof how the brain works and why it works and how it works best.So it's important to stay abreast of the neuroscience.First of all, to understand it and thento read and to pursue greater knowledge in that field

    • 04:07

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: so you can bring it to your studentsand you can bring it to your classroom.Now once you study and understandthe neuroscience of learning, the science of trainingthe brain to learn best, teachers often are confusedor they're often perplexed as to how to do that best.And one of the ways you can do this

    • 04:28

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: is through positive psychology methods.[Neuroscience based positive psychology classroom methods]If you study the neuroscience and youstudy positive psychology of learningyou see very much intersection.You see very much common denominator,mutual understandings that enable the teacher to use

    • 04:51

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: certain positive psychology methods thatare consistent with the neuroscience that say yes, thiswill help that brain to learn better emotionally, socially,academically.So the first positive psychology method is to teachto the brain. [4 Positive Psychology Methods :Teach to the brain] Never forget that there is a living,breathing organism that's going to absorb experience uniquely

    • 05:12

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: for every student.That's going to essentially changehow they interact with their lessons,change how they interact with each other,how they interact with you as the teacher.So always think about your lessonas an opportunity to teach your students more abouttheir brain, how their brain works, how their brain learns,

    • 05:35

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: and have an understanding that every single thing youdo in that classroom is changing that student's brain for betteror for worse.So by creating positive learning experiences,emotionally engaging learning experiences,you're going to help train the brain by teaching to the brain.[Serve and return] The serve and return enables the teacher

    • 05:59

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: to give the student the lesson, to give the studentthe task, in such a way that they know that they are goingto get back a more balanced, a more emotionally competentresponse based on how it's presented.Is it presented in an exciting way?Is it presented in an engaging way?

    • 06:20

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: Is it presented in a way that the brain is naturally curiousto perform at its absolute best?The third positive psychology methodthat's consistent with the neuroscienceis to make connections. [Make connections]The brain is a narrative brain.It loves stories.It's constantly thinking about ways

    • 06:43

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: to connect one object to another, one idea to another.It's looking to make connections,especially to personal experience.How do I best understand this?I best understand this through my own personal experience.So teachers that can tell storiesabout what they're learning and why they're

    • 07:05

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: learning a particular subject, thoseare the teachers who help studentsto make the connections.Why is this important?What is the value of it?Then those students begin to make the connectionsfor themself.And if the teacher can make the connectionto that individual student's own connection,it's that much more strong.

    • 07:26

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: It's that much more indelible.And learning is about remembering and thentaking the information that you rememberand allowing it to be used in a helpful way.So if you can help a student make a connection,they're much more able to move forward, remember,and use that information in an effective way.

    • 07:50

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: Lastly, the positive psychology methodthat can assist teachers in bringing the neuroscienceinto the classroom is by creating new understandings.[New understandings] New understandingsof the material, new understandings of the subject.What is different?What is the same?What can we learn from this?How can we categorize this?

    • 08:12

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: This is all information that helps the studentto process the information in their cognitiveor their thinking brain and also in their feelingor emotional brain so that the information ismore fully understood.So it's deeper learning.The next thing that we would have to look at is then,

    • 08:33

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: how do we bring all of this together if you reallywant to be a positive psychology teacher, if youwant to create a positive psychology classroom?The first thing is to remember that thisis an art and a science. [This is an art and a science]You have to know the science.You have to know the theory.You have to know the research associatedwith those essential principles of the neuroscience.

    • 08:54

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: Then you have to understand this ismore than just social science.This is also biological science. [Not just social science, alsobiological science] Positive psychology is provenwith social science research, but it's furtherdocumented with biological neuroscience research.So we have a convergence of two very powerful bodiesof knowledge telling us that this

    • 09:15

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: is the best way to teach, that thisis a new paradigm for education, that teachers needto abandon some of the old school approaches to teachingand begin to think about teachingin the 21st century in a way that'sbased on the biological and social sciencesof neurological development and positive psychology.

    • 09:36

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: And so teachers have the power now, and the promise,to take their students into the 21st century.The 21st century is going to be so demanding, so complex.It's going to require not just academic skillsbut social skills and emotional skillsso students can make decisions quicklyamong a myriad of choices.

    • 09:58

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: This is going to enable teachers to take biological sciences,and the neuroscience in particular,and the social sciences, and especially positive psychology,and help their students to move forward into a future that someof us cannot even imagine.I hope this has helped you think about how you might

    • 10:19

      PATTY O'GRADY [continued]: become a positive psychology teacherand create a positive psychology classroom.

Positive Psychology and Neuroscience

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Abstract

Professor Patty O'Grady discusses neuroscience in the positive psychology classroom. Teachers who understand neuroscience are more likely to recognize different learning strategies. Neuroscience combined with positive psychology allows teachers to develop a more effective way of teaching that is based on biological and social science.

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Positive Psychology and Neuroscience

Professor Patty O'Grady discusses neuroscience in the positive psychology classroom. Teachers who understand neuroscience are more likely to recognize different learning strategies. Neuroscience combined with positive psychology allows teachers to develop a more effective way of teaching that is based on biological and social science.

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