When it comes to applying neuroscientific research to classroom practice, educators must look before they leap.
During the past year, a flood of articles in popular and professional publications have discussed the implications of brain science for education and child development. Although we should consider ideas and research from other fields for our professional practice, we must assess such ideas critically. This is particularly true when we look at how a vast, complex field like brain science might improve classroom instruction.
Three big ideas from brain science figure most centrally in the education literature, and educators should know four things about these ideas to make their own critical appraisals of brain-based education. My own assessment of recent articles about brain research is that well-founded educational applications of brain science may come eventually, but right now, brain science has little to offer education practice or policy (Bruer, 1997, 1998).