Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Brain Rule #3 – EVERY BRAIN IS WIRED DIFFERENTLY
Michael Jordon is undoubtedly one of the very best Basketball players to ever live. But when he took up baseball he was a miserable failure. Ken Griffey Jr however played spectacular baseball. Why? When you learn something, your brain wiring changes. The brain is constantly learning things and constantly rewiring itself. Michael Jordon’s brain was wired for basketball. He spent many years learning the game, practicing, and strengthening the connections. Both basketball and baseball require athleticism but the skills are different. Violin players have very strange brains compared to non-violin players. The neural regions that controls their left hands are very complex while the area controlling the right hand looks much less complex. Brains are like muscles. The more activity you do the larger and more complex it can become. Whether that leads to more intelligence? Lol… that is another issue. We have a number of ways of being intelligent, many of which cannot be measured by a standard IQ test. The bottom line however is you can wire and rewire yourself with the simple choice of which musical instrument – or professional sport you play. Learning results in physical changes to the brain and no two are wired alike.
Infant brains are wired to learn, but that changes as they age. The author discusses kids in the classroom. Take a class of first graders and some look like they are just out of diapers while others look like mature little kids. Girls almost always appear older than boys. It is even more varied by junior high. The physical body develops unevenly from one person to another and that also includes their brain. What does this mean for our schools? Smaller classrooms are better where teachers can better determine where a student is and customize instruction accordingly.