Enhancing learning effectiveness: the Brighter Minds experience
The capacity to learn is a gift;
the ability to learn is a skill;
the willingness to learn is a choice.
Can we improve all three? How much of learning is predetermined and how much can be molded? What really goes on in the brain when we are learning something? Do we have tools and methods to continually enhance learning effectiveness and experience?
We have been exploring these questions at Brighter Minds. Recent advances in the field of neurosciences, particularly in brain neuroplasticity, suggest that learning is continuously possible. The process of learning is an outcome of the connections and re-connections among the 80 billion neurons that make up the human brain, with each cell having a potential to make several thousand connections with other cells.
Learning in a way is directly proportional to the number of connections possible in a person’s brain. Scientists have observed that the connections start happening soon after birth. Initially they happen at the rapid pace of 2 million connections per second, so that by the age of two the brain has made over a trillion connections. After that the connections start pruning, particularly those that are not used, and by the age of 12 years 50% of connections are lost. So the exposure that the child has between the ages of 2 and 12 decides how much of the brain stays wired. And this determines the extent of learning that is possible.
It also tells us that this age group needs attention. Recent evidence indicates that appropriate tools and training in a conducive environment can stimulate neuroplasticity in the brains during this age and beyond.
Inspired by the vision of creating a brighter world for tomorrow and taking cues from the latest advances in neurosciences, the Brighter Minds team developed an innovative cognitive training program for children. Its mission is to inspire and equip every child with ways to enhance cognitive functioning so as to achieve personal excellence and instil self-confidence.
The initial research not only helped to design the ongoing product and program, but also showed encouraging results. Parents of the children who participated reported improved focus, comprehension and memory, emotional stability, self-confidence, empathy and calmness among their children. The program not only enriches the intelligence quotient (IQ), but also the emotional quotient (EQ) as well, which is recognized as a vital element to effectively problem solve in today’s world.
Initiated in India, the program is now present in 12 countries across Asia, the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Africa. Additional research is being done to understand the long term impact of the program.
For more information, visit www.brighterminds.org.
Eagleman, D. 2015. The Brain: The Story of You, Pantheon, USA.
Goleman, D. 1995. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Bantam, USA.
Shichida, M. 2009. Children Can Change Through Right Brain Education, Shichida Educational Institute, Japan.
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