Five Pillars of the Mind: Redesigning Education to Suit the Brain

Five Pillars of the Mind: Redesigning Education to Suit the Brain

by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa


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From the author of Neuromyths, a revolutionary look at teaching and learning via the logical pathways of the brain.

A review of the research on brain networks reveals, surprisingly, that there are just five basic pillars through which all learning takes place: Symbols, Patterns, Order, Categories, and Relationships. Dr. Tokuhama-Espinosa proposes that redesigning school curriculum around these five pillars—whether to augment or replace traditional subject categories—could enable students to develop the transdisciplinary problem-solving skills that are often touted as the ultimate goal of education. Heralding a potential paradigm shift in education, Five Pillars of the Mind explores how aligning instruction with the brain's natural design might just be the key to improving students' learning outcomes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393713213
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 430,143
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, PhD, is a Professor at Harvard University's Extension School and is currently an educational researcher affiliated with the Latin American Social Science Research Faculty (FLACSO) in Quito, Ecuador. She is also the founder of Connections: The Learning Sciences Platform, and an Associate Editor of the Nature Partner Journal, Science of Learning. Tracey has taught Kindergarten through University and works with schools, universities, governments and NGOs in more than 40 countries around the world.

Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments ix

Preface: The Origins of the Pillars 1

Introduction: Elegant Complexity 3

1 Symbols 27

2 Patterns 45

3 Order 59

4 Categories 71

5 Relationships 85

6 Theoretical Underpinnings: From Piaget to Neurons 101

7 What Would the Five Pillars Look Like if Applied to Curriculum Design? 119

Conclusions 145

References 159

Appendix A Curricular Example for Applying the Pillars to Early Math Learning 189

Appendix B Neuroconstructivist Design Levels for Mathematics 195

Appendix C Evidence for Mathematical Neuroconstructivism 203

Index 213

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