Coming back to the “12 Principles of Neurodidactics” which I started to present you last month (re-read them here!), let’s move on with principles 4-6!

4. The search for meaning happens when neuronal patterns are formed

New findings and experiences merge with existing ones. But often it’s precisely the patterns that “set us in our ways” that slow us down in our further development. So how do I deal with participants who take the stance “I’ve heard it all before” and relax in an attitude of “I don’t need to pay attention, nor do I have to participate”?

Don’t be afraid of acknowledging your participants’ competencies, and to profit from them! Temporarily handing the Trainer Role over to one of the participants admittedly requires a great deal of self-confidence and courage but almost always pays off. Do make sure, though, that you’ll be able to add to or change your “co-trainer’s” input where necessary or confront him/her with suggestions for improvement. They will be eternally grateful to you for this opportunity of “learning by doing”!

I deliberately apply this in my Training Courses, allowing the participants to moderate or act as the trainer, particularly during Train the Trainer and Moderation Seminars. If the participants have already attended a BusinessMind seminar, I ask them to prepare a method or input in advance and perform it with the group themselves, as the following photos show.

Speed Dating instructions delivered by participants

Performing Speed Dating

Brainwalking instructions delivered by participants

Although this spells quite a bit more preparation work for both me and the participants, there’s no better way to attain a higher level of learning!

5. Emotions are important for pattern formation

Associating learnings with emotions is an extremely efficient way of ensuring that our brains retain knowledge for a long time. An emotional state of excitement releases neuromodulators which, in turn, stimulate neuroplasticity and hence, long-term learning. This is why you should create realms of experience in which the participants come into contact with their emotions. For example, show pictures, short videos, strolling outdoors to develop a vision, guided meditation or fantasising, creative activities, etc.

Relaxed discussions and learning whilst strolling outdoors.

Body sculptures to depict learnings in a different way.

“TV News”: Creatively designing the vision for a successful EU project

6. The brain processes information simultaneously, in parts and as a whole

Generally, we first learn according to rules and principles and subsequently attempt to translate these overriding rules/principles into practice. However, in reality learning usually happens exactly the other way around. We experience something here, fall flat on our face there, burn a finger on the stove … from these experiences the brain deduces generalisations. For this reason I advise reversing – from time to time – the accustomed sequence in seminars: Simply try something out and, in the next step, develop rules/principles from it.

In my Train-the-Trainer Seminars for example, the participants work through the neurodidactics chapter themselves in that I distribute cards of matching pairs. I hand them out shuffled to the participants, and they then find the pairs and present them. We discuss the results and thus discover the principles of neurodidactics together. Sounds much better than a long PP presentation, doesn’t it?

Once again let me remind you that you also find a chapter dedicated to neurodidactics in my book “Blossoming Workshops and Seminars Guaranteed to Succeed”!

Still keen to learn more? You’ll find the next 3 principles in my next blog article dealing with perception, conscious vs. subconscious learning and the various types of memories!

See you soon!