The Principles of Neurodidactics – Part 3

Recently I introduced you to the first 6 of 12 neurodidactic principles essential for your seminar design and implementation.

Here’s a short summary to jog your memory: Learning is a physiological process that takes place as a result of organic growth processes in the brain; the brain is a social organ (i.e. learning processes take place more effectively when embedded in social contexts); we always seek the meaning behind what we hear; new knowledge is linked to existing knowledge and experience patterns; emotions are important for long-term learning; and the brain processes information simultaneously in parts and as a whole.

So much for the first 6 principles, which you’re welcome to read up again in detail part 1 and part 2.

Now let’s move to the next 3 principles:

7. Learning takes place both at the concentrated attention level and at the peripherals of perception

This means that not only WHAT you as the trainer says is important, but HOW you say it. Not only the content is of essence, the learning environment is, too. From the arrangement of the seminar room(s) to the atmosphere among the participants through to your own mood as the trainer! All of this influences your participants’ motivation and their willingness and ability to absorb the learnings, let them take root, and internalize the outcomes of the seminar.

I already summarised my thoughts on the subject in a blog some time back.

Flowers do a lot to create a pleasant learning atmosphere.

Attractive seminar rooms have a positive influence on learning success.

A pleasing training environment, along with fresh air, are effective.

8. Learning happens consciously as well as subconsciously

Our brains need a certain “incubation period” to process input phases. During this incubation period I recommend doing something completely different, something that has as little to do with the topic at hand as possible, and requiring relatively little effort. During this time the associative processes in the brain continue running.

Advisable during this incubation period are relaxation exercises, getting up and moving around, attention exercises and/or meditation. Whatever you do, don’t go into any intellectually or emotionally demanding topics at the same time!

The best thing to do is to switch between input and incubation phases again and again – by doing this, you will be creating fertile ground for sustainable learning.

Switch off and “digest” learnings during the headstand.

The living, walking pinboard ????

In this training session, not only the headstand method was practiced, handstands were attempted too! (but not by everyone ????
Also see Summer Academy 2017

9. There is more than one type of memory

Learnings will permanently sink in if your participants file their knowledge and experience in different “memory modules” and correlate them.

What does that mean? Learning normally takes place with all the senses, ideally by the entire VAKOG (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory). A simple rule applies here: the more senses are involved, the better.

For example, motor skills are very closely connected with the brain’s motivation system. So instead of just speaking about goals and milestones and perhaps visualising them on a flipchart (which, luckily, already happens in most cases today) you can ask your participants to lay them along a timeline (e.g. a crepe band or a row of facilitation cards.) Let your imagination run wild here!

But not only the senses are important for learning, the different „types“ of memory are, too: these are, for example, episodical, procedural, and most of all emotional memory. If you apply a good mix of methods here to activate several different memory types, you will leave a lasting impression in the heads of your participants!

““Goal Agreement“ a bit different for a change…

Different groups re-arrange chairs for a new set-up – non-verbally!

Has the goal been achieved? Concluding reflexion.

Well, still interested in neurodidactics? You’ll find the last 3 Principles in one of the upcoming blog articles. These will be about developmental dependence, stress and the uniqueness of our brains! Stay tuned!

By the way, you’ll also find a chapter dedicated to neurodidactics in my book “Blossoming Workshops and Seminars Guaranteed to Succeed” now also available in English!

Looking forward to reading from you again!!