Every New Discipline Has Challenges

Typical challenges involved in brain-based learning include:

  1. finding people and sources you can trust to learn from (websites, famous people, etc.)
  2. deciding on the format or vehicle for learning (in person, on-line, books?)
  3. prioritizing the time to make it happen (learning plus the implementation)

Sorry, there are no shortcuts with the last one of the three. But the other two, we can help you with those challenges involved in brain-based learning. First, here’s how to find people you can trust. First, do they “walk the talk?” This means, when you attend one of their workshops, do they actually role model and use the strategies they are proposing? Jensen workshops will always model what is being taught because:

  1. it shows we believe in what we do, and
  2. it’s easier for you to understand it when you can see it used.

Additionally, Jensen always cites his sources. You can rest assured that every single thing offered, proposed or used is research based, cited and classroom tested. That means you can trust the learning, knowledge and skills you get at every Jensen workshop.

The second of the two challenges refers to the type of “learning format.” We suggest the “PPPA” format.

The first “P” means “paper.” Get one of Jensen’s books on the topic you want to learn about and learn the background, so you already have your brain pre-exposed to the topic.

The second “P” means “in person.” There’s no better way than to get the content in a workshop where you can see, hear and practice every skill.

The third “P” is to go back to your “paper notes” from the workshop when you return to school. Use them as a guide for the final “A”.

“A” is for “apply.” This is where you implement the ideas and experience the joy of success.

All of this new knowledge is based on a brand-new paradigm. The paradigm began with the research, which was eventually aggregated into simple, but powerful principles. Let’s get a quick introduction to the principles because they help you overcome the challenges of brain-based learning.

The challenges come about the same way challenges come about for anything that is new and innovative. The questions are asked, and they can be answered. With the proper research, testing, and validation, we all can find better paths to achievement.

The principles behind the technique…

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Nothing is perfect. Limitations of brain-based learning do exist.  No one process or paradigm can solve ALL of the problems in education. The brain itself has limitations, and all of us are part of the process. They are no more difficult than the limitations you find in any other teaching and learning situation. It will take exposure, awareness, skill-building, and time to become adept. But it can be learned in a fun and supportive way.

You can learn the skills and strategies to control how well your students learn.

What is brain-based learning?

Brain-based learning is a new paradigm in teaching that integrates instruction with the optimal method in which the brain learns and stores information. If there weren’t limitations of brain-based learning, as with all learning, then everyone could potentially know everything there is to know.

To understand what it is all about, it is the:

  1. engagement of,
  2. strategies based on, and
  3. principles of how our brain works.

Although brain-based learning takes into consideration the way the brain best retains information, it also is subject to its flaws and weaknesses. The human brain is not optimally designed, nor did it evolve for the purposes of formalized classroom instruction. Thus, there truly are limitations of brain-based learning because it takes people (like you) to implement it and we all have limits on our time and resources.

Here are a couple of examples of limits in a classroom. Read more

Effectively Making an Educational Staff Development Plan Optimizes Teacher Time.

In-Service Learning Should Be about Reforms and Improvements to Teaching.

Making an educational staff development plan is not always easy. There is a lot of competition for teachers’ time and, from a classroom standpoint, every day is precious.

The chief purpose of making an educational staff development plan is to promote reform in the classroom and in education in general. Any reform requires teachers to center on changes to their own practice of teaching for better results. Any reform that increases student engagement, enhances retaining or critical information, and allows for higher academic achievement should go at the top of the list for material to use in staff development plans.

We can safely say that teachers are far more likely to modify their everyday instructional practices (which is a huge key) when their professional development is linked directly to their daily experiences and aligned with standards and assessments.

In other words, tie in what you are offering with what your staff already does every day. This way there is an immediate tie-in and teachers can see the connection. Additionally, the staff developer should role-model every strategy and give teachers a moment to practice it in small groups.

Staff Development is a Requirement

Making an educational staff development plan is required for teacher recertification and licensing in all states. That requires teachers to spend a considerable amount of time in on-going development, in-service training, or post-graduate credits. There is so much to learn, but because the need to attend in-service development sometimes outweighs the effort to gain meaningful knowledge to use in the classroom, many teachers spend many hours learning how to use a digital camera, a GPS device, or other pedestrian subjects rather than filling the hours with solid, meaningful reforms to apply in the classroom.

Jensen Learning Can Help

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