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The Art of Changing the Brain

Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind--thought, emotions, artistic creation--are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the products of a biological process.

This realization, that learning actually alters the brain by changing the number and strength of synapses, offers a powerful foundation for rethinking teaching practice and one's philosophy of teaching.

James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.

"The Art of Changing the Brain" is grounded in the practicalities and challenges of creating effective opportunities for deep and lasting learning, and of dealing with students as unique learners.
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About the Author

James Zull is Professor of Biology and Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, at Case Western Reserve University.


He does an excellent job of demonstrating his thesis that educators can use knowledge about the brain to enhance pedagogical techniques. Well written - highly recommended. - Choice "[A] necessary part of any collection of important literature on teaching and learning." - Michael Theall, National Teaching and Learning Forum "This is the best book I have read about the brain and learning. His perspective forms the foundation for a teaching approach that can dramatically improve human learning." - David A. Kolb, Dept. of Organizational Behavior, CWRU "It is clear by now, that I found Zull's book meaningful, clear, useful in many ways, and a wonderful explication of complex issues. I will sound its praises to anyone interested. I will use it with a faculty 'book club' next semester. I recommend it as a necessary part of any collection of important literature on teaching and learning. And I will incorporate its lucidity and depth into my own thinking, teaching, and wonder at the marvels of the human brain and the way that we use it in our classrooms and hopefully, in the rest of our lives." - Michael Theall, National Teaching and Learning Forum "I read (devoured) this book three times, and I am overwhelmed by it. It is just perfectly and brilliantly thought through! The reader receives important information in small and easily digestible portions. The illustrations from the author's own teaching experience underscore the points he makes in a profound way." - Margret Arnold, Education Graduate Student, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Augsburg University.

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