Neuromyths, Knowledge About The Brain, and Evidence-Based Practices: From Data To Action
Concurrent Session 1
Research reveals a prevalence of believing neuromyths among educators worldwide. This session highlights findings from a 2021-study investigating awareness of neuromyths, general knowledge about the brain, and evidence-based practices within higher education among instructors, instructional designers, and administrators. Come test your knowledge and find out what factors can increase awareness.
Prior research has indicated a relationship between an instructor’s beliefs and her/his instructional practices in general (Knapp, 2013, Stein & Wang, 1988; Youyan, Tan, Liau, Lau, & Chua, 2013). Therefore, it is important to understand the pedagogical beliefs of higher education instructors, instructional designers, and professional development administrators and their awareness of neuromyths, general information about the brain, and evidence-based practices that build upon the literature and advancements in the learning sciences.
Neuromyths are false beliefs, which are often associated with education and learning, that stem from misconceptions or misunderstandings about brain function. Research on neuromyths dates back to 2002 with an international report published by the Organization of Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD). Over the last 20 years, there has been increasing research worldwide on the awareness of neuromyths in education and general information about the brain. The majority of research in this area has focused on K-12 education, but belief in neuromyths has also been found within segments of educators in higher education, including faculty, administrators, and instructional designers (Betts et al., 2019; Gleichgerrcht et al., 2015).
The purpose of this international survey study was to examine and compare awareness of neuromyths, general knowledge about the brain, and evidence-based practices in higher education among instructors, instructional designers, and professional development administrators in two- and four-year institutions of higher education (IHE) using data collected from the OLC 2018 study and this 2021 study. This study sought to learn more about the types of professional development attended by instructors, instructional designers, and professional development administrators during the pandemic and the relationship between using evidence-based practices with instructional design and teaching. Lastly, the study sought to examine the interest levels of instructors, instructional designers, and professional development administrators in scientific knowledge about the brain and how they perceive the higher education landscape post-pandemic.
This interactive session will share data and findings from the 2021 OLC international study and highlight neuromyths found within higher education that are also prevalent in K-12 education. Additionally, data and findings will highlight awareness of evidence-based research from the neurosciences, cognitive sciences, and learning sciences. Panelists will discuss predictors of neuromyths and discuss the level of interest in learning more about the brain across instructors, instructional designers, and professional development administrators. Mind, Brain, and Learning Sciences strategies and resources will be shared that can be applied across disciplines and educational formats to support student engagement and transfer of learning across real-world contexts.