Brain and neuropsychology
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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
- the function and actions of the brain during sleep, including the limbic system
- activity of neurons in the pons during sleep
- the process of synthesis as a function of the cerebral cortex
The structure and function of the brain can be challenging and so using creative and interactive activities is advised. Building models from play dough or modelling clay, building a brain using coloured paper to represent the different parts or even using technology to download apps all bring an element of fun to this subtopic.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Learners are likely to find brain structures and function challenging. Using visual aids, such as a model of the brain or laminated posters of the brain structure, and kinaesthetic activities, would be a good way to further understanding.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
The brain and neuropsychology is assessed throughout the whole specification. To enable learners to see the links between neuropsychology across the specification, a ‘working’ poster style sheet could be placed up on the classroom wall at the start of the course. Learners could add to the poster after each piece of neuropsychology is taught to visually see the connections across the topics.
Due to the complexity of neuropsychology, this subtopic is likely to be predominately teacher delivered.
Using visual images or interactive activities can aid understanding. Because neuropsychology is taught throughout the whole specification, it is important that learners can make links throughout. Concept mapping or keeping a ‘diary’ of each part can help learners to make and see the connections.
‘Finding a match’ activity – teacher prepares a set of matching cards – each set with a part of the brain or a concept from other subtopics, and its matching card with the definition, example or function - shuffle the cards and give one to each learner. Learners have to find their match. Once found they can build a glossary with all the information on each of their cards.
This activity can also be done by one learner reading out their card and then the other learner who believes they are a match calls out with their card.
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