27 octobre 2013

Stanislas Dehaene, The Massive Impact of Literacy on the Brain and its Consequences for Education (2011)


Site de Stanislas Dehaene (psychologie cognitive expérimentale).
Bibliographie sélective de Stanislas Dehaene.
Bibliographie complète de Stanislas Dehaene.

It was once claimed that the bridge from brain research to education was ‘a bridge too far’ (Bruer, 1997). In the past decade, however, important progress has been made in bridging this gap, taking advantage of the improved ability to image the human brain in adults and children, in experimental paradigms relevant to learning and education. I would like to argue that, in fact, considerable cognitive neuroscience knowledge is already highly relevant to education. Our understanding of learning algorithms, including the known importance of active prediction, prediction error, or sleep consolidation, is directly relevant to the design of efficient learning environments, at school or through educational games. Our comprehension of the role of attention and reward (and their flip sides, the negative effects of distraction and punishment), or of the switch from explicit to implicit learning, are equally important generic findings that already affect much thinking in education.

Above all, human cognitive neuroscience has made enormous strides in understanding the specific cerebral circuits underlying particular domains of education, such as mathematics, reading and second-language acquisition. The human brain can be seen as a collection of evolved devices, inherited from our evolutionary history, and that address specific problems such as navigating in space and remembering locations, representing time, acquiring a sense of number for concrete sets, recognizing objects and faces, representing sounds and particularly the speech sounds typical of our species, and so on. I have argued that, through education, we take advantage of these pre-existing representations and recycle them towards novel uses, particularly because we are the only species capable of attaching arbitrary symbols to these representations and tying them together into elaborate symbol systems (Dehaene, 1977/2011, 2005, 2009; Dehaene & Cohen, 2007). Deficient operation of these specialized subsystems, or of the ability to attach symbols to them, can explain some developmental deficits such as dyscalculia, dyslexia, or dyspraxia. 

In the present chapter, I briefly recapitulate how the recycling theory plays out in the domain of reading acquisition. I focus on recent discoveries  that demonstrate how the brain is changed by learning to read, and how these results illuminate the specific hurdles that children face as they learn to read. I am convinced that empowering teachers with the appropriate knowledge of the principles of human neuroplasticity and learning will lead to better classroom practices. Indeed, it is a shame that teachers still have a better idea of how their car works than of the inner functioning of their pupils’ brains! Thus, my goal here is to summarize neuroimaging results on reading in an accessible manner, and to use these results to think about their consequences for education. I am also convinced that neuro-education research should not be performed solely in brain imaging labs. Experimentation in schools is indispensable to validate and expand the hypotheses that we form about optimal education practices. Thus, another goal of this chapter is to stir communication between cognitive neuroscientists and educators, in the hope that they actively collaborate towards the development of innovative teaching devices.

source de l'image : http://www.actualitte.com/societe/incidence-des-livres-sur-le-developpement-du-cerveau-a-l-age-de-4-ans-37475.htm
Textes de Stanislas Dehaene : 
L'illusion d'une lecture globale (école : références)
Qu'est-ce que l'écriture ? (école : références)

site Collège de France, Psychologie cognitive expérimentale : http://www.college-de-france.fr/site/stanislas-dehaene/#course

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