In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Betsy Hill and Roger Stark about neuroplasticity and how it pertains to learning.. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!
Watch the episode here:
Cognitive Skill Development and Neuroplasticity
Jonathan and Betsy discussed the importance of cognitive skill development and the role of neuroplasticity in this process. Betsy explained that cognitive skills are the ways we take in information from the world and make different connections among neurons, which is how we learn. She emphasized that understanding these skills can improve the learning process. Betsy also highlighted neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change, as a fundamental reason for this improvement. Roger added to this by mentioning the changing perception of cognitive ability, noting that it was previously believed to be fixed at birth, but now it's understood that it can change.
Growth Mindset in Learning: Unlocking Potential
During the meeting, the concept of neuroplasticity and personal growth was discussed. Roger emphasized the role of the student in the learning process and the power of a growth mindset. Jonathan added to this by discussing the idea of a growth mindset in teaching and learning, citing his wife's work as a math professor helping students overcome math anxiety. Roger also noted that having a growth mindset doesn't always lead to success, using the example of competing with professional athletes. Betsy and Roger further discussed the concept of growth mindset in learning, emphasizing that skills and intelligence can be developed, regardless of initial abilities. They concluded that with the right mindset, individuals can continue to develop their skills. The discussion was expanded to the broader context of education by Roger, who suggested that incorporating the science of learning with the science of teaching could improve students' performance and contribute to a better future for the economy.
Adaptability and Learnability: Key to Future Success
Betsy, Jonathan, and Roger discussed the importance of developing adaptability and a learn-how-to-learn mindset in the face of rapid changes in the world of work. They emphasized that companies are prioritizing skills like adaptability and the ability to learn new things, and that these abilities can be strengthened through mental processes. Jonathan highlighted the need for effective teaching methods in addition to teaching learning skills to help individuals become lifelong learners. The group agreed that learning how to learn is critical for a successful future in the workforce. Betsy, a professor of strategic thinking in an MBA program, emphasized the broad applicability of strategic thinking, and its relevance not just in a business context, but also in personal and familial strategies. Roger praised Betsy as an exceptional teacher and encouraged her to continue her work.
OECD Report on American Education and Its Impact on Students and Workforce
Roger presented findings from an OECD report on the challenges in American education, including the fact that American students perform below average in international student assessments. He emphasized the potential economic benefits if students could reach the minimum proficiency level and the importance of understanding the science of learning. Roger highlighted the positive impact of their program on students' self-esteem, stress levels, and relationships, as well as a reduction in disciplinary issues and an increase in school attendance. He also mentioned the potential of their methodology to address workforce needs, emphasizing the need for upskilling and reskilling in the current job market. Jonathan agreed with the presented ideas.
Team Building and Learning Resources
Betsy and Roger discuss the importance of connecting with their team and share a book called "Your child learns differently now what the truth is" which is available on the online booksellers. They encourage the audience to reach out and find out more about what Betsy and Roger and their team can do for them. Jonathan shares his experience in coaching, consulting, and executive coaching, as well as his experience with change management and leadership development. He will send a link to their website for further information.
Listen to the webinar here: