To do that, we need to emphasize formative assessments that encourage students to make changes and corrections Gary R.Hafer describes an approach to teaching that is all too common (I know I’ve been guilty of it myself)—the type of professor who complains that “students commit the same errors over and over, unaware that his constant grading never communicated what he wanted his students to learn” (215).Worse yet, teachers who identify only with the authoritarian side of the archetype may trigger the opposite pole in their students—heedless irresponsibility.
Neuroscience has discovered that the brain is not the static organ we once believed it to be. Vaughan explains, “learning occurs through changes in the strength of connectors between various neurons” (40).
When stimulated, neurons can migrate, connect, and increase at any stage of human life.
Our job, according to Guggenbühl-Craig, is to activate that inner teacher, just as physicians must awaken the inner healer within their patients.
“Activate” is the key word, and current research about brain function reinforces Guggenbühl-Craig’s argument.
Depth psychology says that revolution always lies waiting in the shadows of power, and a revolution in our work habits is what I’m calling for.
Less, I believe, is more—not because I think English teachers are overworked and underpaid (although we assuredly are), or because I think we should demand less of students (I reject that approach).
Whose neurons, I asked myself, were migrating, connecting, increasing? “It’s all in what you’re trained to notice,” the ornithologist replied.
To prove his point, he dropped a nickel onto the sidewalk: Instantly a hundred people stopped to look for it.
That ornithologist heard the bird song because his brain was constantly running a high-quality mental software program for bird identification.
Similarly we English teachers possess sophisticated mental software for writing and editing. that need careful proofreading: They just looked at me helplessly.