Author

Matt Thul

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Ellyn Lucas Arwood

LC Subjects

Learning, Psychology of; Neuropsychology--Research;

Abstract

Research shows that educators’ perceptions of learning are limited due to a variety of factors which include: a lack of neurobiological- and language acquisition-informed content and information incorporated within teacher preparation programs, educators’ learning experiences grounded in familiarity, and confusions between common educational learning frameworks, andragogy and pedagogy (i.e., K-12), surrounding appropriate learning tenets and effective learning practices for different-aged learners. However, one transdisciplinary model, neuroeducation, incorporates learning literatures from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and language acquisition and provides insight into the limitations of educators’ perceptions of learning and effective instructional practice. This study investigates the extent to which adults participating in a semester long course on adult learning theory with a neuroeducation approach to learning experienced changes in (a) perceptions of their identity; (b) perceptions of learning theory in professional and personal settings; (c) professional and personal implementation of learning theories; and (d) the perceived impacts of their implementations on those in their professional and personal settings. A narrative inquiry design captured responses from two groups of participants’ semistructured interview questions demonstrating that a neuroeducation perspective of learning positively impacted adult learners’ identity, altered their perceptions of learning for K-12 learners and for adult learners, led to implementation of visual-based learning strategies grounded in neuroeducation perspectives, motivated their colleagues to implement instructional changes, and positively impacted K-12 learners’ social and cognitive growth. Findings from this study signify a need for neuroeducation perspectives of learning within all levels of public and private education.

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