Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brain Research and Special Education

I just read an article about how brain research can benefit special education and thought that I would share it here. Please note that this article is more about possibilities than current realities. The best part about this article is that the author notes a number of promising ways of how brain research (or the results of such research) can help students with disabilities.

These ways include a better understanding of dyslexia, autism, cognitive impairments, etc. Also, if scientists can improve brain imaging so that it can identify certain "bio markers), this imaging could help ensure that most students with disabilities receive early intervention and could also help teachers more efficiently choose ways to help each individual in their classrooms.

The usual words of caution were noted in this article. Stigma was mentioned as well as the the need for more more research on the topic. The only things that bothers me is that there is a need of research to show that brain research will benefit education. It seems like it should be common sense that it would be easier to help struggling students as a result of a better understanding of the human brain (especially an individual's brain). How can anyone argue with that?

Anyway, as one educator noted, "we are at the beginning of a revolution in human understanding." As for me, I can imagine looking back ten years from now and noting all the positive changes as a result of linking brain research to the area of special education. Let's hope the efforts continue.