A Neuro-Constructivist Model for Education in the Humanities
There are numerous theoretical models of learning or the process of learning. The process and product of learning generally have been viewed as being derived from either innate/genetic factors or environmental influences. Whereas some recent models consider both factors as integral to learning, neuro-constructivism postulates an alternative relationship between these factors.
Of particular importance, to neuro-constructivism, is evidence which indicates that the types of problems encountered by the learner directly affect brain development. This is contrary to conceiving of the brain as containing pre-wired circuitry, or modules, which make learning possible. Although, it is apparent in the study of adult brains that some degree of modularity exist. Neuro-constructivists posit that brain development and organization result from problem solving activities, in conjunction with environment.
Research from various fields, including neuro-science and psychology, support the tenants of the neuro-constructivist model of learning. Overall, a new paradigm for looking at the relationship of brain development, learning, and the environment is emerging.
This model is particularly encouraging to inclusion of The Humanities and Liberal Arts education, in general, for higher education. It, therefore, becomes essential as a theoretical framework on which to build the importance of Humanities education in the new millennium.
Rick Garner (United States)
Assistant Professor of Art Education
Department of Visual Arts
Kennesaw State University
Dr. Garner has a background in clinical and educational applications of the visual arts. His primary research interests involve relationships between neuropsychology, graphic development, and disabilities. He has worked with both students and adults with disabilities. His latest work integrates practical application of neuro-constructivist theory with art education and rehabilitation.
(Virtual Presentation, English)