Teaching with "the brain in mind" utilizes knowledge gleaned from neuroscience to give educators tools that allow the fundamental process of neuroplasticity-how the brain changes in response to experience-to guide their ways of engaging with students to optimize learning.For example, by viewing the mind as a "self-organizing, embodied, and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information," teachers can harness the power of integration-the linkage of differentiated parts-to help create optimal regulation in their students' skill sets. This includes teaching students to monitor energy and information flow with more stability so they can perceive with more focus, depth, and detail and then modify that flow in a way to promote integration. Regulation toward integration is the basis for resilience and flexibility.
How you promote an integrated brain is how you help to cultivate traits in a child of resilience, flexibility, curiosity, empathy, compassion, and insight.An integrated brain is what research has shown is the best predictor of well-being, and this Whole-Brain Child approach helps a child to flourish and thrive as it promotes integration neurally and interpersonally. Teachers learning this approach can help create a "generative social field" that, from an IPNB perspective, is one that is integrative in that it supports differentiation and linkage within the classroom environment.
When these are the constructive or "positive" emotions associated with awe, gratitude, joy, love, connection, and compassion, we see that integration is enhanced and healing cultivated.We evolved to be collaborative, connected creatures, story-telling social beings who evolved to work together. Yet much of what modern culture promotes is against these connecting emotional experiences, and teachers can work to intentionally create such a collaborative culture within the classroom.
Consciousness permits choice and change to unfold.When we work directly with ourselves as educators, we can expand our access to the knowing aspect of consciousness-of being aware. We can also teach students directly how to become more engaged in their education, and in their lives, by giving them the strength of "integrating consciousness"-of distinguishing the being of aware of knowing from that which we are aware of, the knowns. In this integration, we empower students to be more insightful and more empathic.