Guide On The Side or Sage On The Stage?

IMG_0497What does it mean to offer education from a brain-based approach?

Firstly, let us start with outer brain structure and its role in how we learn. The outer part of the brain, or newer part called the cerebral cortex, has three big areas that light up during experiential learning. These function to sense, integrate and engage our bodies in movement.

  1. Sensing environmental stimuli.
  2. Summation of these sensations into a comprehensive understanding (integration)
  3. Creation of applicable actions for our bodies.

According to David Kolb, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, learning starts with students engaging in a concrete experience.

As an educator within a classroom, or at home with my own children, imparting my knowledge on them does not result in deep learning. Having children (and adults) engage in their own experiences, however, fosters a cycle of learning far beyond what an educator can suggest one study and learn.

He also states, whole learning requires one other aspect often missed, omitted or not even considered in educational settings.


ReflectionHow is this learning meaningful for my life? The important point here is relevancy. My life!

Even kindergarten students can reflect on how a particular learning session was meaningful for them. Reflection can be accomplished through journal, sketch, colour on paper or dance. We are somatic beings! It is also helpful to invite verbalization of one’s experience and what it means to their personal life.

Make education meaningful

As educators and parents I invite us all to embody being the guide on the side rather than the sage on the stage.