How in heaven’s name does someone BUILD A BRAIN! Please allow me to explain. In the late 1990’s, I was watching a webinar about teaching for intelligence. This very idea was counter to all I had been taught in college. Of course, intelligence is fixed - determined by the genes and early childhood. It can’t be “taught” or so I thought. But one man on the panel of child experts disagreed with everyone else. I saw his name was Reuven Feuerstein and he changed my life!
Dr. Jeanne Zehr
Yes, there are times we have to do tough things and our brain can help us by not giving up, by not blocking, by not throwing in the towel. Don’t ever, ever, give up! Or when do we decide to just stop? That, my friend, requires a bit of wisdom!
It sounds more complicated than it really is. Can my brain make connections between two ideas that might not seem obvious at first? Of course, it can. You are projecting virtual relationships. Keep it up! It’s another important brain builder!
When the brain can consider a new perspective, life will be so much easier! When stuck in an ego-centric view, it makes for difficult communication! Add this power tool to your Build-a-Brain list of must haves!
Sometimes life is so overwhelming the brain cannot see relationships between cause and effect. We might be living episodically, just moment to moment. Also known as “survival mode” it is not a good place to stay. Learn tips for developing this critically important thinking skill.
Life is full of complicated tasks to accomplish, whether you are five years old or fifty years old. Problem solving requires holding onto several of pieces of information and working with them. This is foundational to good executive functioning in school, in life, and on the job!
This power tool for the brain has been deemed one the most important thinking skills. If we cannot recognize similarities and differences wisely, we will make poor decisions.
Knowing in the moment what is important and what is not important is vital for good thinking! Join Dr. Zehr as she explores one of her personally favorite thinking skills!
Problem, what problem? In this episode we discuss how the brain has to recognize there is a dilemma before it can problem solve for it. It could be a big problem or just a small one. Either way, it needs defined!
Learning new vocabulary is important or we might get tricked by someone who knows more or bigger words. This power tool for the mind is a definite brain builder!
Have you ever looked frantically for your keys or phone? We all have! In this episode learn how important it is that we model careful searching for lost items or information.
The brain cannot learn if it is not focused and perceiving, using the senses. This podcast will review easy strategies for achieving and maintaining focus.
Join Dr. Jeanne Zehr for an introduction to 28 specific thinking skills necessary for all learning, thinking, and even in the workplace! These cognitive abilities were first recognized and organized into three phases by Prof. Reueven Feuerstein, and Israeli psychologist and the person from whom Dr. Zehr learned.
I went on to pursue training in the Feuerstein method every summer until 6 years later, 2004, I was a trainer for the Feuerstein Institute in Israel. By 2008 I was traveling internationally to train in the method and have visited 12 countries in the process.
I have seen hundreds of children and adults who have experienced a life transformation. I am a Christian, though rest easy, I will not preach at you! However, there is a stunning quote from a guy named Paul who said, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” You can read this in Romans 12:2 if you care to look it up.
Reuven described our psychological networks in a theory that was ahead of its time called “Structural Cognitive Modifiability.” Our learning and thinking structures are cohesive (they network), are transformative (they can change), and they can self-perpetuate (they carry on without prompting). This should ring a bell for you as this also describes neuroplasticity, the science of how the brain can change, for the better (or sadly - for the worse). How does this happen? By neurons adding dendrites to make new networks and the really good news is that can happen at any age. So we can literally build our brain - dendrite by dendrite - block by block - thought by thought! My analogy to using building blocks, omnipresent in most homes with children, is simple and straight forward. Feuerstein provided an analysis of thinking and learning with 28 cognitive functions. Consider the heavy lifting required of learning to read, how to do algebra, or a new software at work, especially if it is brand new to your brain. You will have to use some extensive mental operations, many of which were identified by Jean Piaget, like analysis and synthesis, deduction and induction, etc. Reuven recognized that these operations also required cog wheels of thinking to operate well and gave the world the cognitive functions, a beautiful organization of 28 little cog wheels of thinking. They are beautifully simple, yet profound.
“On this podcast, we are going to explore these 28 thinking skills that are the building blocks of thinking, learning, and living! Acquire these and you can move up in your job, move faster in school, move more confidently through life.”
So this podcast is for those of you who are members of the human race - a parent, a teacher, a leader, a mentor, a youth pastor, a teenager.
A few years ago I had the honor of meeting some wonderful people who have helped me in the journey of logo design, website development, and podcasting! So to Sarah, Nate, and Kibwe - thank you! This podcast only exists because I met all of you!
I hope you will subscribe and join me every week to build your brain, or of someone you love - one dendrite at a time, one block at a time, one thought at a time!