Helping Children

Some Topics

Behavior and Learning

A genius is built into every human brain. We are all benefactors of a long lineage of survivors who have made the journey of life on planet earth. The abilities built into us are wonders. Vision, hearing, skilled movements, social interactions are innate wonders. The more you consider and study these innate abilities, the more wonderful they become. The genius modules are gifts and require no effort and no formal education to use.

The catch is that to become a happy, useful modern human, you have to learn the right things and make a sustained effort to do well. Some of the systems in our brain that steer the genius modules towards human desires and goals are newer, more variable, less reliable and prone to error. These newer systems require declarative and procedural learning and are dependent on memory.

Learning is dependent on the availability of innate programs that organize and support the acquisition of skills and knowledge.  Intelligence can be equated with the ability to learn. The ability to learn can be equated to the construction of the brain and to the ongoing chemistry of life.

Learning modifies brain structure and function. A biological view regards mental states and behavior as products of brain function. Teaching is an intentional effort to constructively alter the brain function of students in a lasting fashion. While information is the pedagogical input to the student's brain, food and air may be regarded as the main input of chemical information into the student's body-brain system.

I instructed my young patients with above average IQs who were not learning well that they were somewhat like a shiny new car with a turbo-charged engine, but someone put the wrong gas in their tank and now we are disappointed with their performance. You could get a badly constructed car and be disappointed or you could be dealing with the wrong gas -- in technical terms, the food supply and environment that determines how well the child's brain is going to work.