Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The truth about learning

A strange thing is happening-- I've been finding post topics faster than I've been posting (I've been limiting myself to one post per day, more or less). I anticipated the opposite problem. In any case, I'll be posting more often now in a Sisyphean effort to keep up.

But back to business:

Tom Stafford has a post up at Mind Hacks detailing the neurological effects of learning:
When you learn a new thing, or get a surprise, there is a shot of a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is famous among neuroscientists for its involvement in the reward and motivation systems of the brain.


The reason for this electro-chemical connection between learning and drugs of reward is that our brains have obviously been designed to find learning fun.

Personally, I think this lends credence to less authoritarian educational approaches, such as the Montessori method and unschooling. On the other hand, that could just be my libertarian bias.

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