What do they mean...

5th December 2003 at 00:00
No, really, it's true. After the extraordinary success of the pilot project Be Nice To A Brain Day, held in an obscure part of the country that nobody cares about, this concept is now coming to Your School!

Brains, it seems, are rather like people in many ways. They respond to care, to warmth, to the feeling of being important to another brain. Brain bonding is now recognised as essential to the emotional well-being of brains, and much care is being given in toddlers' groups and nursery schools to brain interaction in a controlled non-threatening environment during those vital early years.

For those of us higher up the educational food chain, it is now no longer enough simply to present young brains with facts and figures: we have to break the ice first.

So, before telling the brains that Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar, indulge in a little inconsequential neuronal banter. Find out what they were thinking about last night; swap a few frontal lobe stories.

Be aware, though, that showing too much interest in the left cerebral hemisphere is considered rude in some brain cultures.

Always remember the cardinal rule: Know Your Brain.

Be careful, also, not to develop inappropriate relationships with brains.

What may start out as a bit of harmless neurotransmission can develop into a serious inflammation of a young brain's synapses.

To avoid misunderstandings, it is best never to be alone in skull with a brain of the opposite sex.

Seriously, though, all this nonsense isn't far from the truth. Apparently, lessons can be most effective when they have some relevance to pupils and their everyday lives.

Pupils can be encouraged to think for themselves. Sometimes they think the wrong things, but this can itself be part of the learning process. And so on, and so on.

Highlight any part of this that you didn't already know. (And don't get me started on The Thinking Classroom.) Alternatively, just tear it all up and pop into the teacher-friendly staff room for a nice cup of stomach-friendly coffee, preferably with a good dollop of something stronger. Now that really is brain-friendly.


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today