"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Different Parts of the Brain


The brain is indeed a very complex system. The way it functions is likewise intricate. For example, when it comes to attention, neuroscientists consider the brain as having three modes: the task-positive network, the task-negative network, and an alert switch. The task-positive network is used when someone is focused and engaged on a particular activity while the task-negative network is associated with day dreaming. These two networks apparently cannot work simultaneously. A brain is either focused or wandering, but it can switch from one network to the other. The alert-switch prioritizes. This switch can also impede the other two networks. Just imagine sitting in front of a computer, writing a report or balancing a sheet, and a message comes up saying that you have a new message on your email or Facebook.

Inside the classroom, of course, we would want a child's brain to be on a task-positive network. In fact, it would be nice if we are all on task-positive network, fully engaged and conscious, making the most of the central executive part of our brain. But day dreaming may in fact be the place where innovations spring. It may just be the network responsible for our creativity. We also know that there are limits to the task-positive network. We all do need a break.

Along this line, this blog will take a real vacation. I am sure that there are various posts on this blog that still remain to be read and understood.


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