James Zull is a professor of Biology and also Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE); both of these at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Coupled, this explains Zull’s approach to his 2002 book, The Art of Changing the Brain – Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning.
Zull is a biologist with a keen interest in how the brain learns. At its simplest form, our brains produce electrical and chemical signals in the process of creating synapses, and the result of this process is physical change in the brain. Thus it follows, according to Zull, that:
Teaching is the art of changing the brain.
and this is done by “creating conditions that lead to change in a learner’s brain.”
Kolb’s cycle provided the Ah ha moment for Zull to make “this natural connection between brain structure and learning.” With the above chart as a basis, Zull spends the remainder of his book delving into the learning process/cycle. More on this in future posts.
For more about James Zull:
- James Zull in his own words – New Horizons for Learning article: What is “The Art of Changing the Brain?”, May, 2003
- SharpBrains interview with James Zull: An ape can do this. Can we not?, October 2006
- Director Emeritus of UCITE (University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University)
For more about David Kolb:
For more about UCITE:
This fascinates me because it is professional development by and for faculty, providing “services for faculty which will enhance student learning”.
- As part of this initiative they have a Learning and Teaching page filled with links about teaching methods, assessments, getting student feedback, dealing with controversy, general classroom issues, cooperative learning, experiential learning coupled with the learning cycle and learning styles, and using technology in teaching.
- Some of the services provided by UCITE , including assistance with presentation skills!