Learn Think Do
  To gain a greater understanding of the learning process, it is a worthwhile investment to consider how the human brain works. With this knowledge, we can make informed decisions based on how we learn think do in conjunction with best practices.

The Sensory System quickly gathers all input that enters the human brain and body – most are discarded immediately. Our capacity to learn is largely determined by the level of our conscious attention to our senses. The more we are aware of what we see, smell, taste, hear, touch, or gather from the tone or mood of a situation, the more likely we will process information on a thoughtful level. If a sensory input is perceived to be interesting, offers purposeful application, conveys personal meaning, or spikes our curiosity with novelty, the more likely we will choose to attend and engage in a learning process.

Innovative learning outcomes are more likely to occur when humans explore authentic (self-generated) ways to transfer new ideas and feelings to other and varied circumstances.

An Introduction to Sensory Integration and How We Learn  We as humans, spend every moment of our waking hours receiving input via our sensory system. Our brain interacts with the senses to regulate the quality and the quantity of the information we process. 

The most current brain based learning research tells us that 99% of the input we receive is discarded, leaving only 1% to hold onto in our short-term memory. In order to attend to our work, activity, or interaction, we learn over time to tune out extra stimuli and only respond to select information. Of the information we deem important, our working memory is responsible to decide how to act or react within 20 seconds, assuming we are juggling about seven items or less. From there we tap into our long-term memory to connect with existing knowledge and past experiences.

The Problem  Imagine what a learner experiences on a daily basis if their sensory system and brain are not providing them the proper input to regulate the quality or quantity of the information they are learning.

Cognitive Engagement  Designing a cognitive engagement plan is essential to the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective learning experiences. Dr. Betty Garner has developed a human-centered and learner-directed design model of instructional flow that has used it with learners of all ages.

Explore  Learners notice, experience, and gather sensory input.

Describe  Learners begin cognitive processing by making connections with prior knowledge.

Explain  Facilitator clarifies and builds on learner descriptions, introduces new materials, concepts, and asks students what sense they are making of it all and expand their processing.

Demonstrate  Learners share evidence of learning outcomes by analyzing and integrating information and applying their understandings.

Evaluate  Learners and facilitator reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the learning experience, how it could be improved, and what questions come to mind as a result of the experience.