What Does Enrichment Mean? (page 4)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Jan 12, 2011

Sufficient Time

With the exceptions of trauma and surgery, significant changes almost never happen in the brain in an instant or even overnight. Why? Most change is the result of large-scale aggregates made up of millions of molecules and cells responding to environmental input. Both behaviors and learning create changes in the brain. To make the changes happen, we use up resources, including glucose, which needs to be replenished. Brains also need time to recycle proteins, which are used to create new connections between brain cells. All of the learning processes require resources, and that takes time. New connections are being formed within fifteen minutes of new learning, but it takes from one to six hours to solidify the new learning. Smart policymakers give students enough time for transition between classes and enough time for lunch. Many teachers complain of overwhelming numbers of school announcements that eat into instructional time. That's why we must consolidate them, keep them restricted to the minimum, and give enough time for teachers to do what they do best—ignite learning!

Exhibit 7.2. Suggestions for Healthy Nutrition.

Sufficient Time

  • Nibbling diets (manage glucose levels)
  • Available water
  • Healthy snacks
  • Five essential brain nutrients:
    1. Protein (early in the day is best)
    2. Minerals (c-m-s-z)
    3. Complex carbohydrates
    4. Vitamins (B, E, C, A)
    5. Essential fatty acids

Recommendation: Students need time to develop their interests, talents, skills, and passions. They need a daily schedule with time to reflect, socialize, and review. They need homework that asks them to solidify already learned material, not figure out new concepts. Finally, they need some options in the speed at which they proceed through school. Most important, policymakers have to make the commitment to long-term change. This is no quick fix for a few weeks to get test scores up. It's a commitment to optimize human potential throughout the schooling process, from day one to graduation.

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