Date of Award
PHD - Doctor of Philosophy
Prof. Susan Rauchwerk
Prof. David Morimoto
Prof. Carina Pamela Curto
What is the link between neuroscience and education? Can one measure the phenomenon of learning and make predictions by charting student performance? How does the knowledge of neuroscience inform educators to objectively and effectively meet the unique needs of all learners and address discrepancies in subsets of student population? Questions like these led the way to examining quantitative summative performance assessment data obtained from two large and diverse urban school districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This interdisciplinary study is an empirical mixed methods inquiry that includes extensive quantitative analysis of existing public school data which is further analyzed using a qualitative neuroscience lens developed by synthesizing recent neuroscience research on topics such as cognition, neural synchronization, childhood anxiety, and understanding high IQ students through an integrative literature review. Neuroscience is the radiant light crucial for informing educational policies and practices that actively provide and improve training for teachers and staff, develop meaningful pedagogy and measures for assessing students, and build effective bridges between home and school by educating all stakeholders. In this empirical examination, emerging themes of longitudinal growth in performance and performance score variance in terms of gender and economic status highlighted connections that are explained in the language of neuroscience as applied to the field of education while identifying and defining neuromyths. Ultimately, this analysis revealed findings such as the predictability power of performance assessment scores beyond their current utilization and identified performance discrepancies in the two subsets of gender and economically disadvantaged students. This research connects the two fields of neuroscience and education and provides a comprehensive framework, suggesting newly informed and neuromyth-free methods in teaching and learning that are commensurate with students’ natural ways of learning. This is an invitation to engage in an innovative neuroscience- informed design and structure that provides educators and parents with competent preventive and intervention strategies towards creating healthy ecosystems aligned with the most recent research in neurobiology, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience.
Number of Pages
Taraz, Hengameh (Heny) M., "Lighting Neural Maps: Using a Neuroscience Lens to Examine Quantitative Performance from Urban Districts" (2023). Educational Studies Dissertations. 197.
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