Neuroscience is required to improve learning.

November 30, 2023       C-WORTHY CORPORATION

Read More

Source-book: Schmoker, M. (2011) Focus: Evaluating the Essentials To Improve Student Learning Radically. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Welcome Blog visitors. Those readers who have viewed previous Blogs here have some awareness of the need for a robust student evaluation system. When you purchase the Study Script at, you will receive various teacher-level and student-level performance metrics. Neuroscience provides a standard of measurement of the performance of the learners.

Within the Study Script exists the standards for success (“habits of mind”) of David Conley, the “anticipatory set” of Madeline Hunter, and Marilyn Burns’s “planned steps” in which the teacher models learning. While these experts never mention neuroscience in the strategies for learning, such intuition predated modern neuroscience brain involvement in how a person learns. Most curriculums are only interested in WHAT one learns, not HOW we learn.

What is so important about those three experts’ intuition?

Mike Schmoker, in discussing Conley’s four intellectual standards, said, “Some might prefer to adjust the language of the four standards or blend them with something like Bloom’s taxonomy. Fine. But something close to this short, powerful list could be a worthy and effective guide to studies in any discipline” (p. 39). A taxonomy occurs when one purchases the Study Script.

Schmoker (p. 59), following Robert Marzano, crediting Madeline Hunter’s influence, “Between chunks–at strategic stopping points during the lesson—the effective teacher gathers feedback on learning and processes it immediately; this same-day information determines how much additional explanation is needed in the next step of the lesson.” The chunks in the Study Script’s Embedded Formative Assessment provide the next steps.

Schmoker adds, But for all their value, these components are not routine at all. As Marzano notes, “Teachers tend not to design and implement “these simple features into their lessons” even though the resources and materials are readily available. (pp. 59-60). The Study Script makes all these readily available.

In response to Marilyn Burns: “But note Dylan Wiliam’s (2007) happy calculation that if we merely implemented the elements of effective lessons routinely, the United States would move up into the top five in international rankings in math” (p. 58). The Teacher Packet and Student Packet include Bloom’s Taxonomy applied to Marilyn Burn’s planned steps.

In a section of the Focus text, Schmoker makes the point, “Because the payoff isn’t in knowing these components; the payoff comes from actually doing them. What would happen if we did design and implement this simple, universally affirmed structure into our lessons? I’ll say it again:  We would make educational history.”

Welcome to the Memtrix J-LAGG Simulator. Here is an example of Marilyn Burn’s planned steps.


Recall- Remember   CHECK FOR CLARITY   Did the learners read the assignment? Can they read?

Identify – Recognize  CHECK FOR ACCURACY    Did they find Key Concepts in the assignment?

Describe – Interpret  ADD “HABITS OF MIND” WHO-WHOM-WHAT

Solve – Prove         ADD FACTS – When-Where-Why-Which


Student learners are unaware of the formative assessment until the teacher informs them. Learners must complete a dozen Study Scripts before exploring the formative assessment. 

Following this advice prevents the overload principle.

The Teacher’s Packet and Student’s Packet provide the entire Formative Assessment when purchased at RUBRICS and TEACHER INTERVENTIONS are added to the sample above.

Whole Brain Teaching and Learning seldom exists in Teacher Education today.

“In the actual curriculum, what an average child learns, in the same course and in the same school, varies tremendously from teacher to teacher; what you learn depends on what teacher you have.(Schmoker, p. 13, 2011)

That is not true with whole-brain teaching and learning! According to Biffle (2013), “Whole Brain Teaching is a set of strategies that combines the best attributes of Direct Instruction and Cooperative Learning to create an engaging classroom environment for students and an enjoyable workday for teachers. WBT combines classroom management and sound teaching pedagogy in one system” (pp. 178-179)

I have borrowed a conceptual framework from Christof Koch’s work, The Quest For Consciousness, A Neurobiological Approach (2004): “How meaning arises from electrical activity in the vast neural networks making up the brain remains a deep mystery (p. 2). Koch (p.323)” Because the planning parts of the brain are located on the frontal lobe, the NCC must have direct access to these brain regions.”

I take the liberty of labeling the Production Rules ncc; Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness. In other words, the “production rules” are not automatically long-term until reviewed often enough to become habits of the mind. Using the Study Script for review tends to develop structural (long-term) memories.

In his text, The Learning Brain (2018), Thad Polk states, “People with greater working memory capacity tend to perform better in a wide range of cognitive tests such as reading comprehension, reasoning, and standardized tests.  In addition, working memory capacity is one of the best predictors of performance on IQ tests” (p. 170).

When a neuroscientist observes a formative assessment, they would conclude that the teacher monitor helps by turning on the intracellular signaling pathways to learning. This plasticity is the predicate of learning. Team members in whole-brain learning can also monitor each other. The Study Script design turns on the intracellular signaling pathways to learning.

Thank you for visiting the Blog Post. Additional information on Whole Brain Teaching and Learnings is scheduled soon.