Connecting our Evolution to Classroom Learning

Brain Rules, by John Medina is a teaching tool, written to help the reader better understand the human brain. The author not only writes about how the brain works, but how the reader can maximize learning and minimize stress. He teaches the reader the 10 Minute Rule which describes how to best attract and keep an audience’s attention. “People don’t pay attention to boring things,” is one of his main ideas. 

Brain Rules offers the essentials to a productive and efficient life, teaching principles to help improve the workplace, the home, and how society functions as a whole. Medina’s working premise is: “If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle. And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over.”

Written a little like a children's chapter book, Brain Rules provides advanced concepts on the functioning of the brain. Organized and easy to follow, it focuses on twelve main principles each of which can be applied to everyday life. 

This is a great book for an attentive reader and provides opportunities to make connections from the first chapter to the last, connecting our evolution to how we learn in a classroom. The information is cumulative, and is a great tool for building a solid base to understand the human brain.

Medina organizes and teaches about the brain so that anyone can understand. I recommend this book for high schoolers and adults who want to know more about their minds and how to use them productively.