The Brains of the Classroom

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk’s and John Carnochan OBE’s videos by Education Scotland, empathise the need to create safe environments, to nurture and aid children to be able to deal with and contribute to society today.

Dr Zeedyk’s describes the neuroscience behind the brains development  and explains how easy it is for young people to cope with certain environments. Dr Zeedyk’s uses the example of domestic violence to illustrate how dangerous it can be for young people to adapt to these environments; if all a child sees, hears and experiences is violence, then it makes it appear normal which is a terrifying thought.

Carnochan also raises concern over the issue as he explains that young people who are in prison for domestic abuse are there because they are brought up in a “war zone”. If young people mimic what they experience during their childhood, it  will create a  continuous cycle of violence. This opens up the question: what can we do as professionals to disrupt and destroy this cycle?

My answer to the above, firstly, is for teachers to be up to date with how to identify and report safeguarding issues. Secondly, it is for teachers to create a safe environment that allows young people’s concerns to be raised. If babies’ brains are like blank slates, ready to be moulded and shaped to reflect their childhood, then teachers should be there to give them the tools to deal with all aspects of life. Providing a nurturing environment will not only earn respect and a close relationship between the teacher and pupil, but also with the rest of the class. In turn, this allows the children to learn about sharing, empathy, positive relationships and well-being.

Overall, I think it is important that practitioners educate and provide skills that enables children to recognise what is right or wrong- but more importantly- what they deserve. Although, aiding all these different brains can seem difficult as no one is the same, the varied backgrounds allow more experiences to be shared through the relationships formed in the caring environment supports this.

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