Educators have long known that experiencing something new enhances learning. Now scientists have shown that novel situations stimulate the dopamine system in the brain. And when novelty gets the brain’s dopamine system working, that accelerates learning.
Many people think of dopamine as the brain’s reward chemical, and dopamine is involved in feeling rewarded. But dopamine is also an essential part of learning, particularly something called associative learning. Associative learning refers to our ability to learn causal relationships. That is, associative learning is at play when we learn which of our actions produce positive outcomes and which actions result in negative outcomes.
Let’s all get our students learning faster by giving them something new today!
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