The interest in building bridges between neuroscience and education has proliferated in recent years. The scientific community and the teaching staff are enthusiastic about the great opportunity that can result from this connection for the improvement of teaching. Thanks to this connection, it is po
The interest in building bridges between neuroscience and education has proliferated in recent years. The scientific community and the teaching staff are enthusiastic about the great opportunity that can result from this connection for the improvement of teaching.
Thanks to this connection, it is possible to approximate the knowledge and forms of scientific knowledge to teachers, so that they can reach their students and help them to make their learning more effective. One of these programs that improves the child's learning is the HERAT program.
What is the HERAT program to improve the child's learning
One of the most well-known programs that have appeared in Spain from this neuroscience-based current is called HERAT. It is a program that has been designed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Community of Madrid in collaboration with neuroscientists at the Complutense University of Madrid.
This stimulation program for the child aims to introduce functional neuroscience in the educational and school environment to:
- Accelerate the pedagogical processes and improve the academic performance of the students.
- Detect the capacities of children from a very early age.
- Adjust the educational response to the needs of the students themselves.
- Improve cooperation between parents, teachers and neuroscientists.
How the HERAT program is developed
The HERAT program to improve the child's learning and stimulation of neurological processes is aimed at students from 3 years to 12 years of age. This program is based on 5 pillars, which come from the acronyms of their own name. These are:
- H. Hydration. Neuroscience shows that if the brain is well hydrated, better levels of attention are achieved and, therefore, fewer errors are committed. Therefore, children will be encouraged to drink water frequently.
- E. Balance. When performing balance exercises, the areas involved in motor and attentional control are activated, that is, the neuronal connections are improved. For example: walk on tiptoe, jump to the lame leg, walk on a line and stomping with heel-toe or place one foot on top of the other and try to maintain balance, among others.
- R. Breathing. Do deep and continuous breathing exercises to find a state of balance between relaxation and excitement, allow the student to reach an optimal level of activation for the realization of subsequent activities.
- A. Auditory. Thanks to the auditory attention activities, the areas responsible for the processes that optimize learning in this way are activated. For example, use auditory attention cards.
- T. Touch. These activities are the most effective at the attention level, since they stimulate the most specific areas of the brain responsible for executive control. For example, draw on a surface with your finger.
The program consists of carrying out a routine of exercises such as those mentioned at different times during the school day in 3 half-minute sessions. For example, before starting classes, after break from recess, and after lunch. Thanks to this, the following 15 minutes are of maximum attention.
The collaboration of the families is important since one more application must be done at home. To guarantee the maintenance of the connections formed during the training, it is necessary to do it on weekends and during the holiday periods.
What resources are needed to carry out the HERAT program
One of the strengths of the HERAT program is that many materials are not needed to carry it out. In terms of human resources, adequate training of teachers and families will be necessary through training sessions and seminars. As for material resources, optionally you can use the computer, the projector, a music player, a blackboard, or activity cards if exercises are not known.
It will be important to provide the parents with the exercises, the activity cards or any material that is used with the corresponding demonstrative explanation of how it is carried out in order to carry out the activity correctly at times when the child is not in school .