Professor Martin Westwell, Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century, gave an illuminating talk about Neuromyths to ASMS students, presenting evidence from neuroscience that challenged myths about learning.

Westwell’s approach was that regardless of how we gain information, our brains process the information the same way, so that the idea that there are different types of learners is not supported by neuroscientific evidence. He talked about some very recent research about the use of written text, and what helps learners engage with the texts. The research results indicate that letting readers read a text uninterrupted by talking or reading the text is most effective. Despite there being a lot of information about specific physical exercises helping learners to learn certain tasks, there is no neuroscientific evident to support this.

Westwell’s main messages to students were that they should resist all attempts to label themselves as specific sorts of learners, and that they should take charge of their learning environment so that they have the best conditions to support their learning.