The Power of Dopamine
Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter. Understanding the role neurotransmitters play in the learning process can create a powerful teaching tool.
- Neurotransmitters associated with experiences with high emotional tags are memory fixatives.
- The brain makes its own rewards, and they are more powerful than anything tangible. Don't think that the only way to foster the release of dopamine is through extrinsic reward. When kids have a positive learning experience, they will come back, wanting more without extrinsic rewards. The good feelings associated with learning something IS the reward. By committing to this way of thinking, you will help students foster and strengthen natural intrinsic motivation.
- Pair content with movement, games, humor, emotion, skits, props, puppets, stuffed animals, music, rhyme, dance, celebration, emotion, controversy, poems, social interactions, and funny voices. Be creative and have fun with it. You may just get a little shot of dopamine yourself - helping you to remember and do that again sometime!
How can learning experiences be designed to engage students and create the release of dopamine to "fix" memories?