John Medina makes no mystery of the 12 Rules. He has them listed on the back cover of the book. At first glance they look a little simplistic:
Exercise — Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power
Survival — Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too
Wiring — Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently
Attention — Rule #4: We don’t pay attention to boring things
Short-term memory — Rule #5: Repeat to remember
Long-term memory — Rule #6: Remember to repeat
Sleep — Rule #7 Sleep well, think well
Stress — Rule #8 Stressed brains don’t learn the same way
Sensory integration — Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses
Vision — Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses
Gender — Rule #11: Male and female brains are different
Exploration — Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers
More to it than meets the eye — For someone like me who has done a lot of reading on brain research these statements seem simplistic, but the book is more complicated than these statements let on. The book is actually not as easy a read as I anticipated, and it’s full of lots of good research citations.
Two caveats — The only aspect of the book that I don’t like is the “application” section he has at the end of each chapter where he tries to be practical and give advice for schools and students based on the research in that chapter. I think these sections are weak, and detract from the book, but that’s a small complaint. The other caveat to keep in mind has to do with Rule #11 on gender. Lisa Eliot has a new book out (which I plan to review also) called Pink Brain, Blue Brain, where she covers the research that shows that male and female brains aren’t exactly different, although hormones make them temporarily different.
I recommend John Medina’s book. I think most people will find it a very interesting read.
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