BFA Students Explore Brain Science – Then and Now

Target 1. Student-Centered Learning – Students will engage in innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry and creativity for students.

Action Step Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

Book Phineas GageStudents in Emily Wills’ 7th Grade Language Arts class at BFA Fairfax have been reading the non-fiction text Phineas Gage:  A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science. This text follows Gage from his tragic accident while working on the Vermont railroad in 1848 (in which his tamping iron was shot through the frontal lobe of his brain) to his death eleven years later.

Gage was a key player in the early development of brain science. As a result of the accident Gage’s personality changed, though he was able to speak, walk, and function physically as he did before the accident. This led doctors to begin to question their previous understanding of how the brain worked.

Brain 2

On Monday in class, Mrs. Wills’ students donned swim caps and took turns drawing brains on each other’s heads.

Brain 1

Modern Understanding

An illustration of our modern understanding of the brain.

One half of the cap was done as phrenologists believed brains worked in the 1850’s, and the other half was done as scientists understand the brain to work now.

A depiction of the 1850's knowledge of the brain.

A depiction of the 1850’s knowledge of the brain.

Students were fascinated and intrigued to learn how brain research and science has changed over time. 

Examples of innovative learning opportunities at BFA, as well as other FWSU schools, are pushing our students to think creatively like never before. 

2 thoughts on “BFA Students Explore Brain Science – Then and Now

  1. too bad the kids didnt wear these brain maps for the rest of the day for the rest of us to see and applaude, what a great way to learn…


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