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A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom
Updated Edition of Bestseller

A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom
Enhancing Cognitive and Social Development Through Collaborative Classroom Management

Second Edition

February 2003 | 192 pages | Corwin

Updated Edition of Best Seller!

Praise for the first edition:

"This is a book that should be required reading for students of education, teachers, and administrators. Dr. Sylwester provides the connecting link between research on the brain and the classroom. I would encourage educators to form book study groups to read, study, reflect, and apply what they find in this book."
Jerry Tollefson, Principal
Marquette Elementary School, Madison, WI

Explore how brain research improves student-teacher dynamics in the classroom!

Expanding on his immensely popular first edition, experienced author and professor Robert Sylwester presents an updated and expanded second edition on the latest biological research and applies it to student-teacher dynamics in the classroom.

Critical policies and practices discussed for helping educators improve their understanding of student development include:

  • Exploring beliefs of a democratic society in today's classrooms
  • Incorporating a biological/ecological perspective in classroom management
  • Shifting the focus from classroom management to student-teacher collaborations that improve classroom dynamics and develop social skills

Believing that students should experience as they learn, and teachers should observe, explore, and nurture their students, Robert Sylwester reveals the latest research on how the brain really works. Also available for use in conjunction with the book are a video and training guide to promote a deeper understanding of student-teacher dynamics in the classroom.

About the Author
1. The Cultural Foundations of Classroom Management
Democracy and Education  
21st-Century Challenges  
Collaborative Classroom Management  
2. The Biological Foundations of Classroom Management
Three Forms of Biological Inquiry  
Key Biological Concepts  
Cells and Classrooms  
3. The Marvelous Interdependent Bodybrain That Schools Seek to Manage
The Principal Brain Systems  
From Jungle to Classroom in Search of a Model  
4. Collaboratively Expending Energy: Who's In Charge?
Childbirth, Childhood, and Classrooms  
From Potential to Kinetic Energy  
Self-Esteem, Impulsivity, and Aggression  
Suggested Activities  
5. Collaboratively Managing Biological and Cultural Space
Mapping Cognitive, City, and Classroom Space  
How Many People Can You Stuff Into a Classroom?  
A Classroom Is a Created World Surrounded by a Leaky Wall  
Cauliflower in the Classroom  
Suggested Activities  
6. Collaboratively Managing Biological and Cultural Time
Life Span: Two Developmental Decades  
A Year's Curricular Time  
A Day in the Life  
Suggested Activities  
7. Collaboratively Managing Biological and Cultural Movement
Physical Movement  
Change as Psychological Movement  
Suggested Activities  
8. Collaboratively Managing Biological and Cultural Range
Biologically Possible Ranges  
Culturally Appropriate Ranges  
In the End  
References and Supplementary Readings

"Sylwester’s book offers research, theoretical perspectives, and suggested activities, all of which easily foster reflection on practices related to classroom management, this significant dimension of teaching."

Contemporary Psychology APA Review of Books, April 2003
Key features
  • Update of a Corwin best-seller
  • Full-time presenter with high-profile presence at conferences and in the journal literature.
  • Updates neuroscience research and research from educational psychology.
  • Pairs with the author's video on Collaborative Classroom Management

Sample Materials & Chapters


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ISBN: 9780761938118

For instructors