About this Research Topic
Recent years have seen a growing interest in the brain and neuroscience-related knowledge, both among laypeople and those working in critical areas such as health and education. The last decades have also seen an explosion in mass-produced information, as well as the advent of the infamous fake news. In Latin American countries, the search for (and almost parallel supply of) neuroscience-related courses has grown exponentially, but the rate at which this has happened almost guarantees that quality does not match quantity. Another area of rapid growth, especially in North America and Europe, has been the industry of brain-based products, mostly pseudoscientific endeavors that target parents, teachers, schools, and even local governments.
Why is this so important? Neuroscience knowledge – but more importantly – the critical thinking and research skills required to search for and comprehend primary information sources, can help the layperson make the right decision regarding their own health and well-being. For people in the health industry, it can mean offering the right treatment for their patients. For people in journalism and communication, this can mean translating scientific findings to a lay audience in an easy to understand and accurate way. Finally, for people in education, it can mean properly guiding and preparing generations to come, as well as contributing to the proper allocation of resources.
Studies conducted in several countries converge on the finding that neuroscience-related knowledge is generally poor among people in all fields, including educators, and in some studies in Europe and South America, it was even observed that heighted interest in neuroscience and even exposure to some short introductory courses actually predicts (paradoxically) a greater belief in neuromyths, combined with an inability to judge information as being real or pseudoscientific. It seems that simply adding quick neuroscience courses to education curricula or in other fields may not be enough to remedy the problem.
The solution may lie in a combination of methods, including courses that specifically cover field- related neuromyths and provide skills that go beyond the content taught, as well as regular, consistent training and access to reliable sources of information. More importantly, this effort requires that neuroscience educators communicate effectively with professionals in various disciplines, including psychologists, health professionals, and educators in other fields.
Thus, with this special topic we hope to join forces with researchers and other professionals who have studied these matters on different continents and can contribute with original articles or opinion pieces to come up with ways of best addressing the effectiveness of neuroscience education across international locations, each with its own local strengths and limitations. Ideally, we could form an international team that would work together on these issues to create something bigger than the sum of its parts.
Keywords: neuroscience, neuroeducation, education, multiprofessional, teaching
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.