The book Attachment-based Teaching by Louis Cozolino focuses on the importance of the social connection in the classroom. The amount of learning that takes place is related to the attachment of the teacher and peers. These important relationships help motivate students and make them more secure so that they are motivated to learn. I learned the importance of teacher and student rapport and that creating a supportive environment is essential for a successful classroom. This book helped me theorize the creation of attachment-based classrooms and to understand brain development. A classroom functions as a tribe where every student prospers with love and care of a teacher that provides that secure attachment. Student’s brains are always changing and shaping with the new information that they obtain. This book also helped me view the importance of play and storytelling in the classroom and that telling stories can help teachers reach students at a different level.
I also took away the factors important to creating secure relationships. I learned that the time used in the classroom together should be used in ways that show more personal and emotionally engaging. Familiarity is also an important factor when creating relationships. Teachers should be in continuous contact with the students by sharing about themselves to make them feel more connected. Caring for the students can look various ways. For example, sharing responsibility and helping each other accomplish a goal are ways that affection could be shown in the classroom. Another aspect that I can use in my teaching is creating a strong bond between the students. This can be by cooperation, trust and compassion that are shown when a difficult task is at hand. Cozolino helped me to understand the importance of creating a deeper connection to students.
Analysis: Cozolino breaks up the book into four major sections; the social brain, turning brains off to learning, turning brains on to learning and social instincts. The first section focuses on four major principles; tribes, secure attachment, neuroplasticity and work-arounds. Cozolino discusses the importance of a tribe, which is a group that is tied together by shared time, familiarity, affection and a common purpose. Being involved in a tribe increases a chance of survival together rather than alone. Secure attachment refers to the ability to be soothed by others. This in turn optimizes the ability to learn for the students that create this relationship. Neuroplasticity is when the nervous system changes in response to the environment. Cozolino discusses work-arounds as a strategy that uses small groups to provide secure attachment in large settings. Discussing the social brain, Cozolino brings up that our drive to belong is a fundamental human instinct. We as people need others to help us feel safe and show interest in who we are. Another concept of the social brain focuses on epigenetics, which is that we inherit a specific set of genes but that we may not express these genes until we experience a certain event. The next section refers to the need for there to be balance and support, stress and relaxation in order for successful teaching. The brain learns through two channels; the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is a region in the brain that either signals the experience as something positive or negative and then starts learning. The hippocampus is a region that stores information in short term memory and then transfers to long term eventually. Cozolino also discusses that when we focus on teaching and not on shame we risk not meeting our students needs. We all struggle to be accepted and respected in the classroom. Bullying by students and teacher becoming burned out have a negative effect on the social construction of the classroom. This can result in emotional and physical pain. The third section discusses turning