Breakthrough research first conducted in the 1970s has shown that limitations in the brain?s capacity to acquire new knowledge can be reversed through proper scientific application. In what has become known as the concept of brain plasticity, scientists proved that the application of specific, targeted learning paradigms can change the activity patterns of neurons, which are the fundamental processing elements of the brain.
The old model of learning held that the vast majority of the brain?s functioning was established during the critical period of the first few years of life. By the time a child entered school, his or her brain was already seen as ?hardwired? for learning, for better or worse. The most that a teacher could do was work within the limits already prescribed by that child?s genetic allotment and early cognitive development. Since no new capacity for learning was assumed possible, intervention for struggling students was targeted towards helping them compensate for what were considered lifelong deficiencies. This view of the brain is now known to be incorrect. We know today that the brain is continuously modifiable. This realisation has opened the door for novel approaches to facilitate learning for students of all aptitudes.