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A guest post by Tony Watson, CEO Alliance Leadership Group, LLC.

Albert Einstein was wrong . . . thankfully.

For all the unique scientific insights he brought to the world, Einstein was lauded for the most famous equation in history: E=mc2. But he erred in his assessment of the newly developed theories of quantum mechanics, denying in 1935 the existence of “quantum entanglement,” calling it “spooky actions at a distance.” His strong stance on this issue spurred immense activity amongst the world’s preeminent physicists, scientists, and mathematicians to challenge his alternative theory, causing them to “show up” in the arena to prove their positions. In 1965, they proved him wrong.

Today, 85 years after his rebuke, we find similar experts to Einstein’s challengers in the arena of learning sciences trying to communicate to the world that effective learning starts first with understanding how the brain works and then adapting our teaching and learning methods to optimize those human systems. They seek to synthesize the expertise developed in educational psychology (mind), neuroscience (brain), and educators’ experience (education) to create “MBE science.”

Harvard University created a master’s curriculum in MBE in 2001, and the International MBE Society was created in 2007. Around 2012, the element of health was added to the MBE concept, acknowledging that learning is indeed affected by such factors as sleep, hunger, home environment, physical condition, etc.

Today, MBEH science has the potential to impact all aspects of learning from childhood reading to military pilot training, as it enables educators (instructors) to recognize how to get desired outcomes into our brain’s long-term memory to enable the most important output: learning transfer, which is the ability to apply learning, knowledge, and skills to different contexts and situations. More on that next time.

Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) Tony Watson has extensive experience in training, nuclear engineering, and command of nuclear submarines at sea. He was Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy and received recognition as Black Engineer of the Year, Government.

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