Let me count the ways:
– You are integral in the formation of long term memories.
-You help to coordinate spatial memory.
-You integrate emotions and learning.
-You connect auditory sounds with memory.
Learning means to understand material and in such a way that you can remember it and apply it to new situations. This is impossible without the hippocampus! Here’s the thing… The hippocampus does not mature until around the age of 14. This means that our middle school students are trying to learn without a mature hippocampus! Dude…bummer.
As teachers, we take this into account by using the tools of repetition. Quick reviews at the start of class; asking similar questions several times; and keeping the energy of the classroom upbeat in order to tie in a positive emotional response. We can also use music as a memory tool. If students listen to the same instrumental music while learning a topic, they can then listen to that same music during an assessment and have a higher chance of remembering material!
Hippocampus for the win!