The Human Nervous System: A Framework for Teaching and the Teaching Brain


Address correspondence to Vanessa Rodriguez, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Room 213, Cambridge, MA 02138; e-mail:


The teaching brain is a new concept that mirrors the complex, dynamic, and context-dependent nature of the learning brain. In this article, I use the structure of the human nervous system and its sensing, processing, and responding components as a framework for a re-conceptualized teaching system. This teaching system is capable of responses on an instinctual level (e.g., spinal cord teaching) as well as higher order student-centered teaching and even more complex teaching brain teaching. At the most complex level the teacher and student engage in a synchronistic teaching flow that achieves the optimal teaching and learning experience.