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The Cognitive Benefits of Teaching

Female teacher explaining lesson to small group of students

A recent study revealed the cognitive advantages for teachers and other individuals engaged in careers demanding high cognitive and interpersonal skills.

Recently published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the study analyzed the health records and occupational data of a group of 7,000 Norwegians to disclose any correlation between career paths and the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. The findings revealed that those entrenched in routine jobs from their 30s to 60s faced a 66 percent higher risk of MCI and a 37 percent greater risk of dementia after reaching the age of 70 compared to those engaged in mentally stimulating jobs.

The study delineated between routine jobs such as factory workers, bookkeepers, and mail carriers that involve repetitive manual and mental tasks and cognitively demanding jobs such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, and teachers. These jobs involve creative thinking, analyzing information, problem-solving, explaining ideas to others, and mental demands such as coaching or motivating others.  

From creating innovative lesson plans to nurturing the intellectual curiosity of students, teachers are at the forefront of cognitive engagement. By routinely engaging in intellectually stimulating tasks, teachers fortify their cognitive resilience, laying the foundation for a healthier cognitive journey.

For more information on the topic, check out the recent CNN article Routine jobs raise the risk of cognitive decline by 66% and dementia by 37%, study says.

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Shannon Burns
Shannon Burns
HR Consultant

Shannon Burns joined HR Services in 2023 as an HR consultant. She has 22 years of experience in public school districts serving as an executive director of human resources, special programs coordinator, campus administrator, and teacher.

Burns earned her master’s degree from Texas A&M in Kingsville and her superintendent certificate from The University of Texas at Tyler.

HR Services

TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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