As the son of a former high school English teacher, I am always keen to hear the latest policies, theories, and research in education. One of the most fascinating areas of research in education is its intersection with neuroscience. As our understanding of the brain changes, our theories on teaching have changed as well. However, this change is often delayed because information does not flow easily from the neuroscience lab to the classroom.
Learning and the Brain has been building that bridge through conferences, institutes, and seminars that bring together educators and neuroscientists. The conferences always cover different themes; the upcoming one, Nov. 16-18 in Boston, is titled, “Educating Diverse Minds: Using Individual Brain Differences to Teach and Reach All Learners.” One of the biggest challenges for teachers is figuring out how to reach all of their students. No two brains are exactly alike, and no two students’ learning processes are exactly alike either. Neuroscientists, including Dana Alliance member and Dana Press author Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., will discuss how factors like genes, personal experience, adversity, poverty, parenting, and previous education can influence the ways students learn and what these differences mean for educators.
The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives is a co-sponsor of the Learning and the Brain conference. In November, we are sponsoring the Friday reception and will have an information table at the conference with free materials, including our ever-popular squeezy brains. If you are an educator, you should consider registering for this conference. If you do, please stop by our table, say hello, and grab some free squeezy brains—before they’re all gone!