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How can teachers become learning scientists, and why would this improve education? Teacher Development in Mind, Brain, and Education

Abstract: Many ask why the fields of Educational Neuroscience and Mind, Brain, and Education have not advanced more rapidly into professional development circles. Since the inception of Mind, Brain, and Education science in 2003 and the Society founding in 2007, thousands of teachers have participated in conferences like IMBES, Learning & the Brain, EARLI’s SIG 22 (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction’s Neuroscience and Education SIG), and AERA’s SIG 14 (the American Educational Research Association’s Brain, Neurosciences and Education SIG. Furthermore, leaders in these fields have called for shared knowledge of fundamental concepts that all teachers should know and be able to apply. What has slowed the pace of implementation? In this talk Dr. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa will share information from her recent research on “A New Science of Teaching” which explains the transdisciplinary research that has both provided better, high-quality information on the teaching-learning dynamic, as well as prevented the “quick and easy” implementation of the same. Additionally, she will share hundreds of peer-reviewed articles that support a handful of high-quality, evidence-based concepts she uses as readings in her Harvard course “Neuroscience of Learning: An Introduction to Mind, Brain, Health and Education” in hopes of reaching a consensus about knowledge that should be shared with all teachers in this international, transdisciplinary field. Finally, to end on a positive note, she will share a developmental timeline of Mind, Brain, (Health) and Education, which places the field in context, and a list of recommended readings to inspire the development of a new generation of translational scientists.

Speaker bio: Tracey teaches at Harvard College and the Harvard University Extension School, where her course, “The Neuroscience of Learning: An Introduction to Mind, Brain, Health and Education”, offers a transformative self-learning adventure. She is the co-founder of Conexiones: The Learning Sciences Platform, an Associate Editor of Nature Partner Journal Science of Learning, and a former member of the OECD expert panel to redefine Teachers’ New Pedagogical Knowledge thanks to contributions from Technology and Neuroscience. Tracey is the author of 12 books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles to improve teaching, expand transdisciplinary research, improve Mind, Brain, Health and Education, and to help students and teachers better understand their own brains. She has coordinated multiple international research projects and facilitates workshops for thousands of teachers each year. She has published with UNESCO; Columbia University Teachers College Press; W.W. Norton; Frontiers in Psychology; Frontiers in Education; Frontiers in Educational Leadership; Johns Hopkins’ Horizons; and the Mind, Brain, and Education journal, among others. Her most current work is with the Global Science of Learning Network; as Secretary of the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group on the Brain, Neurosciences, and Education; the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society; and the UNESCO Chair for Education and Neuroscience in Latin America. Her research focuses on the integration of Mind, Brain, and Education science into teachers’ daily practice and professional development; curriculum changes to enhance early math and pre-literacy skills; bilingualism and multilingualism, and the leveraging of technology to enhance learning outcomes.


February 8, 2024
4:00 pm
- 5:00 PM