Educators Gathered on Campus for Educational Neuroscience Conference

by Katie Bradley | Nov 14, 2013

Three hundred attendees gathered at Marian University’s Educational Neuroscience Conference November 1-2. The conference, “Engage Your Brain—Improving Student Learning Through Neuroscience,” presented by the School of Education and Exercise Science, explored the importance of neuroscience within education and teaching.  

“Educational neuroscience equips educators with an understanding of the principles and strategies that teach to a child’s unique brain. When we tap into a student’s strengths, interests, passions, and learning profile, we sustain attention and engagement,” said Lori Desautals, Ph.D., assistant professor of education at Marian University.

Speakers included Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed., who shared her background as a neurologist and educator, speaking about how stress impacts the brain and how information is either filtered in or lost based on an individual’s mind state. During Saturday’s session, Stephanie Gottwald from Tufts University shared the neuro-diversity of learning with children and adolescents who have been identified with a specific learning challenge. Terry Small, B.Ed., a brain specialist from Vancouver, Canada, presented powerful research on how the brain affects our everyday lives.

“If the brain is the organ for learning, then why aren’t teachers brain experts? We now know through burgeoning research that learning is constructed in the mind based on students’ experiences. We have to be able to understand how a child ingests, manipulates, and retrieves information for there to be solid and emotional connection to learning,” said Desautels.

The School of Education and Exercise Science has already started planning next year’s conference.

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