Twice a year, in November and April, the Learning & the Brain conference takes place in Cambridge, MA (though last year a session was held in California and it looks like there will be an international conference in Texas in early November). I have been to two prior conferences, attending only the pre-conference workshops.
The conference intrigues me, as the aim is to share the latest research in how our brains function and suggest practical applications of this research for use with children and young adults.
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, in April 2005, presented An Introduction to the Brain and Neurosciences for Educators and Clinicians as a pre-conference workshop. I gobbled up her interactive lecture, racing to write down everything she said (so much for note-taking strategies 😉 ) and reviewing my notes multiple times over the next few years. This was my first “class” on the brain and it whetted my appetite.
Mary-Helen received some of her training at Harvard, where the Graduate School of Education has the Mind, Brain and Education master’s program. This is the program I refer to in the About section of this blog. One of the courses in this program is Todd Rose’s Brain 101, and oh would I love to sit in on this class!
A year later I gobbled up the practical information shared by Kimberly Carraway in her session Applying Brain Research – How Neuroscience Informs & Influences Your Teaching. Kimberly also organizes The Brain, Learning & Applications Summer Institute, which takes place each August in Tennessee. It is no coincidence that Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Robert Greenleaf, both of whom have been written about in this blog, are speakers at the institute.
I am hoping to attend the entire conference this November, with a particular interest in sessions revolving around creativity and motivation. Between now and then, you can count on my exploration of those topics!