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Learning & the Brain: Resources for Educators

As promised in my pre­vi­ous post (10 Brain Train­ing Tips To Teach and Learn), here are some of the resources that inform my under­stand­ing of the brain: books, con­fer­ences, and web­sites.


There are a mul­ti­tude of books about the brain. For edu­ca­tors, the best of these are books that demys­ti­fy the lan­guage of neu­ro­science while pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion applic­a­ble to the teaching/learning process.

Among the more pro­lif­ic or well-known authors of this type include Jeb Schenck, Robert Syl­west­er, Bar­bara Givens, Robert Marzano, Mar­ilee Sprenger, and Eric Jensen.

I have found books by Sprenger and Jensen to be immense­ly help­ful. Both write about the brain in under­stand­able terms, pro­vide prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions, dis­cuss sen­si­ble ideas, and include innu­mer­able ref­er­ences to sup­port­ive research. Three of my most ref­er­enced books by these two are:


A high­ly stim­u­lat­ing and infor­ma­tive expe­ri­ence is the 3‑day Learn­ing & the Brain con­fer­ence, which takes place three times a year. In the fall and spring it is held in Cam­bridge, MA, and in the win­ter it takes place in Cal­i­for­nia. Each con­fer­ence has an over­ar­ch­ing theme, which is then bro­ken down into six strands. In the past these strands have focused on pre‑K through col­lege; the April 2008 con­fer­ence ush­ered in addi­tion of an adult brain strand.

The L&B con­fer­ence runs the gamut from renowned neu­ro­sci­en­tists shar­ing their research to prac­ti­tion­ers trans­lat­ing that research into prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion. There are pre- and post-con­fer­ence work­shops, and plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet and talk with all pre­sen­ters, as well as con­fer­ence atten­dees. I have attend­ed three times in four years, antic­i­pate attend­ing both Cam­bridge con­fer­ences this com­ing school year, and hope one day to attend the Cal­i­for­nia con­fer­ence just for the fun of it!


Web­sites pro­vide infor­ma­tion in a vari­ety of modal­i­ties. Many of these sites can be used with stu­dents, who enjoy learn­ing about their brains, and hence, about them­selves.



Move­ment and Exer­cise


The Secret Life of the Brain: The Adult Brain video of Emo­tions in the brain
Neu­ro­science for Kids  Auto­nom­ic Ner­vous Sys­tem
LeDoux Lab, New York Uni­ver­si­ty Emo­tion, Mem­o­ry, and the Brain
OshKosh Area School Dis­trict: Learn­ing is Heav­i­ly Influ­enced by Brain Chem­istry

I hope you find these resources use­ful. The next arti­cle in the series will cov­er some Help­ful Facts Teach­ers Should Know About Their Own Brains…so stay tuned.

Laurie BartelsLau­rie Bar­tels writes the Neu­rons Fir­ing blog to cre­ate for her­self the “the grad­u­ate course I’d love to take if it exist­ed as a pro­gram”. She is the K‑8 Com­put­er Coor­di­na­tor and Tech­nol­o­gy Train­ing Coor­di­na­tor at Rye Coun­try Day School in Rye, New York. She is also the orga­niz­er of Dig­i­tal Wave annu­al sum­mer pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, and a fre­quent attendee of Learn­ing & The Brain con­fer­ences.

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6 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Thanks, Lau­rie.

    A great set of resources.


  2. Pat says:

    Thanks for shar­ing all of this. I can’t wait to check out all these resources.

  3. Andreas Engvig says:

    Great resources. Thank you.

  4. The Learn­ing and the Brain Con­fer­ence is great. I attend­ed the one last Novem­ber and exhib­it­ed at the one this past April. I’m hop­ing to be at the this com­ing Novem­ber too.

  5. Alvaro says:

    Hel­lo Tara, I attend often, see you in the next one in San Fran­cis­co!

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