Having just attended the Learning & the Brain conference in Chicago, I am struck with two competing thoughts I’d like to share: how much science there is about the brain, and what a challenge it is for teachers to integrate the findings into their daily practice. I attended fascinating lectures about many new scientific studies on the brain and motivation, gender similarities and differences, stress, etc., but at the same time I was left wondering, “How do I implement these discoveries in my work as a teacher and a coach?” I would like to suggest we need more collaboration between researchers and practitioners– between the scientists and the teachers. One of the
constant themes of the conference was neuroplasticity – how malleable the brain is over a person’s lifespan. We must extend this plasticity to collaboration, to working together, putting scientists in the classrooms and teachers in the lab. Talking with Kelly Williams, who started off the Learning and the Brain conferences 11 years ago, Kelly shared his dream: have a school where we could teach and study the students and teachers at the same time. Now we’re talking! So we chipped in to buy a couple of lottery tickets. The Megamillions jackpot that night was $161,000,000. I haven’t yet checked to see if we won. Just maybe…..!