Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Vietnam Blog Highlights our "Driving Your Brain" Metaphor

It's exciting that the internet has extended the reach of our writings and research around the globe. We recently became aware of a blog, Educational Designing World, created by Huong Dinh of Vietnam, in which the topic of metacognition—thinking about one's thinking—is featured.

Ms. Dinh has worked for GreenViet, a NGO in the field of saving biodiversity and combating the problems of climate change and global warming. She has taken a master's degree program at the University of Oulu, Finland, with a "Learning, Education, and Technology" major to further her goal of becoming an educational designer focusing on environmental issues.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dallas School Highlights Our BrainSMART Strategies in Professional Development

Marcus’ and my professional learning strategies were featured in “The Weekly Armadillo,”  an online newsletter published by the Nathan Adams Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District.

Quoting from one of our Edutopia blog posts, Inspiring Progress Toward Learning Goals, the excerpt drove home the point that, "By teaching students to monitor their thinking during learning by setting goals, applying strategies, reflecting, and adjusting, teachers will help them improve their learning ability."

The newsletter also drew attention to our strategies for “Goal Setting and The Brain,” which stressed the importance of setting learning coals; choosing the most effect learning strategies, reflecting on what you know and what you need to find out, adjust strategies accordingly, and learning from experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Our Work on Metacognition Is Cited in MultiBriefs Post by Sheilamary Koch

Our work is included in a blog post entitled “Preparing students for critical thinking: Incorporating metacognition,” which appears on the MultiBriefs website, a leading publisher of association-branded email publications.

Written by Sheilamary Koch, the post links to our thinking about how incorporating metacognition consciously in the classroom has been proven to promote the development a growth mindset while also empowering students to use strategies that will help themselves learn better.

The post recommends our process for introducing the term metacognition and explain what it entails in understandable terms for your students I am quoted in the post as recommending the use of the “Drive Your Brain” metaphor with younger students as a “concrete way to guide them toward thinking about how they can best learn.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Checkout My Interview with ASCD Radio

Research suggests that metacognition is key to higher student achievement, but studies of classroom practice indicate that few students are taught to use metacognition and the supporting cognitive strategies that make learning easier. Educators, you can teach metacognition to your students, so why wouldn't you?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Forgotten Secret to Leadership Success

By Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers

Note: This blog post originally appeared on the School Leaders Now website.

Follow these four guiding questions to improve leadership and student learning


Recent research by London neuroscientist Stephen Fleming indicates that metacognition—‘thinking about thinking’—is the forgotten secret to success across all domains. Educational leaders can use this powerful tool to question, monitor, and adjust their thinking in ways that help drive action toward achieving goals.

We believe that metacognition can be applied to school leaders’ support for teachers and teacher education and improvement. How? By providing opportunities for teachers to work together—and in effect think about their teaching and their thinking about teaching—to improve their teaching practice. By reflecting on best practices for classrooms together, teachers have a chance to become more effective educators, both individually and collectively.

During the past two decades of providing brain-based professional development and university graduate studies, we have seen that when teachers have opportunity for purposeful collaboration, they are more thoughtful, joyful, and resilient professionals.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mississippi High School Encourages Positivity

At the Center for Innovative Education, we are inspired when schools and districts use our ideas to cultivate a more joyful place for thinking and learning to occur.

At the beginning of the U.S. school year, I want to applaud the educators at Kossuth High School in Corinth, Mississippi, for supporting positivity!

Using one of our articles on the power of positivity in schools, they state, “A positive community of educators within a school has a powerful effect on the students who learn there. Individually, teachers contribute to that positive environment by exhibiting and modeling an optimistic outlook and can-do attitude.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

Australia Report Cites the Importance
 of Metacognition in Teaching Financial Literacy

Having presented in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia earlier this year, Marcus and I are pleased to see our work is being used in New South Wales. The most recent example that we have learned about is in a report authored by Nikki Goldspink Chaffey of the Narranga Public School in New South Wales.

Ms. Chaffey found particular value in our post, entitled “Metacognition, The Gift That Keeps Giving.” In a report entitled, “Starting Young: An international study of successful primary school financial literary programs” sponsored by First State Super, she cited our article as a resource:

“Research shows a classroom encouraging positive emotions and optimistic viewpoints produces broadened thoughts and actions and improves resourcefulness and exploration, which can result in improved academic achievement and fulfilment. Students who succeed academically often rely on being able to think effectively and independently to take charge of their learning. These students have mastered fundamental skills such as being organised, completing tasks on schedule, making a plan, monitoring their learning path, and recognising when it might be useful to change course. These are skills that we now know can be taught through metacognition (the ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning).”