Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflecting Upon 2013: Teaching and Learning

As the eastern part of earth rings in New Year 2014, we are counting our blessings here at home in Florida. We consider ourselves fortunate each week as we hear from many of you who have chosen to study with us. You take time from busy schedules to let us know how much studying with us has meant to you and we appreciate hearing from you!

Just yesterday Mary received e-mail from a graduate of our program who wanted us to know he has started doctoral study and feels very well prepared because of his work with us. When earned, his new degree will pave the way for him to lead his own school as an administrator. He has developed dreams for this new school and wants to reach each child and parent in a special way! He wants to prepare each child at his dream school for future success.

Another graduate I've spoken with recently is in a new position at the private school where she works. After earning her most recent degree, study has prepared her to go from the classroom to assisting teachers throughout her school as they seek new ways to teach ever more effectively! Another of 'our' teachers continues to support teachers as they are asked to implement new standards.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Here's to heart healthy living in 2014!

Teachers, parents, grandparents, and students alike, learners of all ages benefit from a heart healthy lifestyle. Marcus and I are always on the lookout for ways to stay healthy and enjoy our lifestyle! Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US, and many Americans are looking to make even healthier lifestyle choices in 2014. With that in mind, I want to share an interesting post with some ideas for heart healthy living. As we roll into 2014 this week, enjoy healthy living!

Click on the link for heart-healthy ideas.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our book Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching reviewed positively:)

Marcus Conyers and I are pleased to see that our recently published book with Teachers College Press, Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice, was included on the The UK Times Higher Education list of suggested texts for educators.

The list includes less than one hundred texts from across the world with many coming from European publishers. Therefore, we are especially glad that our book made the list as one of only eight from TCP and the only book named from the domain of mind, brain and education studies applied to teaching.

The Times list was compiled by senior lecturer, Sandra Leaton Grey, Institute of Education, University of London, who writes ...

"One thing soon becomes clear in attempting a comparison of contemporary trends in education textbooks, and that is that many of the titles dealing with global or international issues stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of competent use of research and fresh analysis. Perhaps these are the books we need to pepper our reading lists with if we are to inspire a new generation of educators, rather than focusing on the musings of egotists."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Diane Dahl and I Give “Joyful” Presentation at Learning Forward 2013

Implementation of the Common Core State Standards can be a time of stress, setbacks, and low morale. However, if professional developers, administrators, and teachers are empowered with five fundamental “big ideas” that support effective teaching, the process can be positive and, yes, even joyful at times.

That was the encouraging message that I presented along with Diane Dahl when we spoke together at the Learning Forward 2013 Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Diane is a second-grade teacher in the Frisco Independent School District in the Dallas area and a 2011 graduate of our master’s degree program. At Learning Forward 2013, we teamed up for an upbeat, practical presentation entitled “Toward Joyful Implementation of Common Core State Standards,” sharing advice on implementing the standards to an audience that included teachers, leaders of professional learning communities, teacher educators, and a director of a state department of education.

The presentation tied into the concepts of the book that I co-authored with Marcus Conyers, Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice (Teachers College Press, 2013). Diane and I explained how using the core concepts set out in that book and explored in the graduate programs can provide a conceptual framework for learning and teaching. We also tied implications from mind, brain, and education research to the practical challenges of implementing the Common Core State Standards with the goal of creating more thoughtful and effective classrooms.

Elsewhere at the Learning Forward conference, I had the opportunity to sign copies of the book at the Teachers College Press booth. It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with longtime colleagues and friends and to forge new relationships.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Check out our free article available online now!

Marcus and I hope you enjoy reading our article on five big ideas for effective educational practice  just out yesterday. From the article...

"It's becoming increasingly clear that education needs to shift from the simple transmission of facts toward cultivating minds that can recognize and creatively solve novel problems, communicate and work effectively with many others, and embrace self-directed, continual learning throughout one‘s lifetime. A report from the National Research Council on “Education for Life and Work” (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012) identified three domains of 21st-century competencies that require explicit instruction: cognitive (thinking and reasoning), intrapersonal (regulating one’s behaviors and emotions to achieve goals), and interpersonal (relating to others and understanding others’ points of view)."
To read the entire short article, click here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hope to see you at Learning Forward's Annual Conference in Dallas!

I am on the way to present at the Learning Forward Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, December 7-11. Our presentation at conference is December 11, 7:45-9:45 am. We are excited to announce that Diane Dahl, currently a 2nd grade classroom teacher in the Dallas area, will be presenting with me!

Additionally, Teachers College Press is hosting a book event where I'll be signing, Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching, on Monday, December 9 at 2:00.

We hope to see many of you in Dallas at one or both of our events!

Monday, September 23, 2013

‘Five Big Ideas’ Is Basis of Pioneering Paper Presented at International Conference

Marcus and I had the opportunity to speak before a distinguished audience of researchers, psychologists, and teacher educators attending the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology’s (IACEP) 2013 International Conference and share the achievements of teachers who have completed our graduate degree programs with majors in Brain-Based teaching. The conference took place this past summer at the prestigious Leiden University in Leiden, The Netherlands.

The IACEP is a worldwide organization of professionals whose goal is to advance the cognitive education of children, youth, and adults. Our presentation, “Connecting Five Big Ideas from Cognitive, Brain, and Education Research to Teacher Education,” fit in well with those ideals. Leading the presentation, Marcus described how graduates of the program are enhancing their students’ academic performance by applying the research, theory, and strategies they learned in their graduate studies. As a result, teachers are helping their students achieve more of their academic potential and develop an appreciation for lifelong learning.

Our presentation drew from the core concepts explored in our book, Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice (Teachers College Press, 2013). We also provided real-life examples of these concepts in action in classrooms and schools. It was especially gratifying to have presented at the conference among colleagues I met in the early to mid-1990s as I was completing research for my doctoral degree and studying structural cognitive modifiability internationally at the post-doctoral level.

Monday, May 20, 2013

AERA Presentation Highlights Graduates' Success Stories

Among the highlights of my spring was Marcus' and my April 27 presentation at the American Educational Association's (AERA) 2013 Annual Meeting. We were pleased to have the opportunity to share the impressive success stories that graduates of our programs are experiencing in classrooms across the country and internationally.

Speaking at the AERA gathering in San Francisco, Marcus led a presentation describing how graduates who have completed our brain-based teaching program are well equipped to help students achieve their learning potential.

Our presentation, “Exploring the Impact of a Graduate Degree Program Connecting the Implications of Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Teaching and Learning,” was presented through the conference segment of the AERA Special Interest Group on Brain, Neurosciences and Education, a group that I joined in the early 1990s. We are happy to have been a pioneering part of this movement over the past two decades.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Selected Upcoming Conferences for 2013

Marcus and I will be presenting at key educational events during the course of 2013 that will take us to various parts of the United States and Europe. Here are a few highlights:

American Educational Research Association's Annual Meeting, April 27-May 1, San Francisco. On April 27, we will present “Exploring the Impact of a Graduate Degree Program Connecting the Implications of Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Teaching and Learning.” In addition, the AERA Annual Meeting will mark the launch of our new book, Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice. Coinciding with the launch, we will take part in a book signing from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 29 at the Teachers College Press booth, Booth No. 413, in the AERA exhibit hall.

— The International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology's 2013 International Conference, June 24-27, Leiden University in Leiden, The Netherlands. This year’s conference theme is: “Unfolding Potential: Assessment, Strategies, Change, and Intervention.” Describing the potential of the human brain, we will speak on the subject of “Connecting Five Big Ideas from Cognitive, Brain, and Education Research to Teacher Education.”

— Learning Forward 2013 Annual Conference, December 7-11, Dallas, Texas. In this case, I will be teaming up with Diane Dahl, Texas elementary teacher and a graduate of our program, to present "Toward Joyful Implementation of Common Core State Standards."

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Two Books Coming From Wilson & Conyers in 2013

Marcus and I are pleased to announce that we will launch two new books over the next several months. Coming in April from Teachers College Press is Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice. Core concepts explored in this exciting new book are:

  • Neuroplasticity, understanding that the structure and function of the brain change in response to learning.
  • Potential, the capacity for all students to make learning gains.
  • Malleable intelligence, which stands in opposition to traditional views of fixed intellect.
  • The Body-Brain System, the role of movement, physical fitness, healthy nutrition, and positive emotions in facilitating learning.
  • Metacognition, explicit instruction on the use of cognitive strategies to guide students to “think about their thinking” with the aim of improving learning.