Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections

A video course for grades K-12 teachers and school counselors. 42 video modules of varying lengths, course guide, online text and Web site.

Exciting developments in the field of neuroscience are leading to a new understanding of how the brain works that is beginning to transform teaching in the classroom. Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections brings together researchers and educators in a dialog about how insights into brain function can be harnessed by teachers for use in their own classrooms to address their own particular challenges. Course components include 42 video segments interwoven with an online text and other useful resources on a comprehensive Web site. The Web also includes interactive simulations of neuroscience research tools, glossary, and course guide for teachers to use all the materials for sustained professional development.

Produced by Science Media Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in association with the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard GSE; and the Brain and Creativity Institute and Rossier SOE at the University of Southern California. 2012.

ISBN: 1-57680-894-7

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Individual Program Descriptions

VOD0. Promo Video

VOD1. It Has to Make Sense
Psychologist Abigail Baird explains why neuroscience research should be understandable. Go to this unit.

VOD2. Mind, Brain and Education
Interview with neuroscientist Paul Yellin about creating a common language shared by neuroscientists and educators. Go to this unit.

VOD3. Collaboration
Head of school, Jason Ablin, discusses the benefits of collaboration between neuroscientists and educators. Go to this unit.

VOD4. A Brief History of Neuroscience
Antonio Demasio, Kurt Fischer, and John Gabrieli lead a historical journey from Phineas Gage to current imaging technologies. Go to this unit.

VOD5. Tools of Neuroscience: MRI/fMRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging — Seeing inside the living brain. Go to this unit.

VOD6. Tools of Neuroscience: EEG
Electroencephalography — How do we study the brain in real time? Go to this unit.

VOD7. Tools of Neuroscience: MEG
Magnetoencephalography — A new method of functional brain imaging with high resolution in both time and location. Go to this unit.

VOD8. Reading a Word
As we read a word, MEG (Magnetoencephalography) reveals a complex chain of events across many parts of the brain. Go to this unit.

VOD9. Nico's story
Nico Sainz-Trápaga, who has only the left hemisphere of his brain, has also compensated for his differences and is active in art and fencing. Go to this unit.

VOD10. Brooke's story
Brooke Smith, who has only the right hemisphere of his brain, compensates for his differences in surprising ways. Go to this unit.

VOD11. A Tale of Two Cases: Brooke and Nico
As children, Nico and Brooke demonstrated the plasticity of the brain in the ways they process verbal language and intonation. Go to this unit.

VOD12. Measuring Emotional Response to Physics
A study using galvanic skin response reveals intriguing differences between experts and novices in their emotional response to physics problems. Go to this unit.

VOD13. Good Idea?
Teen brains reveal different fMRI patterns from adults, when considering dangerous behavior. Go to this unit.

VOD14. Emotion in Math
Abigail Baird discusses how connecting math to the real world helps students to be more engaged and emotionally involved. Go to this unit.

VOD15. Depth of Field
A photography teacher learns first-hand that when emotions drive learning, abstract concepts become less difficult to teach and understand. Go to this unit.

VOD16. Emotion and Cognition: A Neuroscientist's Perspective
Teachers' questions and answers with neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang Go to this unit.

VOD17. Music and Emotion
Music teacher Hallie Cohen reduced behavior problems when she found ways to let her students use their instruments as tools to communicate their feelings to each other. Go to this unit.

VOD18. Using Emotional Content in the History Classroom
History teacher Judi Freeman uses video testimonials from the Holocaust to make her lessons meaningful to today's students. Go to this unit.

VOD19. Empathy
As research participants listen to stories designed to evoke social emotions, such as admiration and compassion, brain imaging shows activation deep within the brain's non-conscious, life-regulating systems. Go to this unit.

VOD20. Peer Mentoring
Motivating students by encouraging them to make social connections to each other through peer mentoring. Go to this unit.

VOD21. Warm Jackets Generate Heat?
Students put a thermometer inside a jacket to test their prediction that it will get warmer, the longer it stays inside. Go to this unit.

VOD22. Turning Tables at Gallaudet University: What is "Normal?"
See how Gallaudet University, by creating an environment that is fully adapted to the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, turns tables on hearing people. Go to this unit.

VOD23. Success Story: Dr. Stephen Shore
Professor of education at Adelphi University, Stephen Shore was diagnosed with autism at 18 months. He describes the role his parents and teachers played to help him develop into who he is today. Go to this unit.

VOD25. Attention and Magic
Neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik have studied professional magicians, pointing to some ways that teachers can better hold students' attention. Go to this unit.

VOD26. Working Memory and Attention
Mathematics educator, Bob Speiser, demonstrates a 15c algorithm for multiplication, showing how it is less taxing on working memory than traditional multiplication. Go to this unit.

VOD27. Implicit Learning
A study by Dr. Matthew H. Schneps shows that while dyslexics have difficulty with reading, which involves central vision, they have an advantage with peripheral vision. Go to this unit.

VOD28. Success Story: Dr. Alexander Goldowsky
Go to this unit.

VOD29. Success Story: Dr. Todd Rose
Go to this unit.

VOD30. Success Story: Kent Sinclair
Go to this unit.

VOD31. Success Story: Dr. Temple Grandin
Go to this unit.

VOD32. Reading with Half a Brain
Neuroscientist Tami Katzir (University of Haifa) is working with Brooke Smith, who has only his right hemisphere, to find out how he reads at all. Go to this unit.

VOD33. Dynamic Skill Development
Neuroscientist Kurt Fischer discovered how, each time students advance to the next stage of mastery, there is a surge of growth of new neural networks in the brain. Go to this unit.

VOD34. DiscoTests: A New Approach to Assessment
Kurt Fischer's developmental approach informs "DiscoTest:" a diagnostic way for assessing knowledge across grade levels. Go to this unit.

VOD35. Johanna and Her Mother
A baby, Johanna, demonstrates problem solving and communication skills, recruiting her mother's help to solve a simple problem. Go to this unit.

VOD36. Scaffolding: Johanna and Her Mother with Commentary
Using the video of Johanna and her mother as illustration, Prof. Kurt Fischer explains the role of scaffolding in learning. Go to this unit.

VOD37. Emotional Connections in Math and Science
Gary Scott, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, returns to the classroom as a researcher, seeking scientific evidence for how effective learning occurs. Go to this unit.

VOD38. Engaging Native Alaskan Students
Alaska Native teachers work together to improve student outcomes by supporting each other to implement a culturally-relevant curriculum. Go to this unit.

VOD39. The Montessori Approach
A visit to a public Montessori school to see how a multisensory approach to learning is supported by neuroscience research. Go to this unit.

VOD40. Montessori and Dynamic Skill Theory
Even though it predates modern neuroscience, the Montessori classroom structure demonstrates Kurt Fischer's Dynamic Skill Theory in action. Go to this unit.

VOD41. Technology for Every Student?
Interview with researcher Todd Rose about digital technology and Universal Design at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). Go to this unit.

VOD42. Perspective Shifting in Math
Middle school math students develop and present many different approaches to a single set of concepts, creating the potential for greater understanding. Go to this unit.

VOD43. Students Think for Themselves
LaNelle Harvey teaches in a part of Los Angeles where the dropout rate for high school students reaches 70%. She describes how learning about neuroscience has changed her classroom. Go to this unit.


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