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Fall 2008 Seminar – SOE Neuro-Education Initiative
The Johns Hopkins University is combining two of its strengths – brain research and teacher education – to give educators a better understanding of how young minds work and to offer ways to enhance learning.
The university's School of Education, School of Medicine, the Brain Science Institute, and its affiliate, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, are presenting this month a joint seminar for teachers to discuss how the latest advances in brain research can affect teaching and student learning.
"Linking brain research to education is extremely valuable to our understanding of student development and learning,” said Mariale Hardiman, assistant dean of the Urban School Partnerships at the School of Education and co-director of the Neuro-Education Initiative. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Hardiman was principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City.
"The goals of the Neuro-Education Initiative include providing opportunities for dialog and collaboration among educators and researchers, providing venues for information sharing across disciplines, and exploring new translational research initiatives between brain science and education to create new knowledge for teaching and learning," said John Griffin, director of the university's Brain Science Institute. "The Brain Science Institute is excited to support and participate in this transformative program."
"The Executive Function Seminar is one of the first initiatives of its kind by a major university and we feel the Neuro-Education Initiative is on the cutting edge of bringing together the research with the practice," Hardiman said.
Renowned for expertise in both neuroscience and education, Johns Hopkins is a natural setting for such a seminar, Hardiman said.
"Johns Hopkins provides a unique location for our Neuro-Education Initiative," she said. She added, "We have world-renowned scholars who have done groundbreaking research in how the brain functions and our education school, which is committed to preparing quality teachers and administrators based on the best available research." The seminar is co-sponsored by the university's Office of Alumni Affairs and the Maryland State Department of Education.
Two Johns Hopkins researchers will present the latest findings on executive function: Martha Bridge Denckla, director of the Developmental Cognitive Neurology Department at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and a professor of neurology at the School of Medicine who is widely published on the biological bases for learning disabilities and ADHD in children of normal and above-average intelligence; and Marilyn Albert, professor of neurology and director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, who has written extensively on the cognitive and brain changes associated with memory.
Starting in spring 2009, the School of Education will offer a graduate certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching. The program is designed for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, school administrators and related personnel who want to know more how brain research can inform educational practice.
For more information about the certificate program, visit http://www.education.jhu.edu.