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Episode 16: Neuroscience & the Classroom – Making Connections

Today, we have a special episode, an excerpt from Annenberg Learner series, Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections – a video course designed to familiarize K-12 educators with current neuroscience research that could be used in the classroom. The following episode highlights exciting developments in the field of neuroscience leading to new understandings of how the brain works and provides insights into brain function that can be harnessed by teachers for use in their own classrooms to address their own particular challenges.  

Annenberg Learner houses educational video programs – with coordinated online and print materials – intended for students in the classroom and professional development for K-12 educators that exemplify excellent teaching.  

Go to to explore the entire Annenberg Learner catalog. 

Mind, Brain, and Education [01:36] 

Paul B. Yellin, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine and director of the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education, talks about the need for an equal partnership among neuroscientists, teachers, and clinicians. His goal is to create a language and vocabulary that enable everyone to discuss how different brains work differently. 

Emotion and Cognition: A Neuroscientist’s Perspective [05:26] 

Teachers’ questions and answers with neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. 

Peer Mentoring [15:07] 

Motivating students by encouraging them to make social connections to each other through peer mentoring. 

Dynamic Skill Development [17:57] 

Harvard Professor and 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. Fischer has combined several avenues of research to converge on a model for learning that links stages of development—beginning with actions, then moving to representations, and finally arriving at abstractions—across all disciplines.  

Emotional Connections in Math and Science [27:20] 

Dr. Gary Scott, neuroscientist and assistant professor of clinical education in USC’s Rossier School of Education, taught high school and middle school math and science. He discusses how neuroscience will provide scientific evidence for how effective learning occurs and makes the case for researchers and teachers to work together to develop teaching methods that foster meaningful emotional connections to math and science. 

Students Think for Themselves [29:11] 

LaNelle Harvey is a fifth and sixth-grade teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her school lies in an area where the dropout rate for high school students reaches 70 percent. She discusses her effort to tackle this problem by using Socratic seminars to engage students in math, social studies, and language arts. 

Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections

A video course designed to familiarize K-12 teachers with current neuroscience research that they can apply in their own classrooms.


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