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Mind, Brain, and Education Science Resource Page

What is MBE?

Mind, Brain, and Education Science is a newly emerging discipline that incorporates developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and educational psychology to answer the question: “How do we learn best?” The answers to this question are found through an intersecting study of the above-mentioned disciplines and their broader fields. The answers will, eventually, come to inform pedagogy, in the hope of creating a learning environment for students that works with the natural functioning of their brains and minds.

Five Well-Established Concepts of MBE Science

As quoted from Mind, Brain, and Education Science by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa:

  1. Human brains are as unique as faces.
  2. All brains are not equal because context and ability influence learning.
  3. The brain is changed by experience.
  4. The brain is highly plastic.
  5. The brain connects new information to old.

A Few Major MBE Players (Alphabetical Order)

  1. Antonio Damasio: Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southern California and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute; he studies decision-making and emotions.
  2. Kurt Fischer: Founder of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at Harvard; first President of the International MBE Society; Editor of the MBE Journal; he studies cognitive and emotional development.
  3. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang: Current (2016-2018) President of the International MBE Society; Associate Professor of Education and Psychology at University of Southern California; she studies the psychology and neurobiology of social emotional, self-awareness, and its impact on learning.
  4. Mark R. Rosenzweig: Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley; he is best known for discovering neuroplasticity–the brain’s ability to change and grow.
  5. David Sousa: Member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and world-renowned educational consultant on the brain and learning.
  6. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa: Educational researcher and professor who seeks to advance the field of MBE. She has two main books on MBE: one acts as a “comprehensive guide” to MBE, while the other focuses on “50 practical applications” of MBE.

MBE Papers & Guides

  • Mind, Brain, and Education: Building a Scientific Groundwork for Learning and Teaching, by Kurt W. Fischer
    • Excerpt from the abstract: The primary goal of the emerging field of Mind, Brain, and Education is to join biology, cognitive science, development, and education in order to create a sound grounding of education in research. The growing, worldwide movement needs to avoid the myths and distortions of popular conceptions of brain and genetics and build on the best integration of research with practice, creating a strong infrastructure that joins scientists with educators to study effective learning and teaching in educational settings. Science and practice together provide many potentially powerful tools to improve education.
  • Mind, Brain, and Education: The Birth of A New Science, by Michel Ferrari and Hazel McBride
    • Abstract: In this paper, we examine the history of the emerging discipline of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) and explore the benefits as well as the difficulties involved in integrating neuroscience into educational policy and practice. We examine the power of neuroscience to impact practice and document the rise of neuromyths. History is on the side of the new discipline of MBE, but there is still much important work to be done to make neuroscientific findings accessible, comprehensible, and relevant to educators.
  • The Science of Learning, by Deans for Impact
    • About: The Science of Learning summarizes existing cognitive-science research on how students learn, and connects it to practical implications for teaching. The report is a resource for teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in how learning takes place.
  • Mind, Brain, and Education: Implications for Educators, Edited by Lynn Butler-Kisber
    • Statement of Purpose: LEARNing Landscapes (TM) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online education journal supported by LEARN (Leading English Education and Resource Network). Published in the autumn and spring of each year, it attempts to make links between theory and practice and is built upon the principles of partnership, collaboration, inclusion, and attention to multiple perspectives and voices. The material in each publication attempts to share and showcase leading educational ideas, research and practices in Quebec, and beyond, by welcoming articles, interviews, visual representations, arts-informed work, and multimedia texts to inspire teachers, administrators, and other educators to reflect upon and develop innovative possibilities within their own practices.
  • Mind, Brain, and Education: The Students at the Center Series, by Christina Hinton, Kurt Fischer, and Catherine Glennon
    • From the Introduction: This paper considers student-centered learning approaches in light of mind, brain, and education research. Student-centered approaches to learning comprise a research-based framework for education that aims to help students from a wide range of backgrounds master the skills necessary for college and the 21st-century knowledge economy (JFF 2011). In particular, it is intended to support underserved youth who are often excluded from higher education. The approaches begin with a common set of rigorous standards. Students can reach these standards through learning experiences tailored to their needs and interests, which may include informal learning outside of school. Students are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning, with teachers
      and other professionals as facilitators.
  • Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know, by The National Council on Teacher Quality
    • Letter of Support: We have spent much of our professional lives researching learning and cognition. In the course of that work, we have
      used and reviewed many textbooks of educational psychology and instructional methods — textbooks that are required reading in teacher preparation programs. We have been consistently frustrated by the lack of discussion in many of these textbooks of teaching strategies that are backed up by strong evidence, and by a frequent overemphasis on strategies for which evidence is anecdotal at best.
      Teaching aspiring teachers how to maximize student learning and retention is the paramount task of their training. It is therefore of real consequence that the guidance given by textbooks on these topics makes only passing reference
      to essential knowledge about learning.

MBE Links for Further Study & Networking

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