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Brain Awareness Week: How on Earth Are Your Students Thinking?

For any teacher who's looked at a student's test answer and thought, "What on earth is she thinking?" now's a great time to find out. That favorite holiday of neuroscientists and zombies everywhere, Brain Awareness Week, continues through March 20 with 320 online and live exhibits and demonstrations across the country, from live demonstrations from the world's largest brain collection to the Cherry Creek Community Brain Training Day in Denver, Colo.

The 18th-annual outreach event, sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. and The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives of New York, comes amid exploding interest in using brain science to inform learning research and ultimately classroom instruction.

"Neuroscientists as a community should address the issue of how neuroscience informs education by actively teaching neuroscience to teachers," Janet M. Dubinsky, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota, argued in The Journal of Neuroscience. "We should move beyond occasional lectures to mass audiences and develop neuroscience courses for teachers that convey the basic principles of our field."

For a quick look at how teachers in kindergarten through high school can integrate core brain science concepts into science, history and other courses, check out the Core Concepts Matrix.

Throughout the week, I'll be blogging about new brain findings and brain science programs across the country.

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