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Connecting Teachers With Neuroscience Research

From guest blogger Jaclyn Zubrzycki

Researchers in the University of Toronto's neuroscience department are planning to launch a website that will make information about neuroscience and its implications for instruction available to educators this fall.

The website is part of a project called "The Adolescent Brain: Implications for Instruction," which will also include a quarterly newsletter and professional development courses. Hazel McBride and Michael Ferrari, both researchers with the University's well-known Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, say they're responding to teachers' interest in using research in neuroscience to inform classroom practices. Education Week's Nirvi Shah recently wrote about the need to connect special educators with this research, and teacher Wendi Pillars recently commented on some of her own takeaways as an "armchair neurologist".

In a press release, Mr. Ferrarri writes that the website might help teachers understand disorders like dyslexia better and possibly make them more open to using various interventions and strategies. Here's how the release describes the project:

The Adolescent Brain website will compile, organize, translate and disseminate neuroscientific research on the adolescent brain, including a large number of fMRI and other images, in a format that can be easily understood and used by educators, policy makers, students and professionals. The website will highlight how this research can influence classroom practice and educational policy. ... [and] discuss a wide range of topics such as children with learning disabilities, media reporting of neuroscientific findings, the design and use of headphones and sports helmets.

Is this a resource you're likely to use?

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