Wednesday, 19 April 2017

An introduction to educational neuroscience: Useful resources

Every so often I get email requests for further information about educational neuroscience. I thought it would be handy to compile a list of resources and links that might be of interest. Many of my suggestions are London and UK based, so please bear this in mind and do share anything else you have come across further afield.

Websites

The Education and Neuroscience online group was set up by Lia Commissar of the Wellcome Trust, and aims to facilitate links and partnerships between teachers and researchers. There are opportunities here for sharing files, events and blog posts, as well as for getting involved with forum discussions.

In 2015, I’m a Scientist, supported by the Wellcome Trust, ran an online event where teachers could ask questions of, and engage in discussion with, scientists who research learning. Although the event is no longer open to questions, it’s a great resource for scrolling through or searching for questions that might be of interest.

The npj Science of Learning community is linked to the journal in that it aims to fulfil the journal’s aim to foster discussions across disciplines related to the science of learning. There are sections that relate to opinions, events, news, and the latest findings, and there are articles suitable for students, teachers, and researchers.

Events

Learnus is a community that aims to bring research into the classroom. Learnus hold free lectures throughout the year, and held their first conference in early 2017. Learnus also offer a free workshop for teachers, to increase awareness of the relevance of neuroscience to the classroom.

The Centre for Educational Neuroscience, a London consortium between Birkbeck, UCL, and the UCL Institute of Education host research seminars that are open to the public.

Reports

In 2014, the Wellcome Trust published the results of a teacher and parent survey that aimed to establish their views of how neuroscience can influence education.

In the same year, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published a review of educational interventions that are informed by neuroscience. The EEF also have a handy toolkit that indicates the cost, strength of evidence, and impact of a range of interventions, although these are not necessarily based on neuroscience.

Books

Educational Neuroscience discusses methods (e.g. neuroimaging, computational modelling) and findings (e.g. relating to language, mathematics, executive functions), considering the relevance to education.

G is for Genes presents findings from genetics that are relevant to education, and discusses what individual differences in genetics means for educational equality.

Journals

There are a few journals that specifically publish educational neuroscience work, and these include: Mind, Brain, and Education, Trends in Neuroscience and Education, Educational Neuroscience, and the aforementioned npj Science of Learning.

Postgraduate courses - UK

Educational Neuroscience can be taken as an MSc or an MA for a joint degree from Birkbeck, University of London, and the UCL Institute of Education.

The University of Bristol offers an MSc in Education (Neuroscience and Education).

Postgraduate courses - US

Harvard Graduate School of Education offers a Master’s program in Mind, Brain, and Education.

Vanderbilt University offers postgraduate training in Educational Neuroscience.

Blogs

BOLD (blog on learning and development) is run by the Jacobs Foundation. It hosts authors who are scientists, journalists, policymakers, and practitioners.

ThInk is an educational neuroscience blog from the Wellcome Trust.

Societies

The International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) aims to further our knowledge, as well as create and identify useful resources. IMBES also holds a conference roughly every two years that attracts researchers from around the world as well as teachers.

Special Interest Group 22 (Neuroscience and Education) is part of a wider organisation, the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). A group conference is held every two years, and in the intervening years there are EARLI conferences that bring together all special interest groups.

Flux is a developmental cognitive neuroscience society that encourages translational research in education and other fields.

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