While learning and the brain go together like hand and glove, it was not until 1999 that educators and neuroscientists created a gathering place to discuss new research findings with respect to the classroom and clinical practice. This marriage between neuroscience and education is pretty new, said Kosik. But people now see it as a discipline in its own right.
The Learning & the Brain conference evolved a decade ago when Kosik met with conference coordinators Anne Rosenfeld and Kelly Williams. Rosenfeld and Williams were referred to Kosik by the Belmont, Mass. superintendent of schools, who told them about the Saturday workshops that Kosik was holding in Belmont to teach children, parents, and teachers about the brain. He was a professor of neuroscience at Harvard University during this time.
Together Kosik, Rosenfeld, and Williams founded the national Learning & the Brain conference. The first conference, in 1999, featured a welcome video by then-first lady Hillary Clinton.
Regarding this years conference and neuroplasticity, Kosik explained that perhaps no other topic within the vast field of neuroscience has lured more neuroscientists than the question of how the brain changes with learning and memory. While neuroscientists approach this topic at the level of genes, and synapses, and brain imaging, clearly the fruit of this research will impact how we can better educate our children, he said.
Kosik sums up a few of the reasons why the bridge between neuroscience and education is so important:
|Contact: Gail Gallessich|
University of California - Santa Barbara