From the Archives: What “Neuroeducation” Needs

We have long been interested in education and the arts, and a decade ago we funded a series of pilot studies to look for ways to measure whether training in the arts changed the brain in ways that would transfer to other cognitive abilities. In 2009, we published the results of our Arts and Cognition Consortium—nine investigators at seven major universities, who found tentative signs of benefits, including transfer, that they continue to pursue.

In May 2009, we helped support The Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s hosting of the inaugural Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit, “to explore the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, the arts, and learning.” Some of our consortium scientists presented their research, and more than 300 educators, scientists, school administrators, and policy makers shared their perspectives on how to get a handle on this rather new amalgam, “neuro-education.”

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Learning and the Brain Conference Registration

L&B logo

There are only two more days to receive discounted registration for the next Learning and the Brain conference, “Making Lasting Memories: Using Brain Science to Boost Memory, Thinking and Learning.” It takes place February 12-14 in San Francisco and the Dana Foundation will have a table with free giveaways, so if you’re there, please stop by and say hello!

More on the conference from the Learning and the Brain website:

Neuroscientists are discovering strategies that make learning easier, more effective, and that can boost long-term memory, thinking and academic performance. By using mnemonics, movement, active learning, discussions, gestures and varied practices, teachers can improve their students’ ability to learn, reflect and remember. Discover how the “Science of Learning” can help boost student retention, recall and retrieval of information.

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From the Archives: Music in Education

When I came to work for the Dana Foundation in 2006, one of the innovative projects it was funding was called Arts Education, a series of pilot programs teaching artists how to be effective teachers in the classroom. Like most of our seed programs, the funding was short-term, to get the programs up and running and give enough time to prove their worth so other, bigger grant-givers (or government agencies) would fund them.

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The Arts and the Brain

Arts brain aaasFrom left, Alan Leshner of AAAS, Christopher Tyler, Nina Kraus, and Gary Vikan answer audience questions.

Our brains glow with activity when we view or do art. Now that scientists can scan our brains in the act of observation and creation, what can they tell us about what is going on in there?

Quite a bit, we discovered during an evening of talk, food, music, and interactive art at the AAAS office in Washington, D.C., last Thursday. Christopher Tyler of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco presented images ranging from cave drawings to Jackson Pollock that illustrated the idea of embodied cognition.“You can’t appreciate the work unless you feel it in your body,” he said.

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Learning and the Brain Conference in Boston

As
the son of a former high school English teacher, I am always keen to hear the latest
policies, theories, and research in education. One of the most fascinating
areas of research in education is its intersection with neuroscience. As our
understanding of the brain changes, our theories on teaching have changed
as well. However, this change is often delayed because information does not
flow easily from the neuroscience lab to the classroom.

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