Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New educational resources from Society for Neuroscience

Recently in my email I received the first edition of an e-Newsletter from the Society for Neuroscience titled "Brain Awareness Headlines". This four-times-a-year publication will strive to provide information - news, resources, etc. - to those interested in neuroscience education. The newsletter seems to stem from SfN's flagship educational vehicle, "Brain Awareness Week", which I helped FA to participate in last year by speaking about the brain and the importance of neuroscience research at a school-wide assembly. To learn more about Brain Awareness Week and some of the educational outreach opportunities that the SfN provides, go to www.sfn.org/baw.

While "Brain Awareness Headlines" is itself a new resuorce, the first edition highlights "NERVE", another new educational resource, and one that is targeted specifically at the K-12 audience. NERVE is an acronym that stands for Neuroscience Education Resources Virtual Encycloportal (nice...), and it serves to organize by theme a variety of digital neuroscience education resources from all around the Internet. Some of the resources are "flat" printouts, while others are interactive and/or animated. The resources included in NERVE can be limited by the intended audience, which includes students at different grade levels as well as teachers.

As an aside, it recently occurred to me that I took my first undergraduate course in Neuroscience - Intro to Neuroscience at Brandeis with Dr. Eve Marder - at this time of year a full 10 years ago! In researching this article, I happened to discover that Dr. Marder is the President of the Society for Neuroscience this year -- congratulations! I'm sure I wasn't the best student in my class in Fall '98, but her presentation and discussion of the subject inspired my further study and solidified the brain as a central point of interest throughout my professional and educational development. And, of course - thanks for the chocolate before each test -- it's a tradition that I've passed on to many of my own students - along with the requisite neuroscientific justification ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Neuro-Education Initiative at Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University recently announced their Neuro-Education Initiative, a program to develop the links between neuroscience and education. The program will involve a variety of opportunities to share current information, further research, and to develop new ideas by establishing a formal collaboration between the Brain Science Institute and the School of Education. The Initiative began this past summer and continues this fall with a series of interdisciplinary lectures. Starting in 2009, the School of Education will offer a 15 credit graduate certificate in Mind, Brain, and Teaching. The certificate program will be coordinated by Mariale Hardiman, a leader from the Baltimore Public School system who's published extensively on improving educational models through employing the findings of research in neuroscience. Information on the certificate program appears limited at this point, so it may be safest to assume that the program is available only to those who can be in residence at JHU, and not through distance learning at this point in time.