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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Brain-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Browse a list of resources, articles, videos, and links for exploring the connection between education and neuroscience.
Related Tags: Brain-Based Learning
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Graphic of a brain

Understanding How Brains Learn

  • Five-Minute Film Festival: Learning and the Brain, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2014)

    As new findings in neuroscience imply applications in the classroom and beyond, it's important for educators to have a basic understanding of how our brains work. VideoAmy has gathered a collection of videos about the brain to get you thinking.

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Applying Neuroscience in the Classroom

  • Putting Working Memory to Work in Learning, by Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers (2014)

    Strengthen your students' conscious processing of information with techniques like repetition, gamification, visualization, emphasizing relevance, and peer teaching.

  • Brain Movies: When Readers Can Picture It, They Understand It, by Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers (2014)

    Wilson and Conyers, brain-based teaching program developers and authors, encourage us to boost students' reading retention by training them to visualize meaning as well as paying attention to the words themselves.

  • Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain, by Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers (2014)

    Exercise has physiological and developmental benefits for children's brains; explore ideas for putting a new spin on active learning.

  • Brain-Compatible Study Strategies, by Lori Desautels (2013)

    Explore an array of brain-compatible study strategies for fifth graders, methods that can be adapted for use at any age.

  • Walking the Walk: An Educator’s Perspective From All Views, by Lori Desautels (2013)

    Desautels decides to walk the walk of her pre-service and graduate students at Marian University's School of Education as she returns to public school and co-teaches a brain-compatible curriculum to fifth graders.

  • Edutopia's Classroom Guide: Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning (Now available in Spanish!)

    In this free classroom resource guide, you’ll get practical tips across the K-12 spectrum, as well as a reading list and a variety of resources to help you learn more about this fascinating field. To help your students explore their own brain power, we’ve also included a bonus project that will get students thinking critically about how they learn.

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Social and Emotional Learning and the Brain

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Brain-Based Student-Engagement Strategies

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Brain-Friendly Assessment Practices

  • Assessment, Choice, and the Learning Brain, by Glenn Whitman (2014)

    Is there a difference between performance goals and mastery goals? Yes -- and that difference can affect student outcome on assessments.

  • To Improve Test Scores: Hit Reset, by Hunter Maats and Katie O’Brien (2014)

    Maats and Katie O'Brien explain how there are no bad test takers, but stress responses are real. Students can learn how to reset the visceral distraction of feelings that inhibit their test performance.

  • Survive and Thrive During Testing Season, by Lori Desautels (2014)

    Desautels considers the brain research on why test prep can be so stressful, and offers six brain-compatible strategies to help students feel better about themselves and more connected to the material.

  • 5 Assessment Forms That Promote Content Retention, by Judy Willis (2014)

    Willis, suggesting that effective assessment is built on students' strengths and interests, offers five forms of assessment that will help students retain content rather than forgetting material they no longer need.

  • Helping Students Understand What a Test Is and Is Not, by Judy Willis (2014)

    Learn how students' performance on tests can often be affected by their perceptions of and feelings about why they're being tested and what's being assessed.

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Neuroscience and the Common Core

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Research on How the Brain Works

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Comments (9) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

DearTeacher's picture
6th Grade Science Teacher from SC and a teacher encourager online.

Thank you for this amazing list! Will it be updated any time soon? A lot of research can happen in a year and a half!

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

We try to keep these resource pages up-to-date, but if you see that we're missing something, then please let us know!

CDambrosio's picture
Teacher in Menlo Park

Come and collaborate in an interactive workshop and be a part of a constructivist, design-based learning experience which integrates skills of problem solving bolstered with the power of emotional intelligence. Registration is open and free.


Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

Just a quick note to let you know that this roundup was just updated yesterday.


Grant Lichtman's picture
Grant Lichtman
Author, speaker, facilitator, "Chief Provocateur"

I would add resources from the Center for Teaching and Transformative Learning at www.thecttl.org This is a partnership amongst St. Andrew's School, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins to bring the latest brain research together with K-12 educators and practice.

sarah's picture
Teacher trainer for elementary education students

Who does classroom management with brain based practices?? what resources, blogs, books, visuals are out there?

Ashley Cronin's picture
Ashley Cronin
Digital Resource Curator

Sarah, this post on the HEAR strategy might be of use:

Also see this post on using incentives:

For a list of classroom brain breaks, see:

And for tips on how to create a classroom environment where student needs are being met:

Hope those are of help! Curious to see any others that people share.

Alex Shevrin's picture
Alex Shevrin
Teacher/leader & techie at independent, alternative, therapeutic high school

Sarah, one thing I think about is how brain-based practices can be a preventative type of classroom management. By tending to the way our brains function and proactively structuring our classes to care for our brains, I think we run into fewer behavioral challenges. When our brains are taxed and asked to do things in a way that's counter to how we function, of course we're going to act up! Brain-based teaching can ensure we are teaching to the students' strengths instead.


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