National Presenters to Deliver
Brain Research Information
Posted June 4, 2003
HOLLAND -- Nationally known presenters will
deliver the latest brain research information and discuss
its implications for learning during the Third Annual
Midwest Brain and Learning Institute, to be held at Hope
College on Monday-Thursday, June 23-26, at the Haworth Inn
and Conference Center.
The Institute is designed for those who work with
students of all age levels. Some 150 will attend, including
pre-school teachers, K-12 educators and college professors.
"There continues to be a great deal of research on
how the brain functions physiologically," said Leslie
Wessman, who is one of the conference's coordinators and
chair of the department of education at Hope. "This
Institute provides teachers and administrators with an
opportunity to apply current information about the brain and
how children learn to their classroom practice."
According to Wessman, the Institute itself has
been designed in light of neuroscience research and the
guiding principle that learners must be actively involved.
Registration has been limited to 150, and the settings have
been varied to include whole-group presentations, break-out
sessions, question-and-answer panels, small-group learning
clubs and opportunities for informal discussion.
"It's structured so that there’s plenty of time to
reflect and to interact with others," Wessman said.
Major themes will include system change in
education, responding to neuroscience foundations of
learning, brain research implications for the classroom, and
the concepts of diverse brains and diverse learners.
Featured presenters who are all authors, researchers and
practitioners will include Pat Wolfe, G. Christian
Jernstedt, Robert Greenleaf, Pam Robbins, Susan Kovalik, Pat
Crum, Ken Horn and Linda Jordan.
Monday, Wolfe will focus on brain research and
systems change in education, and will open the Institute
with "Brain Research: Fad or Foundation?" She is a former
K-12 teacher, adjunct university professor and educational
consultant, and author of the book, "Brain Matters:
Translating Research into Classroom Practice."
Monday and Tuesday, Jernstedt focuses on the
neurological foundations of learning. He is a professor of
psychology and brain sciences at Dartmouth College, and an
adjunct professor with Dartmouth Medical School and director
of the Center for Educational Outcomes.
In a breakout session on Tuesday afternoon, Horn
and Jordan will discuss "The Early Brain." Horn is an
instructional consultant at Muskegon Area Intermediate
School District, and has been a pre-K through college
graduate-level teacher. Jordan is an assistant professor of
education at Hope, a former K-12 teacher and a trainer for
Susan Kovalik & Associates.
A second breakout session will feature Crum, who
is a specialist in adolescent development and behavior. She
is director and co-founder of the Family Nurturing Center of
Western Michigan, and a parent counselor with the Child
Protection Team at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand
On Wednesday, Greenleaf's emphasis is on brain-
based teaching. He is a professional development specialist
with Brown University and president of the Greenleaf
Learning Center, and is a former teacher and K-12 district
superintendent. He will also speak with administrators at a
special dinner at the Haworth Center on Wednesday evening.
Thursday, Robbins will discuss "Emotional
Intelligence." Some of her publications include the books
"How to Develop and Implement a Peer Coaching Program," "The
Principal's Companion," "If I Only Knew" and "Thinking
Inside the Block: The Teacher's Day Planner."
Kovalik will close the Institute with "Future
Visions." A career-long teacher and curriculum innovator,
she created the ITI (Integrated Thematic Instruction) model
for body/brain-compatible teaching and learning, and formed
Susan Kovalik & Associates in 1984 to help educators apply
brain research findings using the model.
The Institute is co-sponsored by the Muskegon Area
Intermediate School District, the Ottawa Area Intermediate
School District, and Hope’s Education Department. Wessman
noted that the college values the opportunity to serve as a
resource, and a way of giving back to the local school
districts for their work with Hope education students. "All
of the planning partners conceived of this Institute as a
way of giving to educators in the area," she said.
Additional information about this year's Midwest
Brain and Learning Institute may be obtained online at
www.hope.edu/brain. Although registration for this year has
closed, plans are already in the works for the next
institute in late June of 2004.