Brain Power Conference in Toronto – May 3-4, 2012


The first annual Brain Power Conference is less than a week away and it’s shaping up to be quite an event. According to Doug Thompson who is a founding partner of Brain Power Initiative, “It was a year ago that a bunch of neuroscientists, educators and researchers met to talk about the future of childhood development. We didn’t know it at the time, but we started to get the feeling that there might be a special magic in looking at the ‘science of the brain’ and combining it with the art of teaching and the joys of parenting.”

The magic is happening from May 3-4 at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada with a jam-packed schedule of workshops, keynote presentations and demonstrations.

Brain Power Conference in Toronto was put together by a cross-disciplinary group of teachers, neuroscientists, psychologists and parents. Thompson believes that we’re starting to see practical ways that neuroscience will inform a revolution in childhood development and assures that the participants in this year’s conference will:

> Learn how a child remembers and how memory works and help them study

> Understand the impact of music, language on cognitive function – and why it can have such a big effect on IQ, memory and attention

> Understand how schools will start to bring neuroscience into the classroom (we have some great panels on the long-term impact on education)

“I think for us the amazing thing has been that schools, parents and scientists worked together to pull this off – a rare instance of multiple disciplines seeing the long-term benefit of exploring how neuroscience will inform the future of education and parenting.”

The more we learn about the brain—and we are learning more and more everyday—the better we can help our children learn and grow in happy, healthy ways. Thompson adds, “What’s also become clear is that ‘neuroeducation’ isn’t in conflict with great parenting or great teaching – in most cases, the science of the brain validates good old-fashioned common sense. It demonstrates that a holistic approach to a child’s development still matters, and things like nutrition or exercise or play don’t suddenly take a back seat to The Brain.

“Neuroeducation” pays attention to how the brain works and could very well lead to new and more successful approaches to the teaching of our children. Thompson gives an example of a mother who was concerned with her child’s slow learning of math skills. According to a neuroscientist, the neural connections necessary for focus and attention had not developed yet to the point where the child could pay attention long enough to “receive” the math concepts. It wasn’t a question of whether the child could “understand” math (a past paradigm) but rather of acquisition of cognitive processes as dependent on brain development.

While Thompson ventures that “neuroeducation might be upsetting conventional wisdom: how teachers give exams, how a child studies, or how a child is rewarded for achievement are all areas that deserve a second look as we come to understand the mechanisms of a child’s brain,” it proves that the capacity to learn may be as crucial and important as what is learned. And when it comes to preparing our children for their future lives, isn’t that what it’s all about? Knowing how to use their brain might be just as important as the information that’s stored inside of it.

For more information on Brain Power Initiative and the upcoming Brain Power Conference click the following link. An Early Bird discount is available through April 30th!

Tags: Brain, Children, Education, Happiness, Health, Learning, Neuroscience, Science

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