instructional delivery services

...serving over 14,000 Ohio teachers since 2000


Craig Weaver  Ph.D.


How does the brain give rise to the mind and behavior? How can we design and deliver instruction in a way that helps every student reach their potential?  These are some of the interesting questions we will investigate. Although humans are 99% the same we are all different due to personal learning and life experiences and the resulting activity dependent neuroplasticity that occurs behind our eyes. The genes we inherit from our parents and our personal neuronal circuitry influences perception, cognition and behavior that ultimately makes us the individuals we are. Based on this obvious diversity should all students be expected to achieve the same level of competence? Which instructional frameworks and activities best nurture the biological structure of learning? This course will answer these questions by identifying the eight structures of learning that make you, you.


Brown, P., Roediger, H., McDaniel, M. (2014). Make it stick: The science of successful learning. BelknapPress: Cambridge, MA.

Duckworth, Angela. (2016). Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  Scribner:  New York, NY.

Dweck, Carol. (2006).  Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House; New York, NY.

Lang, James. (2016).  Small Teaching.  Josey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey. (2014). Making Classrooms Better.  Norton and Company: New York, NY.

Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey. (2011). Mind, Brain, and Education Science:  A Comprehensive Guide to The New Brain-Based Teaching.  Norton and Company: New York, NY.

Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey. (2010). The New Science of Teaching and Learning. Teacher College Press: New York, NY.

M.I.T. Department of Brain and Cognitive Science

Medical Neuroscience Course, Duke University and Coursera

Olin College of Engineering

Columbia University, The Science of Learning-What Every Teacher Should Know, Coursera

My Brilliant Brain- the Polgar Sisters and chess

This course should help students:

  • Improve investigative skills (correctly identify and analyze scientific information)
  • Improve practice (appropriately apply scientific research)
  • Improve understanding of the basic terminology of the field
  • Distinguish between “traditional” pedagogical practices rooted in psychology and proven methods, strategies, and activities of MBE Science and biology
  • Improve the ability to develop and evaluate learning strategies using MBE Science

    Basic Knowledge:
  • Students should develop the fundamental vocabulary of MBE Science
  • Students should know the primary thinkers and leaders in the field
  • Students should be able to identify the mindset, neuromyths and basic neuroscience that guides and inhibits human cognition/behavior

    Basic Skills:
  • Students should be able to deliver instruction using MBE Science to expedite and enhance learning and memory

    Basic Dispositions:
  • Students should develop a critical view of the research and claims related to the brain and learning
  • Students should express cautious optimism for the promises of MBE Science and the biological structure of learning


Our format will include peer learning, peer review, oral presentations, group discussions and videos.  A great deal of student participation will be required. When we work together we learn better and remember longer.  Collaboration yields benefits from sharing personal philosophies, experiences and also listening to the insight from others. 



Greetings, Intro Participants and Intro the concept of “fun,” “felicity” and “Game Day”

Teacher vs. Coach-What’s the difference?

Simplified Objective(s)for: 1) Growing Beautiful Roses 2) Rope and Ride Cowboy or Cowgirl 3) Open Wheel Racing 4) Skiing/Boarding 5) Driving 6) Play Defense F.B. 7) Scuba Diving 8) Striking or Putting a Golfball 9) Pole Vaulting 10) Sailing 11) Playing Racquetball 12) Baseball Pitcher 13) Writer 14) Catching a Ball 15) Hitting a Ball

16) Shooting a B. Ball 17) Serve and Volley with a Baby 18) 19) Salesperson 20) Raising Children 21) Playing Tennis 22) Swimming

23) Test Prep- Content-Format-Language-Recall vs. App. %

HO. Neuron- structure and function simplified

The Structures of Learning Puzzle
Brain Initiative Video

Thinking, learning and behaving- successful approaches – Uconn, Pats, Spurs, Bama, and Lynn St. James

Neuroscience Objective:  Understand how the brain gives rise to the mind or cognition/behavior

MIT levels of analysis with Jim DiCarlo vs. biological structure of learning

Circuits, Cognition/Behavior Emphasis

How do we get out in front of C/B  or ”FF&GD”if we don’t know what “it” looks like visually? Tom Suarez- Ted Talk

TED:  Matthew Syed and Sebastian Sung

Articles:  Hey Higher Ed-ASCD-Brain Investment Pays Off

Critical Periods of Learning vs. Sensitive Periods of Learning

Real Artificial Intelligence or A.I. “on the spectrum”

A) The Science of Artificial Intelligence – The New Leadership of Learning

  1. Neuroscience will define the 21st century by: 1) Diagnosing and for the first time, successfully treating over 600 “physical” disorders of the mind and brain 2) Reforming and transforming learning via the same processes that led to successful diagnostics and treatment of disease and disorders. In order to understand what impaired function looks like it is necessary to understand the look of healthy biological function. It seems neuroscience and the learning community have the same objective- understand how the brain gives rise to the mind and successful behavior
  2. What is reverse engineering the human brain? What is “Deep Learning”?
  3. Old way – Input-? -Output, New way – The Biological Structure of Learning
  4. Understand how the brain gives rise to the mind and corresponding implications for learning
  5. Reform and transform learning and memory
  6. Eliminate neuromyths, example: Multi-tasking vs. Automaticity
  7. Understand how the brain codes, stores and retrieves prior knowledge

        8.      Current Brain Initiatives (Funding?)

  1. Human Brain Project – E.U. – 2013
  2. The Brain Initiative – USA – 2014
  3. The Australian Brain Alliance – 2016
  4. The China Brain Project – 2016
  5. Japan’s Brain/MINDS Project – 2016
  6. Government/Brain Canada – 2017
  7. South Korea Brain Project- 2017
  8. Israel Brain Technologies- 2016
  1. Brain Facts
  2. Top Ten Collegiate Neuroscience Labs and Neuroscience Programs In The World:

            1.  Stanford                            6. U of Floridida
            2.  Univ. College London        7.  U of Oxford
            3.  U of Cal. San Fran            8.  U of Cal. La Jollla
            4.  MIT                                    9.  John Hopkiins
            5.  Columbia U                       10. UCLA

        11. Ohio Dept. of Ed. Strategic Plan Inclusion of A.I.?

        12. Worldwide Leaders in Neuroscience:

Jim Dicarlo MIT Chair of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Henry Markram Human Brain Project

Ben Carson Neurosurgeon

Christof Koch Allen Institute

Eric Kandal Columbia- Nobel Prize

Antonio DamasioUniversity of Southern Cal

Colin Blakemore Oxford University

Nancy KanwisherMIT

Len WhiteDuke University

Miguel NicolelisSafra Institute- Brazil

B) The Biological Structure of Learning

1.Levels of Analysis #1-#8, Plus Genome-Connectome-Synaptome

2.The Senses: 27% Auditory, 27% Tactile and 36% Visual Located in 22 Regions and 180 Parcellations Per Hemisphere

3.Brain is an Information Processor, Model Builder and Probabilistic Machine that Computes, perceives, Makes Predictions and Continually Adjusts Perception Based on Sensory Input

4.Process of Learning

a.Sensory Info

b. Neuronal Computations

c.Perceptions of World

d.Inference/Prediction – Updates – Action/ Behavior

e. Senses Assess Prediction Error Based on Action/ Behavior

f.Revise Prediction –Action/ Behavior

g.Reduce Prediction Error

h.Action/ Behavior – Solve Problem – Achieve Objective

    5.  A system that makes no errors is not intelligent

    6.  How We Learn – 5 Min. Video and Analysis


C) Neuropsychology or Mindset and The Preparation for Learning

  1. Mindset and Grit
  2. Learning to think in order to achieve your objective
  3. Social Cognition or Serve and Volley
  4. Novel Learning Activities – Cell phone Olympics –Military Alphabet-Knot Tying etc. - It’s just content
  5. Mindfulness/State of flow P.B. Learning
  6. Emotion vs Intelligence
  7. Serve &Volley see Social Cognition
  8. Emotion as Part of Decision Making
  9. Mindset for Perserverance – Get your Mind right; You’re out of your Mind; Do you Mind? Mindfulness is intense focus
  10. Quality thinking
  11. Objective: Identify and explain the essential preparation for learning all learners must understand in order to ensure successful learning experiences subsequently.

D) Neuroscience or Brain Preparation for Learning

  1. Learning to Learn
  2. Neuro Principles of Learning and Instructional Implications
  3. Identify and Explain Neuromyths –They Inhibit Learning
  4. Toxic Stress, Blood Chemistry, Stress from Poverty, Learning and Stress- Graph It- From Boredom to Breakdown
  5. Neuro Facts
  6. Sensory Implications for learning: A = 27%, V = 36%, S = 27%
  7. Input- ?- Output

7a. Activity Dependent Experience; Neural and Synaptic Plasticity

  1. Attention
  2. Memory
  3. Emotion
  4. Thinking, Planning, Deciding
  5. Intention – Action


E) Neuropedagogy/or Instructional Delivery

  1. Loose Shot Analysis
  2. Key Metrics Drive Instruction and Learning
  3. Instruction delivery: Coaching with Feedback
  4. Project Based Learning
  5. Online or Blended Learning
  6. MOOC-Massive Open Online Course
  7. Serve and Volley for Collaboration and Communication
  8. Team Learning Individual-Group-Team
  9. Coaching Model vs Teaching
  1. process
  2. no excuses
  3. do your job
  4. it’s about the objective not you
  1. Learning Loops

Objective:  Provide instructional leaders with essential instructional delivery processes, models and frameworks to enhance the learning experience and achieve the objective

F) Instructional Delivery Leaders – What is a teacher leader?

1.Teacher Leader Program in Ohio

2.New model for teacher leader authority see Brain Initatives Organizational and Decision Making Format – Teacher’s Control Instruction

3.Compulsory Attendance Adjusted see Yoder vs. Wisconsin

4.“Fun” and “Felicity” a priority

5.$100,000 Salary

6.Vo.Ed. in 7th grade For Home School at End of Ninth

7.No Fed. Department of Education

8.Coaching vs. Teaching

9.Modify Role of State Department

10. Allow studies conducted in neuropsychology, neuroscience and neuroeducation to shape the future of learning.

11. Help Parents and Students Understand “No” and Respect for Self, Others and Property–Non Examples: Bomb Threat, Cutters &Flamer #1 and #2- Withdraw Before Expulsion is OK. Also Re-entry as “Critical”

Objective:Identify proposed fundamental changes to provide instructional leaders with the resources and authority to do their best work


G) Learners – Connections with Process and Learning

1.They Want Choice- Simon Sinek: Talk on Milennials

2.Prenatal to Senior Citizen Learning is identical via biology

3.When does learning begin?

4.Raising a child – Teach them to understand the word “No.”

5.Laws – Compulsory Attendance

6.Tom Suarez


8.Characterize/describe your perfect day

9.Your job is to make your parents happy

10.Respect for self, others and property; ethics vs law – and word “no”

11. Critical Periods

12.Low stakes competition

13. “Game Day” concept

14.Test retakes and practice testing are both good practice

15. Assessment for Learning, not just of learning

16. About time to start a family

17. Eat for fitness and health, sleep for consolidation, exercise for fitness and  oxygenated blood flow

18.Provide Learners: all visuals, notes, outlines and other learning materials in your possession have

19. Johnny and Jimmy 1935

Objective:Identify and explain the processes, concepts and policies to ensure every learner has the opportunity to learn under optimal conditions

H) How We Learn-Video

1.  Brain Facts

2.  Every human brain is different.  That’s what makes you, you?

3.  Schools promote conformity over personal choice

4.  Creativity, motivation and activity dependent neural and synaptic plasticity   promotes…

5.  Long Term Memory

6.  Safe, Orderly climate promotes…

7.  Atmosphere of “Fun,”  “Felicity” and “Game Day”

8.  SMART objectives provide what…

9.  Students want – Autonomy of Choice-Connection (with others and reality) and Curiosity

      10. Boredom and Breakdown Happens Without Controlling Individual Stress  Levels

11.  Activity Dependent and Neural Plasticity (Circuits)

12.  Think Biological Structure and Growth

13. RRRC and RRFRC learning loops promote #1-#2 and #4-#12

Videos:      Jim DiCarlo

                  Thomas Suarez



Class Participation 20%

Project #1 –Select One Level of Analysis 40%

Project #2 –Select from Model 40%


Possible Project Format:

  1. Basic facts?
  2. Description?
  3. Your interested because?
  4. Why we need to know? or implications for learning?


These projects can take the form of an essay, a “show”, a video, song, poem, poster, info-graphic or any other creative format the student deems appropriate.







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