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ED 595 M Mindset, Brain, and Instruction

Sandra Weaver

Course Description:  The primary purpose of this course is to examine best practices of brain-based teaching and learning to increase student achievement.  Participants will learn about the links between brain research and classroom success, specific brain-based strategies and various structures.

Course Objectives:

  • Examine research about brain-based teaching and learning
  • Summarize how the brain learns
  • Understand the dimensions, frameworks, principles and elements of brain-based teaching and learning
  • Identify brain-based principles to integrate within instruction
  • Become more consumer literate about brain research
  • Review and synthesize research about brain-based instruction
  • Understand the relationship between Mindset and motivation

Learning Experiences:

The methodology will include group discussion and analysis, facilitation shared by students and the instructor.


Ambrose, Susan, Bridges, Michael, Lovett, Marsha, DiPietro, Michele, Norman, Marie. (2010). How Learning Works. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA

Bailey, Francis and Pransky, Ken. 2014. Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. ASCD: Alexandra, VA

Beilock, Sian. (2015). How the body knows its mind. Atria: New York, NY.

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

Caine, R., Caine, G. (1994). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain. Addison-Wesley: Menlo Park, CA.

Caine, R., Caineg., McClintic, C., Klimek, K. (2005). 12 brain/mind learning principles in action. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Carey, Benedict. (2014). How we learn. Random House: New York, NY.

Chapman, Sandra. (2013).  Make your brain smarter. Simon and Schuster: New York, NY.

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

Goleman, Daniel. (2013). Focus. Harper Collins: New York, NY.

Jensen,  Eric. (2008). Brain-based learning: The new paradigm of Teaching.  Corwin Press: New York, NY.

Kahneman, Daniel. (2011). Thinking,  Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, NY

Klemm, W. (2014). Mental biology:  The new science of how the brain and mind relate. Prometheus: Amherst, NY

Medina, John. (2014). Brain Rules. Pear Press: Seattle, WA.

Oakley, B. (2014). A mind for numbers: How to excel at math and science. Penguin Group: New York, NY.

Ripley, Amanda. (2013). The Smartest Kids in the World. Simon and Schuster: New York, NY

Sousa, D. (2011).  How the brain learns. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Sousa, D. and Tomlinson,C. (2018) Differentiation and the Brain: Alexandria, VA

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

Tough, Paul (2012). How Children Succeed. Mariner: New York, NY

Wagner, Tony. (2012).  Creating Innovators. Scribner:  New York, New York.

Willingham, Daniel. (2009).  Why Don’t Students Like School. Joss-Bass: San Francisco, CA

Willis, Judy. (2008). How Your Child Learns Best. Sourcebooks: Naperville, IL

Willis, Judy. (2006). Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning. ASCD:  Alexandria, VA

Zull, James. (2002). The Art of Changing the Brain. Stylus: Sterling, VA




Review Syllabus

Why Mind, Brain and Education

Article:  “Connecting Education and Cognitive Neuroscience”

            *Break into 4 groups.  Each group focuses on 1 section of article

Brain Mind and Education Programs

Brain Likes-journal

Neuromyths Quiz

Ted Talk: Ben Ambridge: 10 Myths about Psychology, Debunked

*Students record 10 myths

Chapter 5 – Weeding out Neuromyths

What’s My Mindset –

Ted Talk: Carol Dweck:  The Power of Believing that You Can Improve

Mindset Articles jigsaw:

“Growth Mindset for a more Empathetic and Collaborative World, Briceno, SGI’s Common Threads, 2017

“Mindset 20/20, Dweck, Education Update, 2016

“Even Geniuses Work Hard”, Dweck, Educational Leadership, 2010

            “Mindsets and Student Agency”, Briceno, Unboxed, 2013

            “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids”, Dweck, Scientific American, 2015

Mindset Diagram HO

Break into 4 groups – Mindset book Chapters 2, 3, 5, 7

Article:  Jensen, Eric, “What is Brain-Based Learning”, Brain-Based Learning


*Groups of 5 -Students name each strategy. Record consensus of name for each strategy on board.

Ted Talk:  Daniel Amen: Change your Brain, Change your Life

Mind, Brain and Education Principles - Visuals

Mind, Brain and Education Tenets - Visuals

Select Book to Present – Lottery:  Sign out book

Mindset Chapters 2 and 3 prepare for Panel Discussions

Review website – “The Science” , “Why Mindset Matters”, “Changing Mindsets”, Teacher Practices” 

Carol Dweck: Talk to Google


Review Day One – Brain Likes

Ted Talk:  Matthew Syed - 2 categories

Article:  “Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning”, Medical News Today,

            October 6, 2014 – general discussion

Article:  “You can Grow Your Intelligence” –student oriented

Power Point:  Understanding How the Brain Naturally Learns

            *Students complete study guide

Brain Likes

Mindset Video – Eduardo Briceno, The Power of Belief

Mindset Chapter Panel Discussions – Chapters 2 and 3

Mindset Chapters 5-7 prepare for Panel Discussion

Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology - groups

Read Book

Website Review


Review of Day Two

Brain Likes

Ted Talk:  Amy Cuddy, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”

Mindset Panel Discussion Chapter 5

Ted Talk: 

Mindset Panel Discussion Chapter 7

Growth vs Fixed Mindset HO

Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology - groups

Study Skills:  Read Chapter 8 from Make It Stick

Prepare Book Presentation

Website Review

Day Four

Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology - groups

Ted Talk: Angela Lee Duckwork “Grit”

Poverty and the Brain Articles: Venn Diagram

     1a) “South Texas Education Revolution: Column” Richard Whitmire, May 25, 2015

     1b) “Poverty Produces Smaller Brains”,           A. Sifferlin, 2013

      2) AAAS Briefing:  Links Between Poverty, Brain Development Raise Key Policy

      Issues, July 2012

      3) AAAS: Poverty Can Harm Early Brain Development, Researchers Say, July


     4)  Poverty and the Developing Brain:  Insights from Neuroimaging, Synesis, 2013

Ted Talk:  Daniel Amen, “Lessons from Brain Scans”

Share Websites        

Book Presentations (random groupings)

Study Skills Assignment– elem, middle, high school groupings



Read chapter from Mindset Book.  Please do not mark or write in the book.

As you read, record page and paragraph numbers and the point you find interesting or relevant.  This will help you to remember the point.

For example:

p. 13 paragraph 4 – The growth mindset makes you concerned with improving.

Your group will have an oral discussion on the interesting and relevant points in the chapter.  (Fishbowl strategy) as the remainder of the class listen in to your discussion.  There is nothing to turn in to instructor.

Due Class 2 or Class 3



  1.  Explore the many facets of the website.  Record areas and items of interest to you.  Look for information that would be useful in your job setting.
  2. Find 2 other websites relating to the brain and education. These websites can be for teacher, student or parent use.  Record website address and a few sentences about the website ie, who would use the website and for what purpose. You will be asked to share one of these websites with a group of colleagues. This will be turned in to instructor.

Due:  Class 2, 3, 4



1. Read book

2. Summarize book including important points to help improve instruction. Rank value of book from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). This will be turned into instructor.

3.  You will present the above information to small group of colleagues.

Due:  Class 4



  1. Read Make It Stick Chapter 8.  Please do not mark or write on the chapter copy.
  2. As you read the chapter, record study ideas into 3 categories:  Suggestions for teachers, suggestions for students, suggestions for both teachers and students.
  3. Find 2 other resources for study skill ideas/suggestions.  Use the same format for recording the ideas as you used in #2 above under the name of your additional resource. 
  4. This will be turned into instructor.



Teacher                                                                                         Student

Frequent quizzes                                                                    Write what you recall from the lesson


Teacher                                                                                         Student

Study guide                                                                                 Make flash cards

Due:  Class 4

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