TailoredPractice has sifted through the research to bring you a selection of relevant information that is succinct and substaniated.  

Why care about Mind, Brain and Education research:

Teachers who are prepared with knowledge of the workings of the brain will have the optimism, incentive and motivation to follow the ongoing research and to apply their findings to the classroom.
These teachers can help all children build brain potential--regardless of past performance  .  .  .
Judy Willis 
Neurologist/Teacher and Author
  • The latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology has given us a better understanding of how we learn

  • Educators are gatekeepers who can ensure this research benefits and empowers young people

  • Therefore, the research must inform and shape pedagogy—and do so in a practical and sustainable way to have an impact on young people over the long term


The Brain and How We Learn


Neuroscientists explain that brain cells, or neurons, that “fire together, wire together,” which explains why the more we practise something, the better we can get. We can teach this to students. This article, “Neuroplasticity: Learning Physically Changes the Brain,” is a quick summary of this concept and the work of neurologist and educator Judy Willis who argues if we teach about the brain to students they will do better in school. 

Also read this blog entry, Why Leadership Need to Make Time for the Brain, about how we best learn over time with space learning, interleaving and retrieval practice.

More articles and sites on How We Learn over Time

Strengthening the Teacher Toolkit: Study Strategies to Boost Learning by John Dunlosky 
Why Students Don't Like School: Because the Mind Isn't Designed for Thinking by Daniel Willingham
UCLA Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab
The Learning Scientists
The Adolescent Brain


Over the past two decades, new imaging technologies have given us a more comprehensive understanding of the adolescent brain. The brain, from the ages of about 11 and into the 20’s, is much better than the adult brain at absorbing information, but is still developing regions such as the prefrontal context, which help us regulate “decision-making and planning, inhibiting inappropriate or risky behaviour, interpreting how other people think and feel, and self awareness,” according to “The Enigma of the Teen Brain.”



Mindsets and Learning

The research of educational psychologist Carol Dweck reveals that when a person has a growth mindset, he or she sees effort as something positive and will persevere when faced with challenges. In contrast, a fixed mindset leads people to give up or settle for tasks that are too easy. The research also shows that we can teach students to be more growth mindset. In this video, The Power of Believing that You Can Improve” Dweck, explains her theories and case studies. Growth Mindset sounds straight-forward concept, but it is not easy to implement. See David Yeager's article to learn more these types of psychological interventions: Addressing achievement gaps with psychological interventions



The Power of Feedback


The language we use to respond to young people when they learn has a significant impact on developing a mindset that values effort, challenge and perseverance. This is in contrast to feedback that praises for talent or innate ability, which often leads students to give up or avoid challenging themselves. In this article, Boosting Achievement with Messages that Motivate, the concepts are clearly explained. The Visible Learning website contains a lot of information about quality feedback. Not all feedback is useful!



Which books to start with to learn more . . . 
  • Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T Willingham (2009). Josey Bass

  • Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel (April 2014) Belknap Pressk

  • How We Learn: Throw out the rule book and unlock your brain's potential by Benedict Carey (2015) Macmillan

  • Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education by Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher

What Ofsted say

What Ofsted say

What teachers say

What teachers say

What students say

What students say

What headteachers say

What headteachers say

What parents say

What parents say

Much like developing your maths or writing skills, you can develop your character strengths through practice.  Here is a great video that connects mindset, the brain and character.  

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llustrations by Oliver Caviglioli for Connect the Dots or Tricia Taylor, Director

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