Speakers and Sessions


Scientific research has found that stress, anxiety and behavior problems in children can affect the structure of the brain and reduce learning and motivation. Yet stress and behavior problems are on the rise in schools. An APA "Stress in America" Study found that overall stress levels in adults in 2017 has increased for the first time in 10 years, with more than two-thirds being stressed, and millennials with higher stress levels than any other group; and the APA's 2014 report found that 27 percent of teens experience "extreme stress" during school. A 2016 report by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers feel high daily stress. And in a recent Teaching Tolerance survey of 10,000 educators, 9 in 10 of them reported that since the election, there has been a negative affect on student mood and behavior and that anxiety, harassment, fights and insults in schools have increase dramatically.  

However, new cognitive, social and biological sciences may hold the answers to reducing stress, anxiety and behavior problems to students and teachers. Research has found that both negative and positive emotions, mindfulness meditation, promoting emotional agility, personality traits, and classroom management all affect the brain and mood and can all be used to significantly reduce stress and increase academic achievement.  Learn about the "Science of Stress, Emotions, and Behavior"; the impact of anxiety, emotions, and behavior on the brain and achievement; how to manage behavior problems in students; strategies to reduce social, test and performance anxiety; how teachers can do more with less time and overcome burnout and the feeling of being overwhelmed, and the benefits of mindfulness for students, teachers and administrators.

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Featured Speakers

Robert M. Sapolsky, PhD

MacArthur "Genius" Fellow; Neuroscientist and Biologist; Stress and Behavior Expert; John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology, and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University; Research Associate, Institute of Primate Research, National Museum of Kenya; Column Writer, "Mind & Matters", Wall Street Journal; Author, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worse (2017), The Trouble With Testosterone (2012), Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Third Edition (2004), and A Primate's Memoir (2002)

Christine L. Carter, PhD

Sociologist; Senior Fellow, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Author, The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work (2015) and Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents (2011)

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Renowned Neuroscientist; William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior; Founder/Chair, Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Member, Mind and Life Institute and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Co-Author, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body (2017) and The Emotional Life of the Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel and Live -- And How You Can Change Them (2012); C0-Editor, The Minds Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue With the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation (2012)

Angela P. Watson, MA

Owner/Founder, Due Season Press and Educational Services; Former Education Content Creator, BrainPOP; Former Classroom Teacher; Blogger, The Cornerstone for Teachers Blog; Author, Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day...No Matter What (2015), Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching (2011) and The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient and Enjoyable (2009)

Rick Hanson, PhD

Senior Fellow, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Founder, Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom; Expert on wisdom and how chronic stress affects creativity and innovation; Author, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence (2013), Just One Thing (2011) and Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom (2009)

Joshua M. Aronson, PhD

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology; Co-Director, Mindful Education Lab; Director, the Metro Center For Achievement Research and Evaluation (Metro CARE); Founding Director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development and Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University; Researcher whose work has been featured in best selling books such as Blink, The Nurture Assumption, How Children Succeed, and Mindset: The Psychology of Success, and The Atlantic's 2015 article "Mantra Before Math Class"; Board of Advisors, Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential; Author, “The Threat of Stereotype” (2004, Educational Leadership); Co-Author, “Minding and Mending the Gap” (2015, Contemporary Educational Psychology); Editor, Improving Academic Achievement (2002)

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being; Director, The Well-Being Lab, George Mason University; Winner of the American Psychological Association's "Distinguished Scientific Award"; Author, "What Erroneous Beliefs Do You Have About Resilience: New Research on Resilience Around the World" (2017, Psychology Today), "Personality Strengths as Resilience: A One-Year, Multiwave Study" (2016, Journal of Personality), The Upside of Your Dark Side (2014), and Mindfulness, Acceptance and Positive Psychology (2013)

Jonathan W. Schooler, PhD

Director, Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential; Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Primary Investigator, Memory Emotion Thought Awareness (META) Lab, University of California, Santa Barbara; Co-Author, "Mindfulness in Education: Enhancing Academic Achievement and Student Well-Being by Reducing Mind-Wandering" (2017, Mindfulness in Social Psychology), "Mind Wandering 'Ahas' versus Mindful Reasoning: Alternative Routes to Creative Solutions" (2015, Frontiers in Psychology) and "Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering" (2013, Psychological Science)