Engage in intensive training on the topics of engagement and attention that have applications in classrooms.

Cost: $1,995

Join Us This Summer in Santa Barbara for a Hands-on Workshop

Learning & the Brain is offering this Summer Institute on the oceanside campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

This Institute will focus on the applications of neuroscience research to teaching and learning and examine ways to maximize and maintain student attention, focus, and cognition.

Brain imaging studies and cognitive neuroscience are providing a clearer picture of how individuals respond to sensory stimuli and perform cognitive tasks, which has allowed for a better understanding of the brain’s neural systems and how they relate to focus, learning and creative problem solving. Through lectures and facilitated discussion, participants will explore neuro-logical approaches for understanding and meeting the diverse academic, social, and emotional needs of students. The Institute is hands-on and is limited to 40 participants.

The Summer Institute Is for:

  • PreK-12 Teachers, Administrators
  • School Psychologists and School Clinicians
  • Education Professors and College Professors

You Will Learn to:

  • Examine ways to maximize and maintain student attention and focus
  • Teach students at all grade levels about their brains to empower their learning
  • Decrease the fear of mistakes to increase student and class participation
  • Increase encoding and mental manipulation for memory retrieval and retention
  • Employ brain-friendly strategies to advance student achievement and problem solving
  • Use advances in neuroscience research to ignite student motivation and engagement
  • Apply the benefits of the video game model, such as reaching individual challenge levels and self-recognition of incremental progress, to increase student motivation, effort and perseverance

About the Institute

This Learning & the Brain Summer Institute will be led by Dr. Judy Willis and assisted by Malana Willis. This program is designed to help individuals and school teams develop the knowledge, skills and strategies necessary to responsibly apply neuroscience and cognitive science findings to the classroom to improve teaching and learning. The program offers participants an intensive professional development experience, drawing on the most up-to-date findings in affective and social neuroscience. The Institute emphasizes attention, emotion, memory, and retention and their roles in learning, motivation, and long-term conceptual understanding. This course is designed for educators with no prior background in neuroscience. All sessions will take place at the Sierra Madre complex on the UC Santa Barbara campus and participants will be housed close by on campus. Lodging, some meals, and course materials are provided. See online schedule for meals provided.

About Dr. Judy Willis

Judy Willis, MD, MEd, is a neurologist and credentialed teacher. She has combined her training in neuroscience and neuroimaging with her teacher education training and years of classroom experience. Dr. Willis is an authority in the field of learning-centered brain research and teaching strategies derived from this research, and has spoken at national and international educational conferences.

Dr. Willis is an experienced teacher, having taught in elementary and middle schools. She is also a staff writer for Edutopia and Psychology Today, and a media spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Willis has written six books on this topic, contributed extensively to educational journals and conducts interactive professional development workshops throughout the United States and internationally. Her most recent books include Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006), Brain Research Based Strategies for the Inclusion Class (2007), How Your Child Learns Best (2008), Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative and Challenging (2009) and Learning to Love Math (2010).

About Malana Willis

Malana Willis, MEd, has taught elementary school in both Santa Barbara and Oakland, CA. She has also taught at the American School of Bilbao in Spain and worked at the UCSB Autism Clinic. She received her Masters Degree in Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from UC Berkeley, and her BA in psychology from Williams College. She has been writing and presenting with her mother, Dr. Judy Willis, since 2010. In addition to assisting with the UCSB Summer Institutes, she co-presented a Neuroscience and the Classroom professional development course in Seville, Spain and co-presented at Learning and the Brain's Science of Imagination conference in Orlando, FL.

Professional Development Credit:

Earn up to 20 hours toward professional development credit for various professionals. For details on credit offered, visit our CE credit page or call our office at 781-449-4010 ext. 102. Note: credits are not provided by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Accommodations and Meals:

Interaction between faculty and participants outside the classroom is an integral part of the Institute. To foster this total immersion learning environment, participants are housed in undergraduate dormitory accommodations on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The dormitory rooms are located in the recently opened Sierra Madre complex. Participants are assigned to their own bedroom in a shared two-bedroom apartment with each participant having their own bathroom. Linens are provided. All facilities are ADA compliant. The Institute provides four nights lodging with an arrival date of July 9 and departure date of July 13. If you are interested in making your own accommodations off-campus or would like to arrange an early arrival on campus, please call us at 781-449-4010 x 101. Please check the online schedule for information on the meals provided. Note: The UCSB campus is a smoke-free campus.