March 24, 2016


Kristin Dunay

(781)-449-4010 x 104

[email protected]



Researchers in cognitive neuroscience and psychology have shown that imaginative play, creativity and curiosity are essential for learning. Some have found that reading imaginative fiction, such as the Harry Potter series, can improve reading and empathy in students. Yet, in an age of standardized testing, the most important elements for learning in schools has been overlooked or discarded: the desire, curiosity and passion to learn through children’s imagination and creativity.

Next month, a distinguished group of cognitive scientists, psychologists and innovative educators will gather before 1,200 educators at the Learning & the Brain® Conference in Orlando, FL, to explore the science behind childhood imagination, creativity and curiosity and how they can transform schools, classrooms and learning.

SPONSORS:  The program is co-sponsored by several organizations including the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, the Mind, Brain and Education Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Comer School Development Program at the Yale University School of MedicineThe Dana Foundation’s Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, The Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Edutopia and The George Lucas Educational Foundation, the Center for Childhood Creativity, the Learning & the Brain Foundation and both national associations of elementary and secondary school principals. The event is produced by Public Information Resources, Inc.

Renowned Speaker Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, will present on “Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education From the Ground Up” during a keynote on Friday, April 8. Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world’s leading speakers on creativity and innovation in education and author of Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (2015) and Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001), will make a case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, passion and imagination.

In addition to Sir Robinson, the program features some other leading experts on the learning sciences including:

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, Cognitive Scientist; Scientific Director, The Imagination Institute; Researcher and Lecturer, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania; Creator and Host of the Psychology Podcast; Blogger, “Beautiful Minds” at Scientific American; Author, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (2013); Co-Author, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (2015) and The Philosophy of Creativity (2014); Co-Editor, The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talents or Practice (2013)

Susan L. Engel, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Psychology; Founding Director, Program in Teaching, Williams College; Author, The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood (2015), Your Child’s Path: Unlocking the Mysteries of Who Your Child Will Become (2013), “Is Curiosity Vanishing” (2009, Journal of Child Psychiatry) and “Harry’s Curiosity” (2007, Psychology of Harry Potter) 

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, Professor of Psychology; Senior Scientist, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University; Author, The Power of Negative Emotions (2015), “3 Ideas to Prevent Schools from Killing Creativity, Curiosity and Critical Thinking” (2011, Psychology Today) and Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (2010)

Helen Hadani, PhD, Developmental Psychologist; Head of Research, Center for Childhood Creativity; Former Instructor, University of California, Davis and San Francisco State University; Former Product Developer for Hasbro, Apple, Leapfrog 

Angela Maiers, MA, Educator; Entrepreneur; Founder and CEO, Choose2Matter, Inc.; President, Maiers Educational Services; Author, Classroom Habitudes: Teaching Learning Habits and Attitudes in the 21st Century Classroom (2012, Revised Edition); Co-Author, The Passion Driven Classroom: A Framework for Teaching and Learning (2010)

Marc A. Brackett, PhD, Director, Center for Emotional Intelligence; Senior Researcher Scientist in Psychology; Faculty Fellow, Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University; Co-Creater of RULER; Co-Author, “Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Creativity” (2007, Journal of Personality)

WHEN: Thursday, April 7 – Saturday, April 9. Conference begins 1:30 PM. General registration is $579 through March 31 and $599 after March 31. Contact Kristin Dunay at 781-449-4010 x 104 for media passes.
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando, Orlando, FL
Learning & the Brain® is a series of educational conferences that brings the latest research in the learning sciences and their potential applications to education to the wider educational community. Since its inception in 1999, more than 50,000 people in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago have attended this series.


category: News

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