Speakers and Sessions

WHY POSITIVE MINDS SUCCEED

In order for students to thrive and succeed in today's high-stress, changing and chaotic world, they will need skills well beyond good test scores. Brain, behavioral and positive psychology research has shown that the most important skills for school/college success and achievement, life satisfaction, good health and wellbeing are resilience and positive emotions: optimism, gratitude, empathy, kindness and happiness. Discover why positive emotions are important for school success, wellbeing and behavior, ways to build student resilience against rising anxiety, adversity, bullying and depression, and strategies for promoting positive minds, students and schools.

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Explore the Latest Research on:
  • How Gratitude Builds Strengths, Resilience and School Success
  • The Brain Science of Positive Emotions, Thinking and Wellbeing
  • Strategies to Foster Optimistic, Empathetic and Grateful Children
  • Ways to Develop Positive Schools, Behaviors and School Climate
  • Promoting Positive Relationships, Empathy and Prosocial Skills
  • Applying Brain/Behavior/Positive Science to Help Children Thrive
  • Creating Caring, Courageous and Connected Children and Teens
  • Effects of Stress, Adversity, Poor Environments on Achievement
  • Interventions for Depression, Negative Behaviors and Bullying
  • The Role of Emotions and Environment on Reading and Math
  • Raising Resilience, Grit and Mindfulness in Students

Featured Speakers

Michele Borba, EdD

Psychologist; Educator; Bullying Prevention and Character Development Expert; Author, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine (2021), End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy: The Proven 6Rs of Bullying Prevention That Create Inclusive, Safe, Caring Schools (2018), Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (2016), The Big Book of Parenting Solutions (2009), No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them (2005), and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing (2002)

Horacio Sanchez, MEd

President/CEO, Resiliency Inc.; Former Teacher; Former Mental Health Director and Consultant; Author, The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty’s Impact on Brain Development and Functioning (2021), The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate (2016), and A Brain-Based Approach to Closing the Achievement Gap (2008)

Positive Minds: The Science of Optimism, Gratitude & School Success

Positive Education and Positive Psychology

Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD

From Grateful Students to Great Schools: The Promise of Gratitude in Education

Giacomo Bono, PhD

The Gift of Failure: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation and Resilience in Kids

Jessica Lahey, JD

The Science Behind Positive Thinking

Gabriele E. Oettingen, PhD

Gratitude in a Changing Brain

Christina M. Karns, PhD

Positive Activities in the Classroom: The Impact of Kindness and Gratitude in Adolescents

Christina N. Armenta, MA, PhD Candidate

Activating the Brain: Teaching Gratitude and Kindness in Schools

Patty O'Grady, PhD

Resilient Minds: The Science of Student Stress, Grit & Resilience

Grit in the Classroom -- Teachers on the Frontline of Change

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP

Resilience: Cultivating Capacities to Cope with Disappointment, Difficulty and Even Disaster

Linda Graham, MFT

Making Mindfulness Stick: Promoting Positivity and Resilience Through Meditation

Christopher Willard, PsyD

The Science of Positive Emotions: Promoting Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Michele M. Tugade, PhD

The Keys to Teen Success: Increasing Grit, Self-Control , and a Positive Mindset

Caren Baruch-Feldman, PhD

Safe in My Own Mind: Contemplative Practices That Support Mental Health and Self-Control in Adolescents

Brian M. Galla, PhD

Connected Minds: Enhancing Empathy & Positive Relationships

Empathy is a Verb: Lessons for Learning Real Success in the Digital Age

Michele Borba, EdD

Psychologist; Educator; Bullying Prevention and Character Development Expert; Author, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine (2021), End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy: The Proven 6Rs of Bullying Prevention That Create Inclusive, Safe, Caring Schools (2018), Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (2016), The Big Book of Parenting Solutions (2009), No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them (2005), and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing (2002)

The Human Brain and Empathy

James A. Coan, PhD

Wired to Connect: The Brain Science of Strong, Healthy Relationships

Amy E. Banks, MD

Prosocial Behavior, Social Influences and Social Support for Motivation and Academic Success

Kathryn R. Wentzel, PhD

Teach Peace: Developing Empathy and Hope in the Classroom

Kathleen M. Kryza, MA

Master Teacher; CIO, Infinite Horizons; Co-Author, Transformative Teaching: Changing Today's Classrooms Culturally, Academically, and Emotionally (2015), Developing Growth Mindsets in the Inspiring Classroom (2011), Inspiring Elementary Learners (2008), Inspiring Middle and Secondary Learners (2007), and Differentiation for Real Classrooms (2009)

The Formative Five: Preparing Students for Success in School and Life

Thomas R. Hoerr, PhD

The Positive Power of Differences: Teaching and Empathic Joy

Todd L. Pittinsky, PhD

Behaved Minds: Battling Bullying & Improving School Climate

The Whole-Brain Child: Regulating Behavior and Addressing Emotions in the Classroom

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, LCSW

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Schools and Our World

Anthony Biglan, PhD

The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve School Climate

Horacio Sanchez, MEd

President/CEO, Resiliency Inc.; Former Teacher; Former Mental Health Director and Consultant; Author, The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty’s Impact on Brain Development and Functioning (2021), The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate (2016), and A Brain-Based Approach to Closing the Achievement Gap (2008)

How to Teach Students the 9 Essential Habits of Empathy and Create Safe, Compassionate Learning Environments

Michele Borba, EdD

Psychologist; Educator; Bullying Prevention and Character Development Expert; Author, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine (2021), End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy: The Proven 6Rs of Bullying Prevention That Create Inclusive, Safe, Caring Schools (2018), Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (2016), The Big Book of Parenting Solutions (2009), No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them (2005), and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing (2002)

Social Emotional Learning: Preventing Bullying and Promoting Positive School Climate

Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD

Stressed Minds: Overcoming Adversity to Improve Wellbeing

We Are the Medicine: Prioritizing Possibilities to Address Early Life Adversity and Promoting Child Well Being

Christina D. Bethell, PhD

Childhood Disrupted: How Children's Biography Becomes Their Biology and How We Ensure Their Resiliency

Donna Jackson Nakazawa, BA

Neuroanatomical Correlates of Income and Adversity on Achievement

John D.E. Gabrieli, PhD

Director, MIT’s Integrated Learning Initiative; Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience; Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Co-Director, Clinical Research Center; Associate Director, Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Co-Author, “Reward-Related Neural Circuitry in Depressed and Anxious Adolescents: A Human Connectome Project” (2021, Journal of the American Academy), “Mindfulness Supports Emotional Resilience in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (2022, MedRxiv), “Sleep Quality, Duration, and Consistency Are Associated With Better Academic Performance in College Students” (2019, NPI Science of Learning), and “Greater Mindfulness Is Associated With Better Academic Achievement in Middle School” (2019, Mind, Brain, and Education)

Why Environment Matters for Learning: The Effects of Enriched and Impoverished Environments

John T. Almarode, PhD

Professor of Education, James Madison University; Co-Editor, Teacher Educator’s Journal; Co-Author, How Tutoring Works: Six Steps to Grow Motivation and Accelerate Student Learning (2021), How Learning Works (2021), Clarity for Learning (2018), From Snorkelers to Scuba Divers: Making the Elementary Science Classroom a Place of Engagement and Deep Learning (2017), Visible Learning for Science (2017), and Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6–12 (2013)

Teaching and Learning in the Presence of Anxiety, Stress and Trauma: Science and Strategies

Janet N. Zadina, PhD

Emotional Minds: Using Emotions to Improve Math, STEM & Literacy

What Brain Imaging Tells Us About Reading and Reading Intervention

Guinevere F. Eden, DPhil

The Roots and Fruits of Academic Self-Efficacy and Grit (Math and Reading)

Ellen L. Usher, PhD

Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation in Students

Matthew A. Scult, PhD Candidate

Environmental Influences and Neural Adaptation on the Reading Brain

John D.E. Gabrieli, PhD

Director, MIT’s Integrated Learning Initiative; Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience; Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Co-Director, Clinical Research Center; Associate Director, Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Co-Author, “Reward-Related Neural Circuitry in Depressed and Anxious Adolescents: A Human Connectome Project” (2021, Journal of the American Academy), “Mindfulness Supports Emotional Resilience in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (2022, MedRxiv), “Sleep Quality, Duration, and Consistency Are Associated With Better Academic Performance in College Students” (2019, NPI Science of Learning), and “Greater Mindfulness Is Associated With Better Academic Achievement in Middle School” (2019, Mind, Brain, and Education)

How Encouraging an Empathic Mindset in Teachers Reduces Suspensions and Improves Behavior

Jason A. Okonofua, PhD

Promoting Positive Emotions and Happiness in Schools

Acacia C. Parks, PhD

Raising Reading Success: Strategies and Self-Regulation for Reading Comprehension

Leslie E. Laud, EdD