Is this going to be on the test? Why do we have to know this? Is this for a grade? Can you tell me what I need to do to get this right? These questions haunt each and every teacher that is on the receiving end of such inquiry by their students. However, when we create an environment that fosters and nurtures engagement, questions like these evaporate from our schools and classrooms while our students engage in their learning. How can we create this type of environment? Over the past fifteen years, the science of learning has provided many insights into how we learn and think.  These promising principles provide a starting point for educators to apply the science of learning to the instructional decisions they make in their classroom.  This workshop unpacks the most recent and relevant findings from the science of learning and shows you how to put them into action! Practicing what we preach, participants will take part in an out-of-your-seat experience that models the promising principles from the science of learning for deep thinking and understanding.

Workshop runs from 8:15am-2:30pm.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe findings from the science of learning that are relevant to teaching and learning
  • Identify key principles from the science of learning that support instructional decisions
  • Understand the relationship between surface and deep level learning
  • Explore instructional practices that promote rigor in all content areas
  • Explain the role of formative evaluation and feedback on teaching and learning
  • Apply the SOLO Taxonomy to the development and progression of student thinking


This seminar is applicable for PreK-12 teachers, instructional coaches, and instructional leaders on the school and district level.



John Almarode, PhD, is the Sarah Miller Luck Endowed Professor of Education in the College of Education and Co-Director of the Center for STEM Education and Outreach at James Madison University. He began his career teaching mathematics and science to a wide range of students and now works with pre-service teachers while pursuing research in educational neuroscience and student engagement in STEM disciplines. He is co-editor of the Teacher Educator’s Journal and author of Captivate, Activate and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12 (2013).