The Science of Student Success: Optimizing Achievement and Reducing Failure

Gain insights from neuroscience into why some academic achievers, musicians and athletes have brains that are maximized to excel. Learn how practice, motivation, mindsets and fears can lead to triumph or failure in school and on the athletic field. Discover how to use this "science of success" to help all students achieve inside and outside the classroom by improving performance in learning, memory, math, reading, testing and athletics.

29th International Conference for Pre-K through University Educators, Parents and Clinicians

May 5-7, 2011 at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, Chicago, IL
Pre-Conference Workshops: May 4, 2011

Download Conference Brochure (pdf)

Co-Sponsors include:
Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Chicago
Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University

Learning Objectives

You will gain knowledge about:

  • Ways to cultivate drive and talents to succeed in school
  • Using positive attitudes to improve learning, memory and grades
  • Strategies to create more failure-resistant, focused, self-aware students
  • How mindsets, motivation and coaching can unlock talent and skills
  • How anxiety, stress, stereotype threat and emotions affect learning
  • Why smart students "choke" or do poorly in testing, school and sports
  • Methods to help students overcome bias and failure so they can achieve
  • Ways social emotions and culture shape motivation and learning
  • How climbing and challenges improve learning in teens
  • Strategies that "great minds" use to achieve success
  • Teaching diverse, distracted and distressed children
Learn from a Distinguished Faculty
Sian L. Beilock

CHOKE: The Science Behind Academic Stress and Student Performance

Sian L. Beilock, PhD, Director, Human Performance Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology, The University of Chicago; Author, CHOKE: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To (2010); Co-Author, "Math performance in stressful situations" (2008, Current Directions in Psychological Science)

Jennifer A. Mangels

Mindsets, Motivation and Rebounding from Failure

Jennifer A. Mangels, PhD, Director, Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Attention; Associate Professor, Baruch College and City University of New York; Co-Author, "Why do beliefs about intelligence influence learning success?" (2006, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) and "Motivational effects on attention, cognition and performance" (2004, Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition)

Mark J. Fenske

The Winner's Brain: How Great Minds Achieve Focus for Success

Mark J. Fenske, PhD, Director, Cognitive-Aff\ective Neuroscience Lab; Associate Professor, Dept. of Neuroscience ghj_amp Applied Cognitive Science, University of Guelph; Co-Author, The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success (2010)

Fay E. Brown

Child Development Mindsets, Motivation and Resilience: Implications for Classroom Practice

Fay E. Brown, PhD, Associate Research Scientist; Director, Child and Adolescent Development, Comer School Development Program, Yale University School of Medicine; Co-Author, "Child development is the foundation of education" (2004, Six Pathways to Healthy Development and Academic Success)

Judy Willis

Changing Minds, Motivation and Mastery with Neuroscience Based Strategies

Judy Willis, MD, EdM, Board-Certified Neurologist, Middle School Teacher; Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results (2010)

Amy E. Claessens

School Readiness, Attention Skills and Later Achievement

Amy E. Claessens, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, The Harris School of Public Policy Studies, The University of Chicago; Co-Author, "Kindergarten skills and fifth grade achievement" (2008, Economics of Education Review) and "School readiness and later achievement" (2007, Developmental Psychology)

Arthur F. Kramer

Fit Minds: Effects of Child Exercise on Cognitive and Brain Health

Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, Director, Lifelong Brain ghj_amp Cognition Lab; Faculty, Human Perception and Performance; Director, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Co-Author, "A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children" (2010, Brain Research)

Lucy Jo Palladino

Teaching Students to Pay Attention

Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD, Award-Winning Psychologist; Sports Psychologist; Attention Expert; Former Clinical Faculty, University of Arizona Medical School; Author, Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload (2007) and Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos (1999, formerly titled The Edison Trait)

Kenneth S. Kosik

Memory and the Brain: Lifestyles, Fitness and Life-Long Learning

Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute; Harriman Chair and Professor of Neuroscience Research, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, The Alzheimer's Solution: How Today's Care Is Failing Millions - and How We Can Do Better (2010)

Jeb Schenck

Using Physical Experiences to Create Teen Memory Using a Learning Cycle Model

Jeb Schenck, PhD, Adjunct Professor, University of Wyoming; High School Teacher; Author, Teaching and the Adolescent Brain (2011) and Teaching to the Brain: Best Practices, Best Ideas (2008); leader and veteran of mountaineering expeditions including Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley; and Jessica Cruickshank, EdM Candidate (2011), Program and Curriculum Director, Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries (SROM); Member of international expeditions; Researcher on the applications of neuroscience to learning

Engaging Interest for School Success

Barbara Schneider, PhD, John A. Hannah Chair and Distinguished Professor, College of Education and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University; Co-Director, Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work; Principal Investigator, Center on Advancing Research in Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, The University of Chicago; Co-Author, Becoming Adult: How Teenagers Prepare for the World of Work (2001, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD), and The Ambitious Generation: America 's Teenagers, Motivated but Directionless, (2000)

Conference Note: Barbara Schneider, PhD, is replacing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, who had to cancel due to a medical problem. Dr. Schneider is a former student of Dr. Csikszentmihalyi's and has written several articles and books with him.

Dolores Albarracin

Attitudes and Achievement: Student Self-Talk and Achievement Motivation

Dolores Albarracin, PhD, Director, Social Action Lab; Professor of Psychology; Affiliate Investigator, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Co-Author, Handbook of Attitudes (2005), "Motivating goal-directed behavior through introspective self-talk" (2010, Psychological Sciences) and "Structure of attitudes: Memory, judgment, and implications for change" (2007, Frontiers of Social Psychology)

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

Neurobiology of Social Emotions: How Culture Shapes Focused Awareness, Motivation and Learning

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, Assistant Professor, Rossier School of Education and Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California; Author, "Neuroscientific perspectives on a motivating emotion" (2010, Contemporary Educational Psychology)

Willy Wood

Scaffolding Success: Role of Assessment and Feedback in Motivation and Achievement

Willy Wood, MA, President, Open Mind Technologies; Former High School Teacher; Expert on brain-compatible teaching

Sam Goldstein

The Power of Resilience: Helping Children Achieve Balance, Confidence and Success

Sam Goldstein, PhD, Assistant Clinical Instructor, University of Utah Medical School; Clinical Director, Neurology Learning and Behavior Center in Salt Lake City; Co-Author, The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life (2009)

Donna Walker Tileston

What Every Teacher Should Know About Student Motivation

Donna Walker Tileston, EdD, Founder and President, Strategic Teaching and Learning in Dallas, TX; Author, What Every Teacher Should Know About Motivation (2010, 2nd Edition) and What Every Teacher Should Know About Diverse Learners (2010, 2nd Edition)

Daniel Coyle

The Talent Code: Getting Greatness in Students

Daniel Coyle, Journalist; Contributing Editor, Outside Magazine; Adjunct Faculty Member, Northwestern University; Author, The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How (2009) and Lance Armstrong's War (2006)

Dana Strait

How Making Music Shapes Our Children's Brains: Implications for Language, Learning and Literacy

Dana Strait, PhD candidate, Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University; Music Instructor; Pianist; and Nina Kraus, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Otolaryngology; Director, Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University; Co-Authors "Musical experience promotes subcortical efficiency in processing emotional vocal sounds" (2009, New York Academy of Sciences)

Daniel Ansari

The Brain Goes to School: Facing the Promises and Challenges of Educational Neuroscience

Daniel Ansari, PhD, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair; Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario; Author, "The Brain Goes to School: Strengthening the Education-Neuroscience Connection" (2008, Education Canada)

Elizabeth J. Meinz

The Underpinnings of Skilled Performance: The Case of Music

Elizabeth J. Meinz, PhD, Associate Professor; Dept. of Psychology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; and David Z. Hambrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Michigan State University; Co-Authors, "Deliberate practice is necessary but not suffi cient to explain individual differences in piano sight-reading skill: The role of working memory capacity" (2010, Psychological Science)

Stimulating the Brain and Math Learning Through Music

Kamile Geist, MA, MT-BC, Board Certified Music Therapist; Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, School of Music, College of Fine Arts, Ohio University; Co-Author, "Do re mi, 1, 2, 3: Using music to support emergent mathematics" (2008, NAEYC Young Children Magazine)

Beverly A. Wright

Practice and Perceptual Learning: Implications for Learning, Language and Reading

Beverly A. Wright, PhD, Director, Hugh Knowles Center for Clinical and Basic Science in Hearing and its Disorders; Professor, Audiology and Hearing Sciences, Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University; Co-Author, "The influence of practice on the discrimination of spectro-temporal modulation depth," (2010, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America)

Lise S. Eliot

Pink Brains, Blue Brains: Plasticity, Sex Differences and Abilities

Lise S. Eliot, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; Author, Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Diff erences Grow into Troublesome Gaps and What We Can Do About It (2010); Co-Author, What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life (2000)

Robert J. Rydell

The Effects of Negative Stereotypes on Women's Ability to Learn

Robert J. Rydell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Indiana University; Co-Author, "Stereotype threat prevents perceptual learning" (2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and "Multiple social identities and stereotype threats: Imbalance, accessibility and working memory" (2009, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)

Kamiele Geist

Combating Math Anxiety in the Classroom

Eugene A. Geist, PhD, Associate Professor in Early Childhood, Ohio University; Author, "Anti-anxiety curriculum: Combating math anxiety in the classroom" (2010, Instructional Psychology) and Children are Born Mathematicians: Supporting Development in Young Children (2000)

Daniel Ansari

Disorders of the 'Mathematical Brain': Developmental Dyscalculia and Mathematics Anxiety

Daniel Ansari, PhD, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair; Department of Psychology; Faculty, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Western Ontario; Co-Author, "The effect of mathematics anxiety on the processing of numerical magnitude" (2011, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology)

Susan C. Levine

Female Teachers' Math Anxiety Affects Girls' Math Achievement

Susan C. Levine, PhD, Co-Director, Center for Early Childhood Research; Professor/Chair, Dept. of Psychology, The University of Chicago; Co-Author, "Female teachers' math anxiety impacts girls' math achievement" (2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Mary C. Murphy

How Situational Cues and Beliefs Influence Social Identity and Academic Outcomes

Mary C. Murphy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago at Illinios; NSF Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Science Foundation; Co-Author, "Signaling threat: How situational cues aff ect women in math, science, and engineering settings" (2007, Psychological Sciences)


Kennon M. Sheldon

Mitigating the Undermining Effects of Grade Motivation: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

Kennon M. Sheldon, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Missouri -Columbia; Author, Optimal Human Being: An Integrated Multi- Level Perspective (2004); Co-Author, "A versus F: The effects of implicit letter priming on cognitive performance" (2010, The British Journal of Educational Psychology) and Designing the Future of Positive Psychology (2010)

Carolyn M. Chapman

Test Success in the Brain-Compatible Classroom

Carolyn M. Chapman, MA, President/Consultant, Creative Learning Connection, Inc.; Author, Motivating Students: 25 Strategies to Light the Fire of Engagement (2010) and Test Success for the Brain Compatible Classroom (2008)

Katherine A. Rawson

When and Why Practice Tests Improve Student Learning

Katherine A. Rawson, PhD, Director, Comprehension and Memory Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology, Kent State University; Co-Author, "Why testing improves memory" (2010, Science) and "Costs and benefits of dropout schedules of test-restudy practice: Implications for student learning" (2010, Applied Cognitive Psychology)

Lynn F. Hellerstein

See It, Say It, Do It: Creating Successful and Confi dent Students in Schools and on Tests

Lynn F. Hellerstein, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, Developmental Optometrist, Hellerstein ghj_amp Brenner Vision Center, P.C.; Adjunct Faculty, Illinois College of Optometry; Author, See It, Say It, Do It: The Parent's ghj_amp Teacher's Action Guide to Creating Successful Students ghj_amp Confident Kids (2010)

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