Speaker and Sessions

IMPROVING SOCIAL SKILLS AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR


After more than two years of social disruptions, school closures, isolation, loneliness, and online learning, parents and educators have noticed a drop in social skills and prosocial behavior in children. A 2021 OnePoll survey of parents of school-aged children (ages 5-14) found that 7 out of 10 parents expressed concern that their child’s social skills are at risk and two-thirds are concerned that their children have become more socially awkward around others since the pandemic. 81% of the parents polled wanted schools to implement activities to teach social skills. Research has found that social deprivation and lack of peer interaction in adolescence will have lasting negative consequences on their brains and physical and mental health while other research shows that social skills and prosocial behaviors (caring, cooperating, altruism, etc.) have significant benefits, including buffering against stress and adversity, increasing positive moods and health, and improving learning.

This conference will explore the "Science of the Social Brain" the impacts of isolation, the influences of peers, and the importance of social connections. Discover ways to create cooperative and collaborative classrooms; reduce school conflicts; improve a sense of belonging and identity; teach social and friendship skills; incorporate peer groups and social learning; and promote prosocial behaviors in students to boost school and life success.

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This conference will be presented as a hybrid conference. You can either attend in person in New York City or participate virtually. Click here for more details.

You will gain knowledge about:

  • The science of the social brain, networks, and connections
  • Strategies for conflicts, collaboration, and cooperative learning
  • Developing and designing classrooms to promote prosocial skills
  • The science of bridging divides and building a sense of belonging
  • The power of connections, positive relationships, and friendships
  • Promoting differentiated, group, and social learning in classrooms
  • The teen brain and influences of peers, pressures, and the pandemic
  • Helping students with poor social skills, autism, and social anxiety
  • Teaching empathy, kindness, gratitude, and altruism to students
  • Using groups and collaborations for learning, reading, and math

 

Featured Speakers

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

Social Brains in Adolescence: Peers, Pressures, and a Pandemic

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, PhD, FMedSci, FBA

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connections and Bridging Divides

Geoffrey L. Cohen, PhD

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

Jay J. Van Bavel, PhD

Director, Social Identity and Morality Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Department of Psychology, New York University; Co-Author, “Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media” (2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony (2021), and “The Social Neuroscience of Cooperation” (2020, The Cognitive Neurosciences)

How Relationships Power the Brain

Pamela Cantor, MD

The Social Brain, Language, and Learning

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD

A Sense of Belonging Matters: Building Connections and Community

Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD

The Science of Making and Keeping Friends

Marisa G. Franco, PhD

Teaching Kindness

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD

The Challenge of Permitting and Cultivating Principled Dissent in the Social-Pressure Classroom: A How to Guide

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022) and The Upside of Your Darkside (2017); Co-Author, “Understanding Psychological Flexibility: A Multimethod Exploration of Pursuing Valued Goals Despite the Presence of Distress” (2020, Psychological Assessment) and “Meaning in Life Buffers the Impact of Experiential Avoidance on Anxiety” (2020, Contextual Behavioral Science)

1) THE SCIENCE OF SOCIAL BRAINS: CREATING CONNECTIONS & COOPERATION

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

The Science of Making and Keeping Friends

Marisa G. Franco, PhD

How Relationships Power the Brain

Pamela Cantor, MD

The Global Crisis of Connection: Its Roots, Consequences, and Solution

Niobe Way, EdD

Intentional Neuroplasticity: The Neurobiology of Adversity and the Resiliency of Attachment

Lori L. Desautels, PhD

Societal Brain Health and Sessing Trauma: Inheritance of Olfactory Fear Memory

Clara W. Liff, PhD

How to Spark Cognition and Connections in Your Learners through Curriculum Storyboards

2) THE SCIENCE OF “US”: BUILDING BELONGING, IDENTITY, & COMMUNITY

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

Jay J. Van Bavel, PhD

Director, Social Identity and Morality Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Department of Psychology, New York University; Co-Author, “Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media” (2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony (2021), and “The Social Neuroscience of Cooperation” (2020, The Cognitive Neurosciences)

A Sense of Belonging Matters: Building Connections and Community

Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connections and Bridging Divides

Geoffrey L. Cohen, PhD

Building Belonging and Cultivating Connection so that Staff and Students Can Thrive

Janeen Antonelli, MA

Co-Founder and Chief Culture Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Former Teacher, Principal, and County Office Administrator with expertise in reaching and teaching at-promise youth; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator

Joelle Hood, EdD

Co-Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Thriving YOUniversity; Certified Life Coach; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Former Principal; Former Senior Consultant, Collaborative Learning Solutions; Awarded Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year; Passionately committed to empowering individuals and organizations to THRIVE

Liz Toruno, MEd

Lead Climate Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Coordinator for Social Emotional Learning, Bakersfield City School District; Former Teacher, Behavioral Management Specialist, and District Administrator

Neuroeducation Meets Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: An Instructional Framework for Promoting Connectedness, Belonging, and a Culture of Success

Mariale M. Hardiman, EdD

Co-Founder and Director, Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI); Professor, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University; Author, The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools (2012) and Connecting Brain Research With Effective Teaching: The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model (2003), and “Informing Pedagogy Through the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model (2012, Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education); Co-Author, “Exploring Changes in Teacher Self-Efficacy Through Neuroeducation Professional Development” (2023, The Teacher Educator) and “The Effects of Arts-Integrated Instruction on Memory for Science Content.” (2019, Trends in Neuroscience and Education)

Doing the Work: Practical Strategies to Create a Sense of Belonging in Our Schools

3) TEACHING SOCIAL BRAINS: USING COLLABORATION & SOCIAL LEARNING

The Social Brain, Language, and Learning

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD

The Challenge of Permitting and Cultivating Principled Dissent in the Social-Pressure Classroom: A How to Guide

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022) and The Upside of Your Darkside (2017); Co-Author, “Understanding Psychological Flexibility: A Multimethod Exploration of Pursuing Valued Goals Despite the Presence of Distress” (2020, Psychological Assessment) and “Meaning in Life Buffers the Impact of Experiential Avoidance on Anxiety” (2020, Contextual Behavioral Science)

Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom: Promoting Engagement and Social Interaction

Kristina J. Doubet, PhD

Effective Collaborative and Cooperative Learning: Possibilities and Perils

Dylan A. R. Wiliam, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Educational Assessment, Institute of Education, University of London; Former Dean and Head of the School of Education, King’s College London; One of the World’s Leading Authorities on Formative Assessments; Author, Creating the Schools Our Children Need (2018), Embedded Formative Assessment: Strategies for Classroom Assessment That Drives Student Engagement and Learning (2017, 2nd Edition), Leadership to Teacher Learning (2016), and “The Secret of Effective Feedback” (2016, Educational Leadership)

Restore and Respect: How to Mediate School Conflicts and Keep Students Learning

Ondine Gross, EdM, MS

Student Learning Communities: A Springboard for Academic and Social-Emotional Development

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)

4) TEACHING TEEN BRAINS: PEERS, SOCIAL PRESSURES, & ISOLATION

Social Brains in Adolescence: Peers, Pressures, and a Pandemic

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, PhD, FMedSci, FBA

The Listening Project: A School- Based Method of Building Relational Intelligence

Niobe Way, EdD

Reframing Adolescence: Preparing Adults to Be the Guides Teens Deserve in Their Lives

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, FAAP

Insights into the Teenage Social Brain: Peers, Presence, and Pro-Social Influences

Adriana Galvan, PhD

Fostering Purpose in Youth Through Persuasive Science and Profound Prosocial Experiential Exercises

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022) and The Upside of Your Darkside (2017); Co-Author, “Understanding Psychological Flexibility: A Multimethod Exploration of Pursuing Valued Goals Despite the Presence of Distress” (2020, Psychological Assessment) and “Meaning in Life Buffers the Impact of Experiential Avoidance on Anxiety” (2020, Contextual Behavioral Science)

How the Brain Makes Sense of the Social World: Implications for Understanding the Teenage Years

Meghan L. Meyer, PhD

5) HELPING OTHERS: PROMOTING PROSOCIAL BEHAVIORS

The Social Brain: The Neural Basis of Social Cognition, Social Connection, and Emotion

Kevin N. Ochsner, PhD

The Dynamics of Prosocial Choice

Oriel FeldmanHall, PhD

Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Compassionate, Cooperative, and Collaborative Students

David Sloan Wilson, PhD

Designing a ProSocial Classroom

Christi C. Bergin, PhD

Cultivating Culture: Connecting Kindness, Empathy, and Gratitude to Student Learning

Janeen Antonelli, MA

Co-Founder and Chief Culture Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Former Teacher, Principal, and County Office Administrator with expertise in reaching and teaching at-promise youth; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator

Joelle Hood, EdD

Co-Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Thriving YOUniversity; Certified Life Coach; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Former Principal; Former Senior Consultant, Collaborative Learning Solutions; Awarded Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year; Passionately committed to empowering individuals and organizations to THRIVE

Liz Toruno, MEd

Lead Climate Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Coordinator for Social Emotional Learning, Bakersfield City School District; Former Teacher, Behavioral Management Specialist, and District Administrator

6) CONNECTING TO OTHERS: PROMOTING EMPATHY, KINDNESS, RELATIONSHIPS & SOCIAL SKILLS

No More Meltdowns: Social Skills Training for Emotional Regulation

Jed E. Baker, PhD

Evolving With Gratitude: Nurture Relationships, Improve Well-Being, and Activate Learning

Lainie Rowell, MA

Teaching What Matters to Teens: Activating Compassion, Kindness, and Altruism

Steve Banno, Jr., MEd

Teaching Kindness

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD

The Empathy Edge: How to Create a More Human-Centered Classroom

Lindsay Portnoy, PhD

Cognitive Scientist; Associate Teaching Professor in the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Doctor of Education Program, Northeastern University; Former Teacher; Co-Founder of Immersive Science Learning Company, Killer Snails; Author, “An Opportunity for an Improved Post-Pandemic Education” (2021, Age of Awareness), Game On? Brain On! The Surprising Relationship Between Play and Gray (Matter) (2020) and Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom (2019)

Mindsets, Environments, and Relationships: Helping Students Develop their Capacity for Self-Awareness, Self-Management, and Self-Acceptance