This event is SOLD OUT.

Please call 857-444-1500 x1 to be added to the waiting list.

Engage in intensive training on the topics of engagement and attention that have applications in classrooms.

Cost: $1,995 per person through May 24, 2024 and $2,095 per person after May 24, 2024
Save $100 per person when registering a group of 3 or more.

Join Us This Summer in Santa Barbara for a Hands-on Workshop

From July 15 - 19, 2024 is offering a Summer Institute on the oceanside campus of UCSB.

Join us for an engaging training on the topics of attention, emotion, memory, and executive functions, and their applications to teaching strategies.

This introductory level Institute will focus on neuroscience applications to teaching and learning, and examine ways to develop student engagement, emotional self-management, sustained effort, durable understanding, and top-down executive functions such as organization, planning, decision-making, critical analysis, and creative thinking.

Through lectures and facilitated discussion, participants in this course will explore neuro-logical approaches to understanding and meeting the academic, social, emotional, and executive function skills students need. As an introductory level course, this Institute does not address specific learning differences. This institute is hands-on and is limited to 45 participants.

The Summer Institute Is for:

  • PreK-12 Teachers, Administrators
  • Teacher Educators
  • College, University Professors

At This Institute, You Will:

  • Use insights from neuroscience to engage and maintain student attention and focus
  • Examine ways to ignite student motivation and engagement
  • Reflect on interventions for building students’ understanding of their brains and learning processes
  • Explore strategies for improving emotional awareness and self-management
  • Apply the compelling video game model of individual achievable challenge levels and incremental progress to increase student effort and perseverance
  • Explore tools for helping students make successful memory links between new input and prior knowledge
  • Consider experiences for creating enduring memories and concept understanding
  • Develop strategies for building executive functions across the curriculum to develop students' skills of attention, focus, emotional self-management, organization, judgment, critical thinking, and creative, flexible problem solving


About the Institute

This Learning & the Brain Summer Institute will be led by Dr. Judy Willis and assisted by Malana Willis. You will be offered an intensive professional development experience, drawing on findings in affective and social neuroscience.

This program is designed to help individuals and school teams develop the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to responsibly apply neuroscience and cognitive science findings to the classroom to improve teaching and learning. Active participation is expected throughout this Institute.

Attendees will be housed and all sessions will take place at the Sierra Madre complex on the Goleta, CA side of the UC Santa Barbara campus. Lodging, some meals, and course materials are provided. See the online schedule for meals provided.


About Dr. Judy Willis

Judy Willis, MD, MEd, is a neurologist and credentialed teacher. She has combined her training in neuroscience and neuroimaging with her teacher education training and years of classroom experience. Dr. Willis is an authority in the field of learning-centered brain research and teaching strategies derived from this research and has spoken at national and international educational conferences.

Dr. Willis has taught in elementary and middle schools and is currently an adjunct lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is also a staff writer for Edutopia and Psychology Today, and a media spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Willis has written six books on this topic, contributed extensively to educational journals and conducts interactive professional development workshops throughout the United States and internationally. Her books include Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006), Brain Research Based Strategies for the Inclusion Class (2007), How Your Child Learns Best (2008), Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative and Challenging (2009), and Learning to Love Math (2010).

About Malana Willis

Malana Willis, MEd, has taught elementary school in both Santa Barbara and Oakland, CA. She taught at the American School of Bilbao in Spain and worked at the UCSB Autism Clinic. She received her Masters Degree in Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from UC Berkeley and her BA in psychology from Williams College. She has been writing and presenting with her mother, Dr. Judy Willis, since 2010. In addition to assisting with the UCSB Summer Institute, she co-presented a Neuroscience and the Classroom professional development course in Seville, Spain and co-presented at Learning and the Brain's Science of Imagination conference in Orlando, FL.

Professional Development Credit:

Earn up to 20 hours toward professional development credit for various professionals. For details on credit offered, visit our CE credit page or call our office at 857-444-1500 ext. 1. Note: credits are not provided by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Accommodations and Meals:
Interaction between faculty and participants outside the classroom is an integral part of the Institute. To foster this total immersion learning environment, participants are housed in undergraduate dormitory accommodations on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The dormitory rooms are located in the recently opened Sierra Madre complex located on the Goleta side of the UC Santa Barbara campus. Participants are assigned to their own bedroom in a shared two-bedroom apartment with each participant having their own bathroom. Linens are provided. All facilities are ADA compliant. The Institute provides four nights lodging with an arrival date of July 15 and a departure date of July 19. If you are interested in making your own accommodations off-campus or would like to arrange an early arrival on campus, please call us at 857-444-1500 x1. Please check the online schedule for information on the meals provided. Note: The UCSB campus is a smoke-free campus.