Engage in intensive training on the topics of attention, retention, and learning 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 22 - 26, 2024 is offering a Summer Institute on the oceanside campus of UCSB.

How can we shape lessons that foster learning, engagement, focus, and deep knowledge? This lively and interactive institute explores current brain research through four essential topics: attention, working memory, long-term memory, and schema theory. You will begin with the little-recognized goal of all schooling, called schema formation: a concept crucial for understanding optimal teaching. With this goal in mind, you will dive into a scientific understanding of attention. A research-informed perspective of attention will help teachers rethink old assumptions and create more motivating lesson plans. Next, you will explore the core functions of working memory: the brain’s construction site that assembles small pieces into larger mental structures. You will then explore the cognitive steps essential to long-term memory: specifically, the encoding and retrieval strategies that best consolidate learning and overcome prior misconceptions. With all these topics, we balance an in-depth exploration of research with practical and flexible classroom strategies. This institute is hands-on and is limited to 45 participants.

The Summer Institute Is for:

  • K-16 Teachers and Academic Administrators
  • School Psychologists, Learning Specialists, and Counselors
  • Academic Support Staff
  • Independent Learning Consultants

At This Institute, You Will:

  • Understand and apply the core concept of “schema formation” at the heart of learning
  • Develop insights and strategies to anticipate, identify, and mitigate working memory overload
  • Nurture long-term memory formation—that is, learning—with research on encoding, retrieval, and consolidation
  • Explore the science of attention to focus on alertness, orienting, and executive attention
  • Apply these concepts to your own professional work
  • Understand psychology and neuroscience research articles, with a particular focus on developing effective and informed skepticism

About the Institute

This Learning & the Brain Summer Institute will be led by Andrew Watson. The program translates well-established psychology and neuroscience findings into specific classroom strategies. We will especially emphasize the practical teaching application of brain research, with a consistent focus on healthy skepticism. The program offers participants frequent opportunities to discuss their own teaching practices, and to apply research findings to their lesson-plans, syllabi, assessments, and classroom practices. Active participation is expected throughout this Institute through group discussion. Participants will be expected to bring in material and questions from their own experiences to share with the group, and to share brief presentations on the final day of the institute.


About Andrew Watson

Andrew C. Watson, MA, EdM, began teaching in 1988, studying psychology and neuroscience in 2008, and combining those interests in 2012. He currently works as a high-school teacher and as a consultant—explaining the classroom implications of brain science to teachers, students, administrators, and parents. Since 2016, Andrew has written and edited the Learning & the Brain blog. He has also written 3 books: The Goldilocks Map, Learning Begins, and Learning Grows.

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 22 and a departure date of July 26. 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.