First keynote begins at 1:15 PM on Thursday, February 16

Cognitive and social science research is finding that the most successful students are those who are happy, self-regulated, social, intellectually stimulated, empathic, compassionate, mindful, moral and physically healthy. Discover the latest research on how to nurture happy, active, thoughtful, regulated, resilient and responsible students for school and life success.

Learning Objectives

- Ways to cultivate smarter, happier and healthier students
- Teaching to the whole student in a complex, diverse world
- Strategies for enhancing social-emotional learning
- Promoting student self-regulation and resiliency
- How to create challenging, caring and moral classrooms
- Applying brain and social science to enhance student success
- Benefits of fitness, play and laughter for math and achievement
- Connections between reading, dyslexia, reasoning and IQ
- Importance of social skills and collaborations for LD students
- Effects of hormones, emotions, and stress on children and teens
- Early childhood intervention and school readiness

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Featured Conference Speakers


Whole Brain Goes to School: What Science Tells Us about Helping Students Grow Smarter, Healthier and Happier

David A. Walsh, PhD,
Psychologist; Faculty, University of Minnesota; Founder, National Institute on Media and the Family; Founder, Mind Positive Parenting; Consultant, World Health Organization; Author, Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids: The One Brain Book You Need to Help Your Child Grow Brighter, Healthier and Happier (2011)

Whole-Brain Child: Nurturing Students' Developing Minds

Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Co-Director, The Mindful Awareness Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles; Executive Director, MindSight Institute; Author, Mindsights (2010), The Mindful Brain (2007) and The Developing Mind (2001); Co-Author, The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive (2011)

The Whole Student in the Age of Globalization

Yong Zhao, PhD,
Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education, University of Oregon; Director, Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE); Author, Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization (2009) and "China and the whole child" (2007, Educational Leadership)

Whole Brain Learning for the Whole Brain Child: Why Growing Spatial Intelligence Matters!

M.A. Greenstein, PhD,
Founder/CEO, George Greenstein Institute, Inc.; Adjunct Associate Professor, Art Center College of Design; Fulbright scholar to Taiwan/China; Former Asia Pacific researcher; Developer of the GGI4Kids design thinking project for problem solving, spacial intelligence and mindful attention

Brain-Targeted Teaching for the Whole Child and 21st Century Schools

Mariale M. Hardiman, EdD,
Co-Director, Neuro-Education Initiative, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University; Former Principal, Baltimore City Public Schools; Author, The Brain Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools (2012), Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching (2003); Co-Author, "The science of education: Informing teaching and learning through the brain sciences" (2009, Cerebrum)

The Whole Child Approach for Effective Teaching

Fay E. Brown, PhD,
Associate Research Scientist, Child Study Center, Yale University; Director of Child and Adolescent Development, School Development Program, School of Medicine, Yale University; Co-Developer of the Student Development and Teacher Development surveys; Co-Author, Child Development: The Foundation of Education (2004)

Engaging the Whole Child: Teaching for Cognitive, Social and Emotional Learning

Judy Willis, MD, EdM,
Board-Certified Neurologist; Adjunct Faculty, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, Learning to Love Math (2010), Inspiring Middle School Minds (2009), How Your Child Learns Best (2008), Teaching the Brain to Read (2008), and Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006)

Teaching Mind Reading Skills to Special Needs Children

Janet Z. Giler, PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Author, ADDept Curriculum (1998) and Socially ADDept Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD and Asperger's (Wiley, 2011); producer of the training DVD, From Acting Out to Fitting In (2000). A past professor of marriage and family therapy, she now trains and supervises therapists in how to help families that have children with special needs. She is an approved Supervisor with AAMFT (The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), and she enjoys supervising and training other professionals.

Raising Happiness in Schools

Christine L. Carter, PhD, Sociologist; Director, Parenting Programs, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Blogger, Psychology Today; Founder, The Raising Happiness Project; Author, Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents (2011)

Executive Function, Adversity and Stress Reactivity: Implications for Education and School Readiness

Jelena Obradovic, PhD, Assistant Professor, Developmental and Psychological Sciences Program, School of Education, Stanford University; Research Investigator, The Peers and Wellness Study (PAWS), University of California, Berkeley; Co-Author, "Executive functioning and developmental neuroscience: Current progress and implications for early childhood education" (2011, The Handbook of Early Education) and "Biological sensitivity to context: The interactive effects of stress reactivity and family adversity on socio‚Äźemotional behavior and school readiness" (2010, Child Development)

Attention and Self-Regulation of Thoughts and Feelings

Michael I. Posner, PhD,
Professor Emeritus, University of Oregon; Former Adjunct Professor, Weill Medical College, Cornell University; Author, Attention in a Social World (2012) and Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention (2011, 2nd Edition); Co-Author, "Toward a physical basis of attention and self regulation" (2009, Physics of Life Reviews) and Educating the Human Brain (2006)

Early School Success: Self-Regulation, Risk and Academic Achievement

Megan M. McClelland, PhD,
Associate Professor, Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University; Author, "Self regulation and academic achievement in the transition to school" (In Press, Child Development Perspectives) and "Behavioral regulation and early academic achievement in Taiwan" (2011, Early Education and Development)

Say Yes to No: The Importance of Self-Discipline for Success and Happiness

David A. Walsh, PhD,
Psychologist; Faculty, University of Minnesota; Founder, National Institute on Media and the Family; Founder, Mind Positive Parenting; Consultant, World Health Organization; Author, No: Why Kids-of All Ages-Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It (2007)

Empathy, Regulation and Prosocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents

Nancy H. Eisenberg, PhD,
Regents' Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University; Recipient of the APS 2011 William James Fellow Award; Co-Author, "Self-regulation and school readiness" (2010, Early Education and Development) and "Empathy, prosocial behavior, and positive development in the schools" (2009, Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools)

The Mindful Child: Teaching the New ABCs of Attention, Balance and Compassion

Susan K. Greenland, JD, Founder/Executive Director, Inner Kids Foundation; Co-Investigator, Mindful Awareness Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles; Research Collaborator, University of California, San Francisco; Author, The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate (2010)

Teaching Self-Calming to Special Needs Children: Evidence-Based Practices

Children with special needs show impairments in self-regulation, flexibility, and adaptive decision-making. Relaxation is fundamental to these abilities. Relaxation involves integration of physiological and psychological factors to shift the nervous system from "fight/flight" to calm. By breaking down the physiological and psychological components of self-calming into a set of teachable skills, systematic practice and functional generalization can be accomplished. Mastery of self-calming skills promotes children's success at school, in the community, and, ultimately, in the workplace.

Debra A. Collins, PhD, NCSP,
School Psychologist, Broward County Schools, Florida; Co-Founder, S.T.O.P. and Relax, a systematic program for teaching relaxation and self-calming skills to children and young adults with disabilities such as autism, Asperger's disorder, ADHD, or anxiety

Louise Goldberg, MA, Yoga Therapist, Relaxation Now; Registered Yoga Teacher and Massage Therapist; Co-Founder, S.T.O.P. and Relax, a systematic program for teaching relaxation and self-calming skills to children and young adults with disabilities such as autism, Asperger's disorder, ADHD, or anxiety

The Uncoupling of Reading and IQ in Dyslexics Compared to Typical Readers

Emilio Ferrer-Caja, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis; Co-Principal Investigator, The Neurodevelopment of Reasoning Ability (NORA), University of California, Berkeley; Co-Author, "Uncoupling of reading and IQ over time: Empirical evidence for a definition of dyslexia" (2010, Psychological Science) and "Fluid reasoning and the developing brain" (2009, Frontiers in Neuroscience)

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Cognitive Potential of Dyslexic Students

Brock L. Eide, MD, Co-Founder, Eide Neurolearning Clinic; Member of the Prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, School of Medicine, University of Washington; Consultant to the President's Council on Bioethics; Co-Author, The Dyslexic Advantage (2011) and The Mislabeled Child (2007); and Fernette F. Eide, MD, Co-Founder, Eide Neurolearning Clinic; Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Washington; Former Faculty, Neurology Department, University of California, San Francisco; Consultant, President's Council on Bioethics; Co-Author, The Dyslexic Advantage (2011) and The Mislabeled Child (2007)

Smarter Minds: Brains, Intelligence and Schools

Dennis Garlick, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles; Author, Intelligence and the Brain: Solving the Mystery of Why People Differ in IQ and How a Child Can Be a Genius (2010), and "Understanding the nature of the general factor of intelligence: The role of individual differences in neural plasticity as an explanatory mechanism" (2002, Psychological Review)
Engaging the Mind for Higher Intellectual Performance in All Students

Yvette Jackson, EdD, Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University; CEO, National Urban Alliance for Effective Education; Former Director of Gifted Programs and Executive Director of Instruction and Professional Development, New York City Public Schools; Author, The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools (2011)

Smarter Teaching Leads to Smarter Students: Lesson Designs for Optimal Learning

Sarah Armstrong, EdD, Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Virginia; Consultant and President, Leading and Learning Solutions; Author, Teaching Smarter with the Brain in Focus: Practical Ways to Apply the Latest Brain Research to Deepen Concentration, Improve Memory and Motivate Students to Achieve (2008); Co-Author, A Practical Guide to Tiering Instruction in the Differentiated Classroom (2010)

Helping Students Organize their Brains for Joyful, Smarter Reading

Jeannine Herron, PhD, Neuropsychologist; Principal Investigator on four grants involving reading research from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); Former Researcher, University of California San Francisco; Director/CEO, Talking Fingers, Inc.; Director, California Neuropsychology Services; Author, Making Speech Visible: How Constructing Words Can Help Children Organize Their Brains for Skillful Reading (2011)


The Basic Science of Social Play and Joy: Implications for Mental Health and Education

Jaak Panskepp, PhD,
Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology; Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science; Professor, Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University; Author, "Can play diminish ADHD and facilitate the construction of the social brain?" (2007, Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) and Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (2004); Co-Author, The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions (2012)

Connections Between Physical Exercise and Academic Achievement

Kathryn L. King, MD,
Pediatric Resident, Medical University of South Carolina; Researcher on physical activity program in classrooms; Author, "Implementing a physical activity program in a public elementary school and its effect on academic achievement" (2007, Pediatric Academic Society); James T. McElligott, MD, Pediatrician and Program Leader; Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina; and Dave Spurlock, Director of Physical Education and Health, Charleston County School District; coordinator of the program to include fitness time and yoga to Charleston schools

Brain Fitness, Lifestyle and Life-Long Learning

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

Effects of Aerobic Play on Overweight Children's Cognition and Academic Achievement

Catherine L. Davis, PhD, Professor, Institute for the Prevention of Human Disease and Accidents, Georgia Health Sciences University; Researcher focusing on Exercise and cognitive function; Author, "Exercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children" (2011, Health Psychology)

The Power of Play to Enhance Learning, Build Social Connections and Encourage Curiosity

Martha M. Kaufeldt, MA, Educational Consultant; former teacher; Author, Begin with the Brain (2009, 2nd Edition) and Teachers, Change Your Bait! Brain Compatible Differentiated Instruction (2005); Co-Author, Think Big, Start Small: How to Differentiate Instruction in a Brain-Friendly Classroom (2011)

Creating Exercise Breaks in the Classroom

Bobbi Jarvis, BA, President, Exercise Breaks; Exercise Instructor; Toys Designer for the last 21 years for companies such as Hasbro Toys, Fisher-Price and Little Tykes. Jarvis started the Exercise Breaks in the Classroom program in 2008 in collaboration with the Bristol-Warren Regional School District


Adolescent Brains on Hormones: Social, Emotional and Motivational Changes and Opportunities

Ronald E. Dahl, MD,Professor, Community Health ghj_amp Human Development and Joint Medical Program, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Author, "The role of puberty in the developing adolescent brain" (2010, Human Brain Mapping) and "Pubertal development and behavior: Hormonal activation of social and motivational tendencies" (2010, Brain and Cognition)

Reducing Teen Stress by Promoting Positive Emotions

Judith T. Moskowitz, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor in Residence, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Researcher and Instructor, Coping and Emotional Development for Adolescents to Reduce Stress Pilot Program (CEDARS), Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Author, "Is benefit finding good for your health? Pathways linking positive life changes after stress and physical health outcomes" (2011, Current Directions in Psychological Sciences)

Why Do They Act That Way?: A Guide to the Adolescent Brain

David A. Walsh, PhD, Psychologist; Faculty, University of Minnesota; Founder, National Institute on Media and the Family; Founder, Mind Positive Parenting; Author, WHY Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen (2005)

Understanding the Emotional Teenage Brain: Mood and Peers

Amanda E. Guyer, PhD, Assistant Professor in Human and Community Development, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis; Winner of the highly prestigious William T. Grant Scholars Award; Co-Author, "Neural circuitry underlying affective response to peer feedback in adolescence" (2011, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) and "Probing the neural correlates of anticipated peer evaluation in adolescence" (2009, Child Development)

Teen Brains, IQ and Beyond: The Different Ways of Being Smart

Jeb Schenck, PhD, Adjunct Professor, University of Wyoming; Science Teacher of the Year, Tandy Scholar Teacher; Genentech Access Excellence Fellow; Einstein Finalist, and Presidential Awardee; Author, Teaching and the Adolescent Brain: An Educator's Guide (2011) and Learning, Teaching and the Brain (2003)


Nice is Not Enough: Integrating Social and Moral Development Research into Classroom Practices

Larry P. Nucci, PhD, Psychologist; Research Educator, Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley; Adjunct Professor, Cognition and Development, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley; Author, Nice is Not Enough: Facilitating Moral Development (2008) and The Handbook of Moral and Character Education (2008); Co-Author, Parenting for Character (2008)

BrainTrust: How the Mind Makes Morals

Patricia S. Churchland, BPhil, Professor Emerita, Philosophy Department, University of California, San Diego; Author, Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality (2011), Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy (2002), and The Computational Brain (1994)

Enhancing Social and Emotional Learning in Children and Teens: Implications for School Success

Joseph A. Durlak, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago; Co-Author, "The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions" (2011, Journal of Child Development) and "Promoting social and emotional development is an essential part of students' education" (2011, Human Development)

Wired to Connect: Creating Classrooms that Nurture Social and Autistic Minds

Sam Goldstein, PhD, Assistant Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Utah; School Psychologist, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Attention Disorders; Co-Author, Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies to Maximize Their Strengths, Coping with Adversity and Developing Social Minds (2011), Raising a Self-Disciplined Child (2009) and Seven Steps to Improve Your Child's Social Skills (2006)

Affective and Social Neuroscience: Implications of Social Emotions for Schools

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, Assistant Professor, Rossier School of Education; Research Assistant Professor, Brain and Creativity, University of Southern California; Author of "Implications of affective and social neuroscience for educational theory" (2011, Educational Philosophy and Theory)

Effective Collaborations: Reframing Social Responsibility for Educating the Whole Child

Carol A. Kochhar-Bryant, EdD, Professor of Special Education, Graduate School of Education and Human Development; George Washington University; Past President, Division on Career Development and Transition; International Council for Exceptional Children; Co-Author, Effective Collaboration for Educating the Whole Child (2010) and Pathways to Successful Transitions for Youth with Disabilities (2008)

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