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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

September 12, 2008
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Helping Teachers Understand How the Brain Learns
Johns Hopkins seminar to discuss mind's
"executive function."

The Johns Hopkins University is combining two of its strengths — brain research and teacher education — to give educators a better understanding of how young minds work and to offer ways to enhance learning.

The university's School of Education and School of Medicine, and its affiliate, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, are presenting this month a joint seminar for teachers to discuss how the latest advances in brain research can affect teaching and student learning.

Hosted by the School of Education's Neuro-Education Initiative, the Executive Function Seminar will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Education Building, 2800 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. Reporters are welcome to attend. Please contact Jim Campbell at 410-516-5588 for information.

"Linking brain research to education is extremely valuable to our understanding of student development and learning," said Mariale Hardiman, assistant dean of the Urban School Partnerships at the School of Education and co- director of the Neuro-Education Initiative. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Hardiman was principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City.

"This is one of the first initiatives of its kind by a major university and we feel we feel the Neuro-Education Initiative is on the cutting edge of bringing together the research with the practice," Hardiman said.

Renowned for expertise in both neuroscience and education, Johns Hopkins is a natural setting for such a seminar, Hardiman said.

"Johns Hopkins provides a unique location for our Neuro- Education Initiative," she said. "We have world-renowned scholars who have done groundbreaking research in how the brain functions and our education school, which is committed to preparing quality teachers and administrators based on the best available research." The seminar is co-sponsored by the university's Office of Alumni Affairs and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Two Johns Hopkins researchers will present the latest findings on executive function: Martha Bridge Denckla, director of the Developmental Cognitive Neurology Department at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and a professor of neurology at the School of Medicine who is widely published on the biological bases for learning disabilities and ADHD in children of normal and above-average intelligence; and Marilyn Albert, professor of neurology and director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, who has written extensively on the cognitive and brain changes associated with memory.

"The goals of the Neuro-Education Initiative include providing opportunities for dialog and collaboration among educators and researchers, providing venues for information sharing across disciplines, and exploring new translational research initiatives between brain science and education to create new knowledge for teaching and learning," said John Griffin, chair of the university's Brain Science Institute. "The Brain Science Institute is excited to support and participate in this transformative program."

Starting in spring 2009, the School of Education will offer a graduate certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching. The program is designed for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, school administrators and related personnel who want to know more how brain research can inform educational practice.

For more information about the certificate program, visit www.education.jhu.edu. For more information about the Executive Function Seminar or to register online, visit www.education.jhu.edu/iseevent or e-mail mclean@jhu.edu.