Driving Brain Change is a Skill, Retraining the Student Brain is an Art

For more than three decades, Dr. Michael Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. In addition to teaching and doing research at the University of California, San Francisco, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Dr. Merzenich’s work has been covered…

Building a Bridge for Excellence Between the Community and the Schools

Duval County, Florida School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Wise has only been on the job for 10 months, but already he is making a big impact on the 165 schools, 130,000 students and 14,000 employees in his district. Taking the lessons he learned from his last position as Superintendent of the Christina School District in Wilmington,…

Educating America’s Children in the 21st Century

As the Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts for the past six years, Dr. Wilfredo T. Laboy has set an outstanding example of what one educator dedicated to change and success can do in a short period of time. Upon his arrival, he declared a Year of Literacy, focusing the entire school system on one…

A Conversation with John Bruer

In the opening pages of his recent book, The Myth of the First Three Years—A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning, John Bruer recalls a 1996 phone call he received from a journalist at a national parenting magazine. “Based on neuroscience” she asked, “what can we tell parents about choosing a preschool…

A Conversation With Alison Gopnik

Most parents have, at one time or another, gazed lovingly at their newborn child and wondered whether someday their offspring would grow up to be the next Einstein or Newton. If Alison Gopnik were watching, she might suggest that the newborn in the bassinet doesn’t need to grow up. Perhaps they already think like a…

A Conversation With Howard Gardner

Powerful ideas have universal impact. The concept of Multiple Intelligences, for example, started as a theory in the halls of Harvard University and has now grown to be one of the most influential movements in teaching practices in the 20th century. Instead of seeing the mind as possessing finite quantities of a substance known as…