Those of us of a certain vintage grew up with “Space: The Final Frontier” opening each episode of Star Trek. We embraced Captain Kirk’s certainty that space was the final frontier. He was Commander of the Star Ship Enterprise and he was out there among the stars. Everything else had already been discovered, or so we thought: the earth’s surface and its oceans explored, mapped, named and claimed; ancient civilizations uncovered; countless mysteries solved…
But what if he was wrong? Now, more than ever, we are fascinated by another frontier – the human mind and all of its elements. Over the past decade or so, we have benefited from a golden age of neuroscience, one that provides unparalleled opportunities for educators to gain a deeper understanding of how the brain learns and how the mind works through a dynamic integration of mind, brain and relationship, combining to create physical experience, cognitive experience, emotional experience, relational experience.
This emerging nexus between neuroscience and education is fertile ground for huge growth in interest in self-regulation and an uptake in schools and districts across Canada and beyond. At the Canadian Self-Regulation Initiative we support schools and systems in looking with fresh eyes on 150+ years of schoolhouse habits and rituals, many of which were based on old and insufficient understandings of how the mind and the brain function and how learning occurs.
With that knowledge, we no longer believe that:
It’s both an exciting and challenging time to populate this nexus between neuroscience and education. Thankfully, there are many, many great resources to inform the journey. Here are a few that help to guide our work: