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Johns Hopkins University

School of Education
Explorations in Mind, Brain, and Teaching
Homewood Campus

Dr. Mariale Hardiman


Asst. Instructors:
Luke Rinne
Emma Gregory
Credit Hours:


Class Time:
Course Description: During the past decade the cognitive and neurological
sciences have produced a vast frontier of knowledge on how the brain
processes, stores, and retrieves information. Educators have increasingly
recognized a role as consumers of this emerging knowledge. Participants in
the course will review this research, examining how it intersects with the
correlates of research-based effective teaching and the teaching of the arts
across content areas. Topics of study will include the brains memory
systems, the impact of emotions on learning, the processes involved in
higher order thinking and learning, and issues related to child development.
Participants will apply course studies to the creation of learning units that
emphasize application of knowledge and the integration of the arts.

Course Objectives:
Students will demonstrate their understanding for each the following topics:
1. The ABCs of Brain Anatomy/ How the Human Brain Processes
Identify brain organization and structure

Describe how learning occurs at the cellular level

Describe how information proceeds from perception to attention and
from attention to memory
Describe how research in the cognitive and neurological sciences
intersects with effective teaching strategies
Describe the components of the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model
Explore how arts integration transforms schools and classrooms

2. Setting the Emotional Climate for LearningBrain-Target One

Define structures and functions of the brains emotional center
Identify factors that cause stress for students in school
Design general strategies, including artful strategies such as
movement and theater, for reducing stress and promoting a positive
emotional climate in the classroom
Design evaluation tool for a teacher/administrator to assess
classroom climate
Design specific strategies to connect emotions to learning in a BTT
learning unit
3. Designing the Physical Learning EnvironmentBrain-Target Two
Describe how order, organization, attractive displays, and novelty in
the learning environment can enhance learning
Identify ways to change the environment and use art to add depth
to content displays with each learning unit
Design a checklist for optimal school and classroom learning
Design specific strategies to provide optimal learning environment
in a BTT learning unit
4. Designing the Learning ExperienceBrain-Target Three
Describe how prior knowledge of content, concepts, and skills can
be incorporated into daily instruction
Use Maryland State Content Standards, Maryland Arts Standards,
and Core Learning Goals to design global instructional goals

Design concept maps to provide students with an overall picture

of instructional goals

Use instructional goals to design objectives that state what

students will know and be able to do as a result of instruction

Design specific instructional objectives based on global goals and

content standards in a BTT learning unit
5. Teaching for MasteryBrain-Target Four

Describe the brains memory systems--procedural, declarative,

episodic, semantic
Explain the distinctions between how the brain processes working
and long-term memories
Identify artful strategies to present information to allow for repeated
rehearsals and in-depth understanding of concepts and content
Design instructional activities that integrate multiple modalities and
multi-disciplines into the learning experience
Design instructional activities that integrate the visual arts, music,
drama, and movement into the learning experience
Design specific instructional activities to teach for mastery
declarative and procedural knowledge in a BTT learning unit

6. Teaching for the Extension and Application of LearningBrain-Target

Describe how the brains modular learning system suggests the use
of active, experiential learning activities to extend and refine
students learning
Design general instructional strategies that extend and refine
students learning through real-world problem-solving tasks
Design specific instructional strategies to extend and apply acquired
knowledge in a BTT learning unit
Describe the distinction between divergent thinking and convergent
Describe the cognitive and neural processes associated with
7. Evaluating LearningBrain-Target Six
Design multiple evaluation systems such as the use of oral and
written probes, rubrics, student portfolios, student-generated
products, and performance-based assessments
Design specific evaluation instruments to correspond with the
components of the BTT learning unit that they designed throughout
the professional development session
Course Standards
Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Content Standards, Maryland Arts
Standards, and Core Learning Goals apply to this course. Please review them
through the MSDE website:

Required Text and Other Materials

Hardiman, M. (2003). Connecting brain research with effective teaching: The
Brain-Targeted Teaching Model. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Posner, M. I. & Rothbart, M. K. (2007). Educating the human brain.
Washington, D.C.:
American Psychological Association.
Copies of any additional required readings will be handed out in class or on
the ELC.
Five teams of students (3-4 students per team) will be formed; these teams
will collaborate on certain course assignments.
Online Discussion of Posner & Rothbart Chapters (Due daily, 7/8-7/15)
Each team will start an online discussion in the Electronic Learning
Community (ELC) for one chapter in the Posner & Rothbart book. Prior to the
class when the reading is due, each member of the group will start a
separate discussion thread with a short paragraph that expresses a
comment, question, idea, etc. (something broad and insightful enough to
elicit thoughtful responses). Team members should consult with one another
to make sure that the groups thread starters differ in scope and
complement one another.
All students in the class should reply to two different thread starters
before the following days class. In addition, students should post at least
one follow-up to another students response in the other thread(s).
Students are encouraged to post additional follow-ups in any thread. When
considering which posts to reply to or follow-up on, look for those that dont
already have responses. The instructors will start the online discussion for
the first chapter in order to provide an idea of what is expected. The
instructors will also monitor/participate in online discussions throughout the
Research Connection Project (Due 7/30)
Students will focus on one component of the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model
and connect it to a relevant area of research and/or current educational
initiative. For example, Brain-Target Three, Designing the Learning
Experience connects with Understanding by Design (Wigging & McTighe,
1998). Students will prepare a 7-10 page paper that analyzes the relationship

between the Brain-Target and the research/initiative, noting similarities and

differences as well as implications for classroom practice.
Learning Unit Design (Due 7/16)
Teams will use the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Content Standards,
Maryland Art Standards and/or Core Learning Goals to design an artsintegrated learning unit that incorporates the components of the BrainTargeted Teaching Model. Participants can choose the grade level and
content focus. The learning unit will be prepared in written format using the
BTT template. In order to share the learning unit with colleagues, the team
will prepare a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation on the learning unit and
present it to the class. Each member of the team will receive the same
grade. Equal participation is expected.

Evaluation and Grading

Attendance/Participation/Class Projects (15 points)
Online Discussion of Posner & Rothbart (25 points)
Emergent Proficien
Thread starter
Thread replies
Research Connection Project (30 points)
Emergent Proficien
Analysis of Research
Analysis of Connection
to Brain-Target
Application to
Classroom Practice
Learning Unit Design (30 points)
Lesson thoroughly
describes all six BTT
PPT demonstrates each
Presentation is
engaging and succinct











Late Assignments:
It is expected that assignments will be turned in on the due dates. Late
assignments will be subject to grade reductions. Extenuating circumstances
should be discussed with the instructor.
Resubmitted Assignments:
Students may resubmit assignments with a grade of B or lower.
Resubmissions may earn up to half the point differential between the original
grade and the value of the assignment, and should be turned in within one
week after the graded assignment is received by the student.
Grading Scale
= 94% and above
A= 90-93%
B+ = 87-89%
= 84-86%
B= 80-83%
C+ = 77-79%
= 74-76%
C= 70-73%
= below 70%
The grades of D+, D, and D- are not awarded at the graduate level.
Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes punctually
and participate fully in all in-class group activities and assignments.
Contact the instructor about emergency situations or other attendance
related issues as soon as they arise, before scheduled class sessions.
Unexplained lateness/absence may lead to penalties in the final course

Course Outline


n to Mind,
Brain, and


1. Introduction dyads
2. Review of course syllabus
3. Building a Circuit-Diagram for the Brain: Video clip
4. Power Point Presentation Part 1: Introduction to the BrainTargeted Teaching Model
5. Introduction to Electronic Learning Community (ELC)
6. Formation of teams and assignment of Posner & Rothbart

Due Dates

n to BrainTargeted


1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 1

2. Discussion/Activities, Brain-Target 1
Video Clip: Stress and Memory (1:35)
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research
on how social and emotional learning can affect the
Immordino-Yang & Damasio (2008). We feel therefore
we learn.
Small Group Activity: Identify factors within and outside
the classroom that cause stress for children and affect
learning. Suggest strategies to reduce the effects of
stress in the classroom.
3. Guest lecture: Linda Gorman

Hardiman, Ch. 4


BT 1:

BT 2:

Hardiman, Ch. 5



1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 2

2. Discussion/Activities, Brain-Target 2
Video: Professional Skills - Positive Learning
Environment Primary (30 min)
Standen, A., (2007). Space craft: Feng shui principles
transform a classroom
Nair, P. & Fielding, R., (2007). A comfortable truth.
Edutopia April/May 30-32.


Power Point Presentation Part 2: Brain-Targets 1-6

BTT teacher interviews
Demonstration of BTT learning units
Small Group Activity: Teams brainstorm ideas for learning


BT 3:

Hardiman, Ch. 13
Hardiman, The
Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 1

Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 2

Small Group Activity: Design a checklist for optimal

school and classroom learning environments to be
included in the schools improvement plan.

1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 3

2. Discussion/Activities, Brain-Target 3
Video: Synopsis of Mind Mapping (27.58)
Video Clip: Inspiration Concept Map Tutorial (5:23)
Small Group Activity: Design a concept map based on
global goals and content standards in a designated
unit of study
3. Guest Lecture: Stephen Hsaio, Plasticity
4. Guest Lecture: Susan Rome, Big Picture Thinking, The
Arts, and Children with Disabilities

Hardiman, Ch. 6
Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 3




BT 4:

1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 4

2. Discussion/Activities, Brain-Target 4
Mapping Memory in the Brain, Eric Kandel
Slides: History of research on Learning and Memory
Memory through Arts Integration: The Dana Studies on
Arts and Cognition: Learning, Arts, and the Brain
Small Group Activity: Brainstorm multiple ways to
present a given instructional objective to increase
repetitions, provide differentiation, and engage all
students in the learning activity. Integrate visual arts,
music, drama, or movement to the chosen activities.
3. Guest Lecture: Clare Grizzard, Arts Integration and BTT

Hardiman, Ch. 7

BT 5:

1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 5

2. Discussion/Activities, Brain-Target 5
Video Clip: Music and Dance Drive Academic
Achievement (8:45)
Limb Video
Art Works: Integrating Creativity in the Curriculum
Small Group Activity: Discuss how arts integration may
help students think more critically about content in
traditional subject matter areas and encourage them
to apply what they have learned in unique and creative

Hardiman, Ch. 8

BT 6:

1. Questions/Brief Discussion of Posner & Rothbart, Ch. 6

2. Discussion/Activites, Brain-Target 6
Karpicke & Roediger (2008). The critical importance of
retrieval for learning.
Cepeda et al. (2008). Spacing effects in learning.

Hardiman, Ch. 9



Small Group Activity: Consider how evaluation

practices might be informed by the recognition that
tests and quizzes serve not just as measurements, but
also as opportunities for students to consolidate and
reinforce their knowledge.

1. Learning unit presentations

2. Course wrap up
3. Evaluations

Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 4

Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 5

Posner &
Rothbart, Ch. 6
Paper Due

Learning Units

Classroom Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic
adjustment, auxiliary aid or other similar accommodations, please
contact Karen Salinas in the Disability Services Office at 410-516-9823
or via email at

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

Johns Hopkins University is a community committed to sharing values of
diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence. We
believe excellence is best promoted by being a diverse group of students,
faculty, and staff who are committed to creating a climate of mutual respect
that is supportive of one anothers success. Through its curricula and clinical
experiences, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies/Division of
Education purposefully supports the Universitys goal of diversity, and, in
particular, works toward an ultimate outcome of best serving the needs of all
students in K-12 schools and/or the community. Faculty and candidates are
expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity as it relates to planning,
instruction, management, and assessment.
IDEA Course Evaluation
Please remember to complete the IDEA course evaluation for this course.
These evaluations are an important tool in the School of Educations ongoing
efforts to improve instructional quality and strengthen its programs. The
results of the IDEA course evaluations are kept anonymousyour instructor
will only receive aggregated data and comments for the entire class.
Typically, an email with a link to the online course evaluation form will be
sent to your JHU email address approximately 85% of the way through the
course. Thereafter, you will be sent periodic email reminders until you
complete the evaluation. The deadline for completing the evaluation is
normally one week after the last meeting of class. Please remember to
activate your JHU email account and to check it regularly. (Please note that it
is the School of Educations policy to send all faculty, staff, and student email
communications to a JHU email address, rather than to personal or
alternative work email addresses.) If you are unsure how to activate your JHU
email account, if youre having difficulty accessing the course evaluations or
you havent received an email reminder by the day of the last class, or if you
have any questions in general about the IDEA course evaluation process,
please contact Rhodri Evans (410-516-0741;

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