Welcome to the August 2017 edition of The Learning Brain.

I’m excited to be one of the presenters at the Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conferences in Melbourne and Sydney (August 10 & 11) and Auckland (August 14), along with Dr Steve Miller, Dr Tanya Vaughan and Cheryl Chia from BrainFit in Singapore.

The conference organisers have managed to get a few extra seats. Register immediately if you want one, using the link in the newsletter.

One of the conference themes is how to help educators make more informed decisions, based on evidence. See What’s New to contribute your decision-making preferences to the discussion.

Devon Signature

What's On?

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Melbourne 10 August | Sydney 11 August | Auckland 14 August

5 extra seats now available at each venue. Register immediately if you want one.

Latest Research

Happy-1.jpgGenerous people live happier lives

New research confirms why you should teach your children and students to be generous.

Generosity makes people happier. Even promising to be more generous is enough to trigger a change in our brains that makes us happier, neuroeconomists found in a recent study.

Babies can learn a second language in 1 hour per day

mother and baby talking.jpgResearchers have developed a play-based educational program that can teach babies a second language in just one hour per day.

Scientists have known for years that cognitive abilities, especially problem-solving, can be enhanced when children learn multiple languages.

And for infants raised in households where two languages are spoken, bilingual learning happens almost effortlessly. But how can babies in single language households develop such skills? Read more.



What's New

How do educators make decisions?

Online Survey on Green Puzzle on White Background..jpegFind out from The Educator Evidence-based Decisions Survey.

This survey is feedback from educators in Australia and New Zealand about how they make decisions when considering an education program or intervention.

To learn about educator decision-making, just complete the survey (it will take you about 2 minutes) and tell us where to email your copy of the results.


exam room vacant desks.jpgNew critical thinking test for year 11 students

About 7,000 NSW year 11 students will sit a new critical thinking test this year. It's been developed because of the widespread belief that jobs in the future will require more than the traditional subjects taught now.

The optional 90-minute online test includes 60 questions that assess logical reasoning and analytical reasoning skills. Students will get a detailed report on how they performed plus areas for improvement.

The Learning Success Blog

boy spoon fed.jpgSpoon-feeding students – hand it out, or let them starve?

What's meant by “spoon-feeding" students? Is it a bad thing and should we stop it? If so, how can we?

In an interview on The Learning Capacity Podcast, learning specialist Richard Andrew described spoon-feeding as:
“Any process which robs students of the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning.”

According to Richard there are two types of spoon-feeding - explicit and implicit. Read more.

Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – August Worksheets

Thanks again for sending through your Maths Skills Booster feedback. It is always great to see how students are benefiting from this simple tool. Here are a few of the comments we received last month:Surprised child reading a book with letters flying away from it isolated on grey wall background. Face expression. Education concept.jpeg

  • "They are an easy to use resource that students enjoy as a break from routines. They really challenge themselves and enjoy finding the patterns that help them work faster and smarter."
  • "Format and convenience".
  • "Resources to support student learning."

Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the August worksheets here.

Did you miss out on the original Maths Skills Booster? You can get it here.


14_ways_improve_working_memory2.png14 ways to improve working memory eBook

How often do you have to remind your child to do something? Has anyone ever suggested they might have a working memory problem?

There are activities you can do at home to help.

This helpful free e-Book has 14 ways for you to help a child who struggles with memory, especially working memory.

Book of the Month

The_Brain_That_Changes_Itself.pngThe Brain That Changes Itself - Dr Norman Doidge

Neuroplasticity - the brain’s ability to change itself - is now a household term. If you haven’t read this bestselling book "The Brain that Changes Itself" yet, you must!

It has been chosen from a list of 30,000 as “No. 1 best book about the brain” and for good reason. It brings neuroscience to ‘the rest of us’ and is a truly inspirational read.

Get Chapter 3 FREE here.

periodic table.jpgApp of the Month

Periodic Table

This Periodic Table app from the Royal Society of Chemistry incorporates everything from podcasts to videos to help you learn about the elements.

Ideal if you’re a student, teacher or just have an interest in the chemical sciences.