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Making Classrooms Better

50 Practical Applications of Mind, Brain, and Education Science


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A practical, classroom-oriented guide to best-practice teaching.

Learning specialist Leslie Hart once wrote that designing educational experiences without knowledge of the brain is like designing a glove without knowledge of the hand. Making Classrooms Better takes this concept a step further, building from general knowledge of brain-based education science and current educational research to offer specific suggestions for how teachers can improve student learning outcomes. Covering a range of subjects, from creating an optimal classroom climate to maximizing metacognitive skill development, this well-researched, state-of-the-art guide is an essential resource for highly effective practices that teachers, administrators, and curriculum planners can easily use.

The first half of the book provides a practical overview of teaching from a Mind, Brain, and Education perspective through an understanding of the intersection of the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and pedagogy. The second half shares 50 evidence-based classroom “best practices” that have a proven positive impact on student learning outcomes and explains why they work.


"Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa synthesizes a vast, comprehensive compendium of neuroscientific research-based practices into a pragmatic handbook for teachers, featuring vivid descriptions, helpful activities, and easily employed classroom applications." — Arthur Costa, EdD, Emeritus Professor of Education, California State University; co-editor of Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind

"Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa powerfully presents, as promised, 50 practical applications of Mind, Brain, and Education Science for the classroom. With her background in neuroscience and research analysis, and her knowledge of the needs of educators and students, this highly accessible book will be a valuable source of information and inspiration for all educators." — Judy Willis, MD, MEd neurologist; author of Inspiring Middle School Minds and Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning

"An excellent job of relating findings in psychology and neuroscience to education." — Michael Posner, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon

"The different disciplines covered in the areas of Mind, Brain, and Education are vast. In this very unique book, the author proposes practical applications in the classroom, without compromising scientific validity, successfully creating a bridge between the various disciplines." — Hideaki Koizumi, PhD, Executive Board, Chair on International Affairs, The Engineering Academy of Japan; Board, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo

"This book exceptionally translates up-to-date scientific studies into useable knowledge and practical tools to be utilized by anyone concerned with optimizing learning outcomes in individuals of all ages and within many contexts. A stimulating resource full of solid information for improving learning and understanding." — Stephanie Peabody, PsyD, Neuropsychologist-Course Director: Mind, Brain, Health and Education and Course Director: Neurobiology of Positive Psychology at Harvard UES

"This is a must-read for every educator who is willing to question and enhance their practice to deliver a better, research-based curriculum with improved methods for the benefit of their students. It blends learning theory and research (the why) with strategies for clearly identified instructional goals (the how). A worthy goal for every teacher would be to add one of the 50 best practices to their repertoire until they finish the reading." — Elizabeth Helfant, Upper School Coordinator of Pedagogical Innovation at the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS), Missouri

"As a true transdisciplinary diplomat, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa invites us to participate in her ‘interactive feature film’ about MBE Science, bringing education to the center of the fields of pedagogy, neuroscience, and psychology." — Renata Menezes Rosat, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Physiology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

"This book is fundamental for anyone who cares about increasing the benefits that students can reap from education as well as improving their experience while in school. Teachers, education leaders, policy-makers, graduate students, researchers, parents, and others interested in improving education are extremely lucky to have access to this wealth of up-to-date, research-based information in such an enjoyable read." — Daniela Bramwell, Master’s student from the University of Toronto

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