It’s Contagious: Get a Massive Dose of Passion for Learning
First, I love to learn. I am completing my Ph.D. in human development from Fielding Graduate University. You can be assured that every presentation is scientifically accurate and teacher relevant. I’ve written 24 books over four decades, published by five different publishers. While Teaching with the Brain in Mind was one of my best-known works, others know me from SuperTeaching, Brain-Based Learning or Enriching the Brain. Learning is a passion for me. Because I love to learn and write about how we learn.
Second, I am a relentless fanatic for perfection. If I reach 98.5% of a keynote audience, I stay up half the night figuring out what could I do differently next time to “hook in” the other 1.5%. If I uncover a crucial study that your audience should know about, they will hear about. Not a year later, but the very next day.
While some presenters can reach 70% and be satisfied, I am not. And the first thing I do is hold up a mirror. “How could I improve?” is always my first question. I feel driven by the relentless pursuit of that elusive perfection. Of course, I’ll never get there, but the journey’s the joy.
Have you heard the critics talk about brain-based education? Every year, the voices are diminishing, not increasing. Why? Today, as a result of years of exposure by brain-based presenters, educators are a far more informed profession. They are more professional, they look more for research, and they are increasingly more capable of understanding and incorporating new cognitive neuroscience discoveries than they were ten years ago.
Why Neuroscientists Support Scientific Teaching
Two major conference organizations, including my own, the Learning Brain EXPO (www.brainexpo.com) have produced “science to the classroom” events for ten years. These four times a year events (two by each company) have engaged over 100 highly reputable, often award-winning, neuroscientists to speak in translational terms to educators. The list of conference neuroscientists has been a veritable “who’s who” in cutting edge interdisciplinary neuroscientists from Harvard, Yale, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UCSF, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Chicago, UCSD, Rutgers, Georgetown and the Salk Institute. This has only come about as a result of the collaboration of educators and scientists linking the research directly to those in the schools. Scientists support brain-based education because it makes sense. It takes a partnership between educators and scientists to get it all right. Whether the presenter was a biological psychologist, neuroscientist or cognitive scientist is irrelevant; they’ve all been brain-based education supporters.
Harvard Offers Mind, Brain Education Degree Programs.
This Ivy League University now has both master and doctoral degrees, known as the Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) program. Every year, Harvard produces about 40 graduates with masters and two to four doctors of education, who go on to interdisciplinary positions in research and practice. The director says that the mission is to build a movement in which cognitive science and neuroscience are integrated with education so that we train people to make that integration both in research and in practice. This is a strong statement and other universities like University of Texas at Dallas also have strong programs, too. This intersection of biology and cognitive science with pedagogy has become a new focus in education.
Interest for the Harvard program comes from around the world (from Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, and other countries.)
This same excitement comes across in every presentation I make. There is also a peer-reviewed scientific journal on brain-based education. The journal, published quarterly by the reputable Blackwell Publishers and the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES), features research reports, conceptual papers, reviews, debates, and dialogue. This is a worldwide movement. My own conferences have had delegates from Thailand, Sweden, Bolivia, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and China. This is an exploding paradigm!
“It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Eric Jensen as the most dynamic and well-informed professional development speaker…we count on Eric to stay current with neuroscientific research, to accurately interpret findings, and to offer very practical and doable suggestions for classroom activities”
Dr. Char Myklebust, Director, SES Services. MN
I have made over 45 visits to neuroscience laboratories to talk directly with the scientists who do the studies. I often bring teacher groups into the labs to see, hear and touch HOW the research is actually done. I want to know, straight from the scientists who are actually doing the research, what it says and how to translate it. NOBODY is that obsessed with getting the facts right. I was one of the first educators in the world to be invited into the Society for Neuroscience, an invitation-only organization of neuroscientists. This inner circle membership is just one of many ways you get an inside track to the latest, breaking news in the world of learning. Why is that so important? Getting your teachers better trained is my #1 priority. Why? Good teaching is highly correlated with student achievement.
Read the connections below:
I know your staff has to be “spot-on” good. To help your staff be the best, I try to be the best in my field.
Read Carefully Before You Decide
By now, you may be thinking I’m the right person for you or your organization. But there are several reasons I might not be the right person for you:
- First, if you are thinking that 100% of your staff will make miraculous changes instantly with a one-time “tune-up” you’re mistaken. Teachers need support over the long haul. Unless you are willing to provide that support in the form of coaching, books, longer summer institutes and follow-up staff development, you’ll miss out on the real power of change. I’m good, but teachers need on-going support. Do not spend a penny on anyone until you have a long-term plan.
- If you’re expecting me to show how your staff can better conform to meet NCLB standards and raise your test scores, that’s not going to happen. That’s not what I do, though you will get indirect benefits that do improve test scores. I’m committed to student learning and student success in the broad view. I want students to be optimistic, talented, passionate, contributing members of society. If you only want higher reading and math scores, hire a reading, math or test prep consultant. They are specialists. If you want better teaching and learning in ALL areas, I can help.
- If you are hoping I can help you out next week, it might not happen. While I occasionally do have freaky one-time gaps in my schedule to add a commitment, please be thinking a few months from now. To find out my availability, email my wife, Diane, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll do her best to fit you in to your best date possible. Here’s an illustration of the kind of quality you’ll get…
"There was simply no time to be bored…all ratings were from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Wow’ with comments about hands-on environment, practical suggestions and ideas, the opportunity for group interaction followed by immediate feedback created a blockbuster presentation.” Ruth Hinson, Director, LAEF, New Orleans, LA
You get fresh information that’s up to date every time I speak. You are investing in the lives of your staff and every penny you spend on quality staff development will pay off. How do I know that? Because studies show that the difference between your best teachers and your underperforming ones is HUGE.
Here’s what the data says:
If this looks like good teaching can really drive student achievement, you’re right. But there’s more to it. Every year that your students have good teaching, the effect is cumulative. The good things just keep adding up and the student just keeps getting better. In fact, when you have students getting good teaching for three years in a row, you can flat-out expect miracles!
Quality teaching matters not just a little; it is the single greatest ingredient that you have influence over. You have very little influence over the student’s nutrition, the student-parent interactions, the quality of the student’s living conditions, their neighborhood or their peers. BUT, you do have influence over the 30 hours a week that the student spends in school. That’s why so much of the success of a child can be traced to good teaching.
Get a Pioneer and Leader in the Education Field
Long before the big brain “bandwagon” began, way back in 1983, I was the co-founder of the most innovative academic enrichment camp in history (SuperCamp). Featuring a brain-compatible curriculum, it has been held in 16 countries and boasts over 45,000 graduates from 80 countries. This innovative program has been featured in hundreds of newspapers, magazines and media from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today to Good Morning America. Thousands of schools around the world have made changes in their teaching, environment and curriculum based on the new brain research.
Today, years after the mudslinging criticism of brain-based education, it’s appropriate to say, “We were right.” In fact, because of the efforts of the brain-based community to inform educators, thousands are currently using this knowledge appropriately to enhance educational policy and practice. There are degree programs in it, scientific journals, conferences and the peer-reviewed brain-related research now supports the discipline. There are countless neuroscientists who support the movement and they demonstrate their support by writing and speaking at educational conferences.
How Relevant is the Brain to Your Teaching Staff?
The big picture is that our brain is involved with everything we do at school. The brain is the most relevant feature to explore, because it affects every strategy, action, behavior and policy at your school. New journals explore essential topics such as social conditions, exercise, neurogenesis, arts, stress and nutrition. A school cannot remove arts, career education and physical education and at the same time, claim to be doing what’s best for the brain of their students. Yes, we are in the infancy of brain research--there’s so much more to learn that we don't know. But dismissing it is not only shortsighted but also dead wrong.
Three Ways to Save Money on Eric Jensen
Hiring top-tier staff developers who “practice what they preach” is not cheap. I make no apology for the price I have to charge to bring world-class experience, credibility, relevancy, engagement and professionalism to your event. A one-day event often means four days of time for me (travel, workbook prep, presentation prep, research, etc.). Here’s how you can save money when you bring me to your area.
- Involve others in the process. Include other schools, even opening up the event to other districts that can share the daily fee to help reduce your costs.
- Grants can make it happen. There are hundreds of potential sources of funding IF you plan ahead.
Multiple days can cost less per day.
- Get a price break on two to five days of work. More days embed the learning better.
- Be flexible: ask for a date that can share the expenses with another.
Nothing is more relevant to educators than your brain or the brains of your students, parents, or staff. Scientific teaching, passionate teaching and brain-based education are here to stay and I can bring it to your staff like no other.
Are you are ready to bring me to your conference, school, district or business? If so, email my wife: email@example.com.
Yours in learning
President, Jensen Learning
P.S. The organizing genius in my life is my wife, Diane.
Simply contact her at (808) 552-0110 - 9-5 (PDT) or better yet,
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, she’ll do her best to find
the dates you need. I look forward to working with you.