Constructing a Developmental Trajectory of Educational Neuroscience: Grounded Perspectives from Pioneers




Gillmarten, Charles

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This study begins with video of the Cognitive Neuroscience and Education: Brain Mechanisms Underlying School Subjects conference held in 1995, hosted at the University of Oregon by Dr. Michael Posner and sponsored by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, that marked a beginning in how to discuss potential contributions from cognitive neuroscience to improve educational practice. It concludes with the modern perspectives and interpretations of some of those speakers. This study attempts to construct a developmental arc of the discipline of educational neuroscience according to these pioneering voices. The intermediate nineteen years involved an almost immeasurable amount of activity within the discipline, both in terms of progress and regression. This study used qualitative, constructivist grounded theory methods to articulate an interpretation of this activity. This study is framed - as the discipline is itself - in the fundamental conceptual, methodological, and practical obstacles that pose a potential hindrance to the efficacy of the field. The ebb and flow of the development of the field contextualize my interpretations of the perspectives from these primary sources. This investigation demonstrated the conference in 1995 to be an attempt by scientists from disparate fields of research to explore the potential for common ground. Further, the optimism present in 1995 continues today among many of the presenters, though their emphasis on caution despite progress is strong as well. Recommendations for continued progress are discussed as they emerged.



Education, Neurosciences, Cognitive psychology, Cognitive neuroscience, Educational neuroscience, Mathematics, Neuroimaging, Neuroplasticity, Reading