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>  News Releases >   2005 >   February

Fact Sheet: Dartmouth's Center for Cognitive and Educational Neuroscience (CCEN)

January 2005

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Education is a brain-altering process, and cognitive and educational neuroscience hold the key to transforming how we all learn. New research suggests that multiple domains of knowledge develop in the child, often following discrete time courses that become integrated over time. This has profound implications for educational practice, but often, research discoveries aren't easily applied to the child.

Dartmouth's new Center for Cognitive and Educational Neuroscience (CCEN) will advance discovery in the brain-basis of human learning in the core content areas of learning (language, science, reading, and math) and the cognitive neuroscience of learning (transfer, lateralization, social aspects, and brain development).

The Center will foster a dialogue between researchers and educators at the K-12 and undergraduate levels that builds on existing outreach with local, national, and international schools, and enhances partnerships with the Montshire Museum of Science and on-campus educators. This new dialogue will inform the creation of learning deliverables, including a new online teaching resource, a toolkit for educational outcomes, and a Native American Living Cultures Archive.

Dartmouth's CCEN delivers on the three D's - "Discovery, Dialogue, and Deliverables," which makes the Center a national model for the integration of research and educational practice in the United States.

PRIORITIES

Advancing and Promoting the Science of Learning
CCEN faculty will integrate and promote collaborations to answer overarching questions that are central to the Science of Learning. This basic research includes:

  • Core Content Areas of Learning
    - Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
    - Science Learning
    - Reading and Literacy
    - Math: Neurocognitive Trajectories of Number Development
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning
    - Transfer of Learning: The Neural Substrates of Skill Retention
    - Brain Changes Associated with Learning Complex Skills
    - Social Aspects of Learning
    - Brain Development and Social Behavior and Learning

Advancing and Promoting the Practice of Learning in Education
CCEN faculty will promote Dialogue and Outreach to ensure that basic research moves from the laboratory into the classroom. Some examples of CCEN outreach mechanisms include:

  • Via education department programs at the local, national, and international levels, including Workshops to Rural Areas Program, Teaching Apprenticeship Fellowships, Teacher Training Workshops, Teacher in Residence Program, Teacher Certification Program, Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth Program (SEAD), School Partnership Program, Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Learning, Educational Policy Internships in Learning, Marshall Islands Teaching Internships, and collaborative projects between teachers and scientists.
  • Via collaboration with the National Numeracy Network, the National Working Group in Mathematics, and the Mathematics Department's Summer Enrichment Program, and also via Curriculum Development.
  • Via collaboration with the Native American Studies Program and the Tribal Scholars Program that brings Native American scholars from around the nation to study at Dartmouth and via the creation of Undergraduate Internships for the on-site study of Native Languages and Narrative Traditions.
  • Via collaboration with the network of New England schools coordinated with the help of the Upper Valley Teacher Institute in the New Teacher Institute, Mentor Training Program, and Professional Development Workshops.
  • Via collaboration with the Montshire Museum to promote Rural Science Teacher Training, as well as special programs to enhance district K-12 science education standards and objectives, and the investigation of novel approaches to informal science education through exhibitions and community programming.

Affect Diverse Populations in an ethical way

  • Via programs in the Education Department targeting under-resourced urban and rural students at the national (SEAD) and international (Marshall Islands) levels.
  • Via research that examines the cultural and societal impact of ideologies regarding diversity and diversity training on attitudes and behavior.
  • Via collaborations with Native American Communities including the creation of the Native American Living Cultures Archive (NALCA).
  • Via the development and support of a free-standing on-line Calculus Self-Study Course aimed at underserved populations.
  • Via mobile science exhibits in under-resourced and diverse rural and urban areas.

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