General Workshops/Presentations Available
Why the Brain Cannot Truly Multi-task and What That Means for Teachers and Teaching
So many brain centers combine to do such complex tasks as reading, taking notes, listening to a lecture. Given the neurological wiring of children and adolescents, multi-tasking is an impossibility. Brains do what is called quick seriation. Example: listening to an iPod and doing homework means that the brain must keep switching back and forth, making both tasks less effective and efficient. There are direct implications for teaching!
Brain RIPs [Research Into Practice]: Challenging Some of Our Standard Teaching Techniques
So many of our standard teaching techniques or recommended study techniques were developed before there was extensive brain research to look at their efficacy. This workshop will ask you to ‘tinker with your teaching’ by adjusting or enhancing some standard teaching practices based on the latest research.
Resilience/Grit/Self-Esteem: Windows of Neurological Opportunity in Developing These Life-Enhancing Characteristics
Whether looking at the hiring practices of global corporations, or the new CLA+ testing being employed by universities to measure probable success of their graduates, core strength, confidence and competence are the new gold standard of achievement. New research is providing insight into important developmental timelines in experiential learning and plasticity of certain brain regions that enhance the growth of these characteristics.
BOYS AT RISK: Successful Approaches to Teaching and Parenting
“Higher-education officials have been wringing their hands about our own “lost boys” for years. And yet the flip-flopped gender gap continues to widen: In April 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing that, for the first time, women have sailed past men in obtaining both bachelor’s degrees and advanced college degrees.”
[The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2011.]
In addition, a government commission has identified five “crisis level” factors for males: education, emotional health, physical health, father involvement, and work This workshop focuses on how to create educational and home environments that minimize, or, hopefully erase this trend and these factors. New research focusing on brain and developmental gender differences help to inform more successful and effective educational and parenting practices.
A Look at the Current Brain Research: Important Windows of Neuro-sensitivity in the First Decade of Life.
In the last several years, there has been a burgeoning of research looking at readiness from a neurological perspective. The defining question: Are there areas of the brain that are most malleable or plastic during a particular age range? The answer to that question has been gaining more and more clarity to the point that the research is providing critical direction in child development. There are really two magic decades, which span critical periods of brain development… This workshops looks at the first magic decade: What are those areas of the brain that have critical time periods for use during these first ten years of life? Most importantly, what does this mean to parents, caregivers and educators about structuring the environment and experiences of children during the birth to 10 magic decade?
A Look at the Current Brain Research: Important Windows of Neuro-sensitivity in the Second Decade of Life.
In the last several years, there has been a burgeoning of research looking at readiness from a neurological perspective. The defining question: Are there areas of the brain that are most malleable or plastic during a particular age range? The answer to that question has been gaining more and more clarity to the point that the research is providing critical direction in child development. There are really two magic decades, which span critical periods of brain development… This workshop looks at the second magic decade: What are those areas of the brain that have critical time periods for use during this adolescent time period? Most importantly, what does this mean to parents, caregivers and educators about structuring the environment and experiences of children during ages 10-20, the second magic decade?
Combining Character Development and Intellectual Development: A Startling Conclusion of the Recent Brain Research
There is such an extensive literature spanning character development, moral development, the development of sympathy and empathy. In parallel fashion, there is extensive research about cognitive, intellectual, learning or problem solving development in children. Some very recent work is now putting the two together. Do experiences that build sympathy, empathy and compassion also lead to intellectual development? Are there critical time periods for these areas of development? Why would growth in one area lead to growth in the other area? Let’s move beyond theory and opinion and see what the research supports!
Friends and Foes: Wonders and Woes
Most girls and boys don’t want to be mean, they just want to be meaningful. In that process of finding your niche in the social world, bullying and pain can be part of the process, as well as joy and meaningful relationships. This workshop explores how schools and parents can help to minimize the former and enhance the probability of the latter. Isn’t that what we want for all of our children?
A special version of the workshop focusing on relational aggression is also available for girls’ and boys’ schools.
Etch-A-Sketching the Brain: from Mnemonics to Memory
Memory is the foundation of all learning and thinking. If a brain cannot hold onto the beginning of a sentence or a thought long enough to continue to process it, thinking is impaired. And on it goes from working memory to short-term memory to long-term memory. As we work with students and children, or each other for that matter, knowing how to facilitate memory development becomes a critical part of teaching and parenting and interacting. Current research not only points to some ‘tricks of the trade,’ but also a variety of approaches that help etch thoughts into meaningful memory and learning.
The Magic Blend: Creating a Culture of Community & Challenge
If you review the research looking for correlates with student satisfaction and success, one of the top factors reported is a small setting that has a sense of community. I’ve talked with hundreds of students about their views of their schools. For them, words like caring, small, like a family all are resounding themes. So, then the task for a school is to look at itself and try to create or enhance the culture that embodies these well agreed upon descriptors. However, a sense of community is only half of the equation. This community is also a school, and as such, needs to provide a culture of challenge to get students to reach their full potential. As usual, the problem is in the specificity. This workshop looks at how to accomplish these deceptively complicated, but crucial, two tasks.
The Wonders and Woes of Stress
Stress can be positively motivating and is a normal response to challenge and conflict in a person’s life. This side of stress is often overlooked and we’ll spend time talking about how it can lead to a productive and motivated student. On the other hand, the negative side of stress is seen all too clearly at home and at school. When it reaches a certain level and/or becomes a pervasive state, it not only degrades physiological health, it actually interferes with higher levels of thinking. It becomes important for a parent or teacher to be able to read signs of stress, develop techniques and strategies for lowering stress and for helping children deal with stresses in the classroom.
Beyond Learning Styles: Diagnosing Types of Learners and Teaching Strategies with the Brain Research in Mind
There are so many learning style inventories, personality tests and ways of looking at multiple intelligences. What seems to be needed is a way of combining the brain research with a way of looking at how an individual brain works, and then combining that with pedagogic techniques in the classroom that will fit most learners. That’s what the IPO model does: looking at input, processing and output differences in students and designing teaching strategies around them.
AD/HD Issues in the Classroom and at Home
In the last ten years there has been a great deal of research and practice leading to better diagnosis of attentional issues and what to do about children who fall into this category of learning and behavioral difference. For example, although there are presently no medical tests for ADD or ADHD, there are comprehensive ways of identifying the issues, deciding whether medication is needed and looking at options for the teaching/learning and parenting needs of children in this area.
The Power and Puff of it All
Why is self-esteem often more of a problem for girls and what can be done about it? A look at the most recent brain, psychological and anthropological research sheds some light on this pervasive issue as well as leading to some ways of insuring better self-esteem for females.
Self Esteem is Green
More than intelligence, social class or what school was attended, a person’s self esteem it the best predictor of achievement and happiness in life. The problem is that this human characteristic, while widely written about, is very difficult to change when it is a problem for someone. This workshop gets right to the source: what are the ingredients that lead to self esteem and what can be done to increase these ingredients in children throughout life. Dr. Deak utilizes her famous ‘green stories’ to illustrate what self esteem is and what can be done to improve it in the lives of females and males.
Current Brain Research and How it Informs Teaching and/or Parenting
The last five years has provided an onslaught of knowledge about the functioning of the human brain, this work has confirmed some long standing theories and totally disproved others. Because of the significant steps in scanning techniques that can image a brain while it is working, more than ever before, we can make more informed and accurate recommendations for anyone involved in working with the owners of the human brain. This workshop will provide a comprehensive understanding of how to understand and work with the approximately 100 billion neurons that form an individual’s brain.
Males and Females: Significant Differences from the Neck Up…
Although our bodies are more alike than different from the neck down [we both have arms, legs, hands, organs, etc.], those parts that are different by gender make all of the difference! The same is true from the neck up: we are more alike than different anatomically. However, once the brain is asked to work, brain imaging shows that female and male brains are wired quite differently. These differences lead to a variation in the way females and males approach almost everything: from learning to loving, from communicating to consoling.
Getting the Most Out of Parent/Teacher Conferences
This workshop is available for teachers and/or for parents. Regardless of the purpose of a parent/teacher conference, both parties come to the table with an agenda complicated by a high degree of involvement and emotions. It isn’t just a simple conversation about the progress of a student. Understanding how to communicate when both parties have an agenda and care a great deal is always the beginning step. There are also some ‘tried and true’ techniques…
This workshop is designed for fathers. It can be a general workshop for all fathers, or can be specified for:
Fathers of young children
Fathers of adolescents
Fathers of girls
Fathers of boys
Regardless of the scope of the workshop, the research is clearly pointing to the important role of fathers in the development of a child’s gender identity, social skills, self-esteem and intelligence. The presentation of the research and the discussion of the implications often works best in a fathers only group.
Research can be collected and presented on any topic/subject and tailored to your school’s/organization’s needs. For more information contact the DEAK Group Offices: 330.701.7945