Doctor of Education – Mind, Brain, and Teaching


The Mind, Brain, and Teaching specialization is designed for educators interested in exploring research from cognitive theories and neurosciences and its potential to inform the field of education. Courses will promote integration of diverse disciplines that investigate human learning and development. The specialization builds upon basic and applied research from the fields of cognitive science, psychology and brain sciences, neurology, neuroscience, and education. It provides educators with knowledge of how emerging research in the learning sciences can inform teaching and learning. Students who pursue this specialization will gain the knowledge and skills to interpret basic and applied research and apply relevant findings to educational practices and policies. This specialization is designed to support the development of knowledge, insights, and competencies among students with two different levels of prior knowledge in the learning sciences: those who have had limited formal exposure to the learning sciences, and those who have a master’s degree or master’s certificate in the learning sciences.

887.616 Fundamentals of Cognitive Development

This introductory course surveys theoretical and empirical work in the study of cognitive development. A variety of methodological approaches are addressed, with a focus on cognitive processes related to learning. The course proceeds from behaviorist, cognitivist, and sociocultural perspectives of the early and mid- 20th century to recent and ongoing research in the neuro- and cognitive sciences. Topics include the development of language, motivation, and intelligence, as well as the acquisition of skills and concepts related to mathematics, reading, writing, and problem-solving. Implications for education are considered.

887.617 Neurobiology of Learning Differences

This course is intended to prepare educators with information about how differences and disabilities in brain development impact the abilities of school aged children and adolescents to participate in instructional activities. Particular attention is given to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), specific learning disabilities (SLD), attention deficit disorder and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADD and ADHD), and psychiatric disorders that are found in the constellation of disabling conditions identified as emotional disturbance (ED). The course will include case studies of students with each disabling condition, with a focus on how the disability affects learning, the current status of imaging technologies, and the current uses of medications for assisting students in school settings. Students taking this course will review research and link information from lecture to the creation of an instructional unit demonstrating knowledge of how a disabling condition can be accommodated in school.

887.618 Cognitive Processes of Literacy & Numeracy

This course is designed to offer students an opportunity to study, discuss and explore aspects of brain function that influences learning, remembering, and utilizing textual and numeric concepts. The inter-relationship of developmental factors, prior knowledge, instructional design and implementation, and assessment mandates will be investigated and discussed. Current research, differentiated strategies, technologies and the impact of disabilities will be included.

887.619 Special Topics in Brain Sciences

This capstone course addresses specific topics in brain research and encourages the participants to apply research to inform instructional practices.