Faculty & Staff Directory

Laura Flores Shaw, EdD

Visiting Assistant Professor

Laura Flores Shaw, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Education, is extensively trained in family systems therapy and educational neuroscience. She also has direct experience as Head of School within an AMI based Montessori school framework. She instructs in the Mind, Brain, and Teaching Certificate and the Doctor of Education online programs. Laura’s work has focused on translating research from multiple areas of neuroscience, educational psychology, sustainability education, and family systems research into school design and classroom practice. She has particular interest and expertise in translating current applied and computational neuroscience research—especially approaches featuring a sensorimotor and ethologically oriented perspective—and applying large-scale dynamical systems frameworks to sociocultural contexts. Re-contextualizing common terms such as “executive function” and “attention” are areas of particular interest, especially in relation to issues of race, class, neurodiversity and behavior, including traditionally disadvantaged students living in poverty.

EDUCATION

2017 Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Baltimore, Maryland
Doctor of Education, Mind, Brain, and Teaching specialization
Dissertation Topic: Exploration of normalization: A construct foundational to Montessori teacher evaluation
Committee Chair: Ranjini Mahinda JohnBull, PhD
Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award (nominated)
Aileen and Gilbert Schiffman Fellowship, 2015 (recipient)

2007 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
Master of Science, Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy)

2003 University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, summa cum laude, with distinction
McNair Fellow, 2002-2003.
Psi Chi Chapter President, 2002-2003
Golden Key Undergraduate Scholarship, 2002-2003 (recipient).
Member of Dr. S. Tiffany Cunningham Donaldson’s neuroscience lab; conducted research on gender differences in response to stress after prenatal cocaine exposure utilizing a rodent model

ACADEMIC TEACHING AND ADVISING EXPERIENCE

Johns Hopkins University School of Education

2019-present Visiting Assistant Professor
EdD Online Program
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems (fall 2019)
Cognitive Processes of Literacy and Numeracy (fall 2019)
Neurobiology of Learning Differences (Spring 2020)
Multiple Perspectives on Learning and Teaching (Spring 2020)
MBT Certificate Online Program
Neurobiology of Learning Differences (summer 2019)

2018 Adjunct Faculty
EdD Online Program
Mind, Brain Science, and Learning (summer 2018
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems (fall 2018)
MBT Certificate Online Program
Explorations in Mind, Brain, and Teaching (fall 2018)

2016-2018 Teaching Assistant
Cognitive Processes of Literacy and Numeracy (fall 2018)
Fundamentals of Cognitive Development (fall 2016)
Special Topics in Brain Science (spring 2017)

RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2014-present WHITE PAPER PRESS, Arcadia, CA
Founder, Lead Editor, and Writer

Write, edit, and publish The Montessori White Papers—a professional journal to which Montessori schools and training centers subscribe of short papers written in lay-language explaining the research from the learning sciences, cognitive science, neuroscience, educational psychology, sustainability education, and family systems that indirectly supports Montessori pedagogy at all program levels, birth through adolescence.

2007-2014 Oak Knoll Montessori school, Pasadena & Altadena, CA
Head of School

Successfully turned around this failing school by facilitating effective collaboration of all school constituents—administration, faculty and staff, board of trustees, and family association—using systems theory frameworks and techniques.

2006-2007 FOOTHILL FAMILY SERVICE, West Covina, CA
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Assessed and provided treatment for a variety of mental health issues to elementary children and adolescents in public-schools; conducted in-clinic family therapy utilizing family systems frameworks and techniques.

POLICY POSITION PAPERS AND BRIEFS

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Gonski 2.0: Making Australia the world leader in education innovation. Position paper prepared for Montessori Australia. Retrieved from https://montessori.org.au/montessori-gonski-position-paper

Shaw, L. F. (2015). The assistant in the Montessori classroom. Brief prepared for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS). West Hartford, CT. Retrieved from https://www.public-montessori.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/The-Assistant-in-a-Montessori-Classroom.pdf

Shaw, L. F. (2015). Montessori as an intervention for children with dyslexia. Brief prepared for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS). West Hartford, CT. Retrieved from https://www.public-montessori.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Montessori-and-Dyslexia.pdf

MANUSCRIPTS IN PROGRESS

Budding, D. E. & Shaw, L. F. (2018). Assessing executive function within the dynamic affordance landscape. In R. Booth, T. Murphy, & K. Zebracki (Eds), Paediatric neuropsychology within the multidisciplinary context: A guide for clinicians, academics and students. United Kingdom: Mac Keith Press. Manuscript under editorial review.

Shaw, L. F. & Budding, D. E. (2018) Decolonizing executive functions. Manuscript in preparation.

Shaw, L. F. & JohnBull, R. M. (2019) Exploration of normalization—A key construct of Montessori education through the lens of teacher efficacy. Submitted to AERA Montessori SIG.

POSTER PRESENTATION

Cunningham, S. T., Waldon, Z. O., Shaw, L. F., Bardo, M. T. (2005) Gender differences in response to stress after prenatal cocaine exposure. Bethesda, MD: NDA Re Monograph 185, pp. 175-195.

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

Shaw, L. F. (2018, November). Montessori is brain-based education: Linking movement and cognition. Invited online presentation for the Neurobiological Perspectives on Developmental Education course in the Montessori, M.Ed. program at Whitworth University.

Shaw, L. F. (2018, April) Exploration of normalization: A construct foundational to Montessori teacher evaluation. Invited presentation for the Research and Development Day, Annual General Meeting of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Shaw, L. F. (2015, May) Neuromyths: What educators need to know about brain development. Invited presentation for the Center for Montessori Education at Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland.

INVITED KEYNOTE LECTURES

Shaw, L. F. (2018, October). Montessori is brain-based education.
Montessori Asia Conference, Shanghai, China, October 21-24, 2018
AMI-China National Conference, Chongqing, China, October 20-21, 2018.

Shaw, L. F. (2018, March). Montessori and play. Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2017, March). Montessori: For all types of brains. Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2016, March). Creativity does not arise from chaos. Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2015, March). Neuromyths of development. The Nature of Montessori, Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Gold Coast, Australia

Shaw, L. F. (2014, March). Relationships and the triangle theory. The Nature of Montessori, Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Gold Coast Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2013, June). The core of Montessori. Montessori Centenary, Canberra, Australia.

INVITED WORKSHOPS

Shaw, L. F. (2018, March). Facilitating effective play and identifying problematic play behaviors. Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2017, March). Montessori and self-differentiation. Montessori Australia Foundation Early Childhood Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Shaw, L. F. (2016, May). Examining normalization in practice. Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators, Toronto, Canada.

Shaw, L. F. (2016, May). The brain: It’s not what you think! Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators, Toronto, Canada.

Shaw, L. F. (2011, February). Mapping a whole school system. AMI/USA Refresher Course, Administrators Workshop, Long Beach, California.

SCHOOL SPEAKING TOURS

Hughes, S. & Shaw, L. F. (2018) The brainstorming tour: Powerful voices for Montessori education.

  • North American school speaking tour (North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Ontario, Toronto, Colorado) sponsored by White Paper Press and The Center for Developmental Education, September 2018-January 2019.
  • Three-week European school speaking tour (Prague, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Austria, The Netherlands) sponsored by Montessori Institute Prague and The Center for Developmental Education, March-April 2018

Shaw, L. F. (2016, May). Montessori: The educational framework for the 21st century. Weeklong school speaking tour, sponsored by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators, Ontario, Canada, May 2016.

Shaw, L. F. (2013, August). Fundamentals of Montessori. Two-week speaking tour sponsored by the Montessori Australia Foundation.

MONTESSORI WHITE PAPERS

Published by White Paper Press

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Guiding children in the digital society. The Montessori White Papers: Digital Technologies and Development, 4, 29-38.

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Digital technologies and well-being. The Montessori White Papers: Digital Technologies and Development, 4, 16-28.

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Violent video games and aggressive development. The Montessori White Papers: Digital Technologies and Development, 4, 15-27.

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Apps are not all that. The Montessori White Papers: Digital Technologies and Development, 4, 9-14.

Shaw, L. F. (2018). Does screen media wire young children’s brains for inattention? The Montessori White Papers: Digital Technologies and Development, 4, 1-8.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). What it means to “follow the child.” The Montessori White Papers: The Construction of the Self at School and at Home, 3, 33-38.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Togetherness. The Montessori White Papers: The Construction of the Self at School and at Home, 3, 25-32.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Fostering self-differentiation through emotion coaching. The Montessori White Papers: The Construction of the Self at School and at Home, 3, 17-24.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Fostering self-differentiation through movement. The Montessori White Papers: The Construction of the Self at School and at Home, 3, 9-16.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Montessori: Helping me to differentiate myself. The Montessori White Papers: The Construction of the Self at School and at Home, 3, 1-8.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Reading and the brain, part 1: Developing the reading circuit. The Montessori White Papers, 2, 1-8.

Budding, D. E., & Shaw, L. F. (2016). Born to move, part 1: Movement and cognition. The Montessori White Papers, 2, 17-25.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Montessori and play. The Montessori White Papers, 2, 26-34.

Shaw, L. F. (2016). Montessori and the systems worldview. The Montessori White Papers, 2, 35-41.

Shaw, L. F. (2015). Montessori and creativity. The Montessori White Papers, 1, 1-6.

Shaw, L. F. (2015). How do I know if my child is learning? The Montessori White Papers, 1, 20-25.

Hughes, S. & Shaw, L. F. (2015). Concentration: The key to building a better brain. The Montessori White Papers,1, 26-31.

TEACHING AND RESEARCH INTERESTS

Teaching

Mind, Brain, and Teaching Courses (online EdD and masters level programs)
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems
Multiple Perspectives on Teaching and Learning
Multicultural Education
Leadership in Educational Organizations
Turnaround Leadership in Schools and Educational Organizations
Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education

Research

Effects of neuroeducation professional development interventions (including a sensorimotor-cognition-emotion entanglement perspective) on:

  • Teachers’ sense of efficacy and teacher practice
  • Teachers’ perceptions of student behavior, including those atypically developing
  • Teachers’ perceptions of their role in relationship to students

Montessori teachers’ knowledge and beliefs of key pedagogical constructs and their impact on fidelity of implementation

  • Development of Montessori fidelity of implementation measures beyond classroom and teacher credentialing checklists
SERVICE & PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Service

COUNSELING WEST, Sherman Oaks, CA
2018 Board President
2017 Board Member

ASSOCIATION MONTESSORI INTERNATIONALE (AMI) GLOBAL RESEARCH GROUP, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014-present Member

ASSOCIATION MONTESSORI INTERNATIONALE (AMI)/USA REFRESHER COURSE, Long Beach, CA
2014 On-site Coordinator

Professional Affiliations

2018-present American Education Research Association (AERA)
2016-present International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES)
2008-2014 Montessori Administrators Association (MAA)
2007-2014 Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)/USA
2007-2014 North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)