You may recall that the ABT ran several short articles for the 2012–2013 academic year on addiction and the brain by Helen Buckland and Susanna Cunningham. Thank you, Helen and Susanna, for your valuable contributions to biology education. Those articles are now complete, and the department will be replaced by a new series beginning this month titled “The Neurobiology of Learning.”

This column will be written by members of the “How Do I Learn: Neuroscience Advances Inform Learning” grant (HDIL). HDIL is a collaborative effort of Puget Sound Educational Service District and three groups at the University of Washington (School of Nursing; School of Education’s LIFE Center–Learning in Formal & Informal Environments; and UW Educational Outreach Center). It is funded through the Blueprint for Neuroscience program hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. The goal of the grant is to engage teachers, students, parents, and interested community groups in an innovative program of neuroscience education focused on answering the questions “How do I learn?” and “How do I teach students about how they learn?” An additional focus is to inform all the audiences about potential careers in neuroscience.

The anticipated titles of the next 10 articles are

  • The Neurobiological Basis of Learning

  • Attention & the Brain

  • Animal Models of Learning

  • Sleep & the Brain

  • Exercise & the Brain

  • Memory & Learning

  • Technology & Learning

  • Assessments & Learning

  • The Impact of Attitude on Learning

  • Long-term Studies of How Learning Can Be Promoted

HDIL Project activities include a yearly summer workshop for teacher teams, followed up with an online professional learning community; a free online course about aspects of neuroscience related to learning; and online parent pages and parents’ night programs with information on what research tells us about how to support student learning. A specific objective for the teacher audience is to increase their knowledge of neuroscience research related to learning and their use of cognitive learning models, related teaching resources, and pedagogical skills. If you are interested in learning more about this project, contact project director Jenny Williamson at jenlw@uw.edu.