The Brain in Mind

Supporting Children's Thinking (and their thinking about thinking)


Theory of mind; metacognition; emotional intelligence; critical thinking; executive functions; mindfulness: at every turn, early childhood professionals have the brain on their minds. How do these concepts overlap and differ? What do they tell us about supporting optimal development? And, most importantly, what does our most current understanding of the brain imply for classroom practice?


This workshop offers an overview of brain development and sorts through important concepts about learning. It explores the vital connections between brain and body in order to drive discussion about the ultimate goal of early childhood education: the development of the mind. Participants will learn how to use a cognitive model of the brain to organize and focus their teaching, and also to give children a working model of their own minds that promotes regulation and learning. Participants will learn:


  • why regulation and the body are so important to the brain;

  • how the brain uses relationships to construct itself – and how we can foster “brain building” relationships;

  • how music, creativity, social interaction, and movement play vital roles in learning;

  • how to promote children’s thinking and their ability to analyze their own learning; and

  • how to help children understand their own brains to support regulation and learning.