2018 Westminster Teaching Symposium
Learning & the Brain:
Developing Executive Function
Join us on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
Today’s students must have efficient and productive executive function mechanisms firmly in place. The challenge for educators is that students’ neural networks will not reach that level of efficiency until well after they’ve left our charge. Dr. Judy Willis will discuss how neuroscience research provides valuable insights into how these critical executive function networks develop and can be strengthened by activation through appropriate teaching and learning opportunities. When instruction is planned with development of executive functions in mind – emphasizing judgment, critical analysis, prioritizing, and reasoning – and are applied throughout a child’s education and across the curriculum, these neural networks become stronger via neuroplasticity and will empower students to achieve their highest cognitive, social, and emotional potentials.
Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. combined her 15 years as a board-certified practicing neurologist with 10 subsequent years as a classroom teacher to become a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning. Dr. Willis has written seven books and more than 100 articles for professional journals applying neuroscience research to successful teaching strategies. She is on the adjunct faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education. Dr. Willis travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops and consulting while continuing to write books. She has been selected by Edutopia as one of its “Big Thinkers on Education” and featured on its website as well as being a staff expert blogger for NBC News Education Nation, Edutopia, Psychology Today and The Guardian.
The symposium is free of charge and open to educators at area schools. Register here.

The symposium is sponsored by the Westminster Teaching Initiative, which was formed in 2010 to enhance teaching and learning at Westminster School by encouraging collaboration and dialogue among faculty members and departments about curriculum and pedagogy. The purpose of the symposium is to widen this circle of sharing and allow teachers from area schools to come together, converse, and learn from one another. For more information, contact Charles Griffith, Director of the Westminster Teaching Initiative, at cgriffith@westminster-school.org or 860-408-3744.


8:15 to 8:45 a.m.
Registration opens

8:45 to 9:45 a.m.
Dr. Judy Willis
Keynote Address

10:00 to 10:45 a.m.
Session I Presentations

10:50 to 11:35 a.m.
Session II Presentations

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Lunch (Adams Dining Hall)

Westminster School

995 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 408-3000
Westminster School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and Postgraduate, located in Simsbury, Connecticut. The suburban New England campus is midway between New York City and Boston. In keeping with our support for a diverse community, Westminster abides by all applicable federal and state laws and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, color, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry and/or disability.

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