Teacher Learning Community

Spring 2018 TLC: Using Developmental and Cognitive Sciences to Enhance Instruction - Activity 2 Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element A: Teachers demonstrate knowledge about the ways in which learning takes place, including the levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.

What Can Cognitive Science Tell Us About Teaching?

The resources in this activity are meant to provide information about neuroscience and its implications for instruction. Teachers will be asked to reflect on the self-assessment of their practice with regard to Teacher Quality Standard III A (from Activity 1) and choose one or two small changes in an upcoming lesson in order to make their instruction more “brain-friendly”.  



This article provides an overview of the way your brain processes information.  It discusses what can inhibit healthy brain function and ways that you can keep your brain processing in a healthy way.  

This resource includes a presentation video by Professor Daniela Kaufer and an article which recaps the presentation.  Dr. Kaufer discusses how the brain works and how stress can affect brain function and learning and teaching.  

This Mindshift post highlights the effect that toxic stress and trauma have on the brain and on a students ability to learn.  The focus is on ways that schools can help counteract this trauma.


This article provides seven steps for moving information from sensory memory to long-term memory.  

This article summarizes some of the key points from the book Making it Stick, which argues that the often-drawn distinction between facts and critical thinking is false.

These videos from The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University address five key concepts (Brain Architecture, Toxic Stress, Resilience, Serve and Return, and Executive Function and Self Regulation).  Most videos are about two minutes in length.