Neuroscience and Creativity Featured at Joan Oates Institute at U of R | Community Idea Stations


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Neuroscience and Creativity Featured at Joan Oates Institute at U of R

“If it’s your job to develop the mind, shouldn’t you know how the brain works?” asks Dr. Kenneth Wesson, educational consultant and expert on the neuroscience of learning. Teachers and the general public are invited to join Dr. Wesson on Wednesday, June 26th from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at The University of Richmond’s Joan Oates Institute (JOI) for an interactive workshop that combines neuroscience and the arts to illustrate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to education. 

Wesson, a former college and university faculty member and administrator, conducts workshops and lectures on the neuroscience of learning for educational organizations and institutions throughout the United States and overseas. He has worked with educators from six of the world's continents on the “Brain-Considerate Classroom” and is a regular contributor to the journal Brain World and Parents magazine as well as a featured contributor to PBS television shows on the brain.

Dr. Wesson explains why he feels an interdisciplinary approach that involves the arts and sciences is important to every child’s education:

The human brain evolved as an interdisciplinary processor with a unique ability to decipher and connect a symphony of abstract and concrete inputs concurrently. Our goal in education should be to cultivate students who have developed multiple ways of understanding, retrieving and applying content information. Nothing is more important in the “Innovation Age” than teaching flexibility in thinking, visualization, multiple answers, and inventive thinking.”

On Wednesday, June 26th Dr. Wesson will conduct a workshop that emphasizes the arts, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and reading in an interactive and challenging way. Participants will also be engaged in drawing and brain exercises that will jump-start creativity.

For the past twenty years, the Joan Oates Institute (JOI) for Partners in the Arts (PIA) has been providing training and resources in arts integration for preK-12 educators to develop their own specialized plans for integrating arts into the classroom. Arts integration is defined as teaching all curricular content through the arts. PIA is a program of the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies and serves educators looking to transform the way they teach.

Click here to learn more about the 2013 Joan Oates Institute.

Click here for more on Partners in the Arts.

Click here to register for Dr. Wesson’s Workshop, Applying the Arts in Interdisciplinary Learning” on Wednesday, June 26, 8:45 am-10:15 am, University of Richmond, Robins School of Business, Ukrop’s Auditorium. Questions? Contact Liz Sheehan, Director, Partners in the Arts at

If you would like to read more of Dr. Kenneth Wesson’s work, please visit ScienceMaster.

Article by Debbie Mickle, Science Matters Project Manager

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