Tag Archives: neuroscience

The Professional Development Experience that Enhances ALL of your School Improvement Efforts!

Join us for THE MAINE EVENT: National Conference on Positive School Climate!

This professional development experience focuses on PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL, and ORGANIZATIONAL WELLBEING!  The success of ALL your other School Improvement Efforts hinges on a POSITIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE!

June 23 and 24th at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine

THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER!

  • Earn 1.6 CEUs from University of Southern Maine
  • Four Dynamic Keynote Addresses and 36 Workshop Options throughout the 2-Days
  • Examples of Workshop Topics: Positive Behavior Supports; ESSA; Neuroscience of Learning and Behavior; Bullying Prevention; Title IX Requirements; Leadership in times of Change and Upheaval; Alternative Education Programs; Restorative Justice…
  • Presentation of the Pegasus Awards for Professional Courage!
  • Learn strategies and approaches that TRANSCEND changing mandates to enhance ALL of your school improvement initiatives!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION!

Sticks and Stones – AND Words … The Brain Science of Social Rejection

Kipling D. Williams, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University developed a game called Cyberball, in which research subjects engage in a simple game of 3-way toss. A Functional MRI captures images of the subjects’ brain activity during the game. After a few rounds, the avatar players begin to toss the ball back and forth without including the subject – and guess what happens? The subject reports feeling ostracized and rejected, and the FMRI lights up with activity in the very same brain region where we register physical pain (the anterior cingulate cortex)!

The human brain evolved to ensure safety; we are not a very fast or a particularly strong species – so our ability to connect and collaborate with others has been critical to our survival. Acceptance within groups ensured access to food, shelter, a mate … So our brains tend to be hypersensitive to ostracism, responding – as though to physical danger – with spikes in cortisol.

Social rejection in childhood causes more than superficial and momentary discomfort – In fact, it can have long-term negative impacts on physical and mental health. Studies show that social rejection increases anxiety and depression, causes spikes in blood pressure, and impairs the immune system. The impact on academic achievement can be catastrophic also – children who are subjected to social rejection at school cannot activate the necessary executive functions for memory and learning because their limbic systems are on high alert.

What can schools do about this?

Prevention:

– Create caring, inclusive, communities

– Teach social skills and TEACH EMPATHY (more on this coming soon)

Vigilance:

– Regularly assess overall connectedness

– Notice exclusionary social dynamics when they first emerge

Intervention:

– Use restorative and educational responses

– Silent Mentoring / Peer Mentoring

Share your own ideas and best practices!!

social inclusion

Brain Science and HAPPINESS

Happiness and your Brain
The underlined link above connects to another recent presentation … This one offers a framework for understanding the ongoing “battle” between the brain’s cognitive and emotional centers and strategies for actually increasing affective well-being (happiness)! School culture is shaped by individual behaviors, attitudes, affects, and interactions. Brain plasticity (the super cool phenomenon wherein our brain structure/archetecture changes in response to experience) is responsive to everything we see, hear, do, and think! Teachers and school administrators (or anyone else, for that matter) can use strategies in this presentation to increase both personal well-being and ORGANIZATIONAL well-being, enhancing the educational experience for everyone in the school!

 

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