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The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment & Learning in the Classroom
by Louis Cozolino, Published by W.W. Norton & Company, 2013

The emerging field of social neuroscience is absolutely relevant to education, and should be a particularly kindred subject to strategies such as community schools that deal with the cognitive and social-emotional development of children and youth. The book we recommend this month The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment & Learning in the Classroom provides innovative views on how stress and inadequate attachment experiences affect learning, and offers significant and practical applications to retrofit the brain as we strive to develop the whole child.  

Besides showing how the brain becomes receptive, and how it can be reprogrammed, the book presents the connection between humor and learning; how bullying (at home or school) shuts down the mind; how to turn the brain on and off; and how relationships build and rebuild the brain.  Since the well-being of teachers is essential to create the conditions to inspire all students to learn, a prime goal of the book is to help educators understand their own brain, offering techniques for taking care of their mental health needs.

It is vital for educators, parents, health and social service professionals, and even for children themselves to understand how the brain learns. “There are an untold number of ‘unteachable’ students who have been turned around with the kind of attention, care and dedication they need,” writes the author, Louis Cozolino. “Cognitive and social neuroscience are revealing that the brain is quite resilient and capable of reversing the effects of early negative experiences through positive ones.”

Louis John Cozolino is a professor of psychology at the Pepperdine University and a private practitioner. He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from Harvard University and State University of New York, as well as a doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA. He has published numerous articles and four books.