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Dr Judy Willis is coming to Australia exclusively to present at the Pearson Mind Brain Education conference. We spoke to Judy to find out what she would be discussing and how she will tie it together to ensure you have what you need to implement the strategies in your learning environment. Here’s what she had to say.

I’m excited and honored to be back for the Pearson Mind Brain Education Conference in Brisbane. I look forward to reuniting with some of you and to meeting new friends. Together we’ll share knowledge and strategies to help people make progress in their lives through access to better learning.

My focus will be on important areas of education that have benefited from the surge of neuroscience research and how this research correlates to classroom strategies. I'll share with you what we've learned about building the brain’s developing neural networks of the executive functions, which are most critical for success in school and beyond. We’ll discuss self-regulated "top-down" attention focus and the emotional stresses that impair successful learning.


A focus on research

New neuroplasticity research emphasises the importance of teachers, mentors, counsellors, parents, coaches, and others working with learners, to help develop a student’s most powerful thinking and control centres.

A-focus -research

In our interactive conference sessions,
we'll explore the interventions you can apply in your school, classroom, counselling office, and learning clinics, to increase a student’s capacity to learn and celebrate their success.

One important breakthrough is how to activate and build the brain control centres of executive functions during the school years. It’s during these years that the neural networks directing these critical skill sets are most responsive to strengthening from the neuroplastic response.

We'll also explore the latest research into how stress can block successful attention focus, emotional self-management, memory, and learning. It’s all about how stress reduces the flow of information to and from the neural networks of executive function. You'll also get insight into what to do to reduce, prevent, and unblock the stress barriers to successful learning, behaviour, and motivation.


Strategies that work

When you plan for and apply opportunities to activate networks in your students, your interventions will develop their brainpower by stimulating their brains' neuroplastic building response. Your actions will change their brains. You’ll help maximise their skills of self-regulated top-down attention focus, emotional awareness and reflective response. They’ll also build skills in prioritising, organising, analysing, communicating, and collaborating, as well as thinking critically, flexibly, and creatively.

Boy writing

You’ll leave with additional strategies to increase student motivation, perseverance, resilience, growth mindset, and memory.

These strategies work through achievable challenge and recognition of their incremental progress. Using these strategies will help you reduce the boredom and frustration that can lead to impaired thinking, memory, and control centres.

You'll hear from national and international authorities on critical topics ranging from how to promote student well being, and physical and mental health, to how schools can self-assess, share, evaluate the literature, utilise resources, and go beyond the known to best serve learners.


We’re in this together

As an educator, you’re already an important role model for your students. Your time with them is their window to see and learn from your judgement, resilience, and creative innovation, as well as how you deal with stress, frustration, and setbacks, and learn from your mistakes.

Your guidance and intervention will build the skillsets of your students. 


Dr Judy Willis

Dr Judy Willis, M.D. M.Ed.

Judy combined her 15 years as a board-certified practising neurologist with 10 subsequent years as a classroom teacher to become a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning. She is the author of seven books and more than 100 articles for professional journals applying neuroscience research to successful teaching strategies. Dr Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the University of California Graduate School of Education, Santa Barbara. She travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops, and consulting, while continuing to write books. She has been selected by Edutopia as one of their “Big Thinkers on Education” and featured on their website, as well as being a staff expert blogger for NBC News Education Nation, Edutopia, Psychology Today, and The Guardian.

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