I recently “met” (virtually) Harvard Docotoral candidate, Vanessa Rodriguez, who is doing some fascinating research on the “teaching brain.” She posits that there is a wealth of brain research about student learning and how it works, but precious little about how the teaching brain works. And we know our brains work magic! It’s time someone tried to uncover some of the good secrets that lie there.
Vanessa taught middle school for 11 years in NYC Public schools, so she’s a teaching brain herself. She makes a good case that we could leverage research findings about how the teaching mind functions to advocate for the conditions teachers need to function at the highest levels. I just love this angle! And I’m really excited to be participating in one of her studies! She has an article coming out in December’s Mind, Brain and Education Journal, which I’ll pass along when I see it.
Here is Rodriguez explaining her research in an open video-letter to Arne Duncan. What do you think? Do you want our teaching brains to be studied?