On October 22, Sam Wang, a neuroscientist at Princeton, will address the PTA on the topic of “How Well Do You Know Your Child’s Brain.” Wang, co-author of the book, “Welcome To Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows From Conception to College,” is currently working with the Chappaqua School District as the scientific advisor for educational best-practices. He views his collaboration with the district as “a conversation between researchers and educators.”
Wang has begun meeting with teachers and administrators and finds that they are “very open to the possibility of improving their practice and implementing new ideas.” Optimal methods and settings for learning will be discussed. One of the first areas Wang will pursue is the design of the classroom.
In the 1980s Wang changed his course of study from physics to neuroscience, a field which he finds tremendously exciting. In his lab, research on autism is one of the focal points. Progress in this area is one of the most dynamic subjects in neuroscience today. “It’s [now] possible to talk about the mechanics of how autism works,” Wang observed.
Responding to an inquiry as to whether neuroscience would be an appropriate addition to the curriculum, Wang mentioned that he teaches a course entitled ”Neuroscience and Everyday Life.” at Princeton which has no prerequisites. “Neuroscience is mature enough that is’s possible to teach it at the high school level,” he noted.
PTA President Maura Marcon related that parents are “really exciting and interested” about the upcoming presentation. She received a call from a parent of pre-schoolers wondering whether the talk was open to all – Marcon assured her that it is.