How To Apply The Brain Science Of Resilience To The Classroom

Building Flood Resilient Communities in Small Island States

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) suffered three catastrophic natural disasters in August and September 2017. In August, the BVI was struck with unprecedented flooding resulting from over 14 inches of rainfall in 20 hours and in September, hurricanes Irma and Maria, brought extreme winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding. With the effects of climate change, such events can be expected to be more frequent. For the Territory, working towards resilience, safeguarding life and livelihoods to flooding is an essential part the comprehensive disaster management strategy of the Virgin Islands…


How To Apply The Brain Science Of Resilience To The Classroom

“There’s a body of knowledge that is not a hypothesis, it’s a fact,” says Dr. Pamela Cantor, the founder of Turnaround for Children. “Adversity alters how children develop as learners, and not in a good way.” GIF Credit: Kaitlin Rose Slattery for NPR

Neuroscience isn’t on many elementary school lesson plans. But this spring, a second grade class at Fairmont Neighborhood School in the South Bronx is plunging in.

Sarah Wechsler, an instructional coach with wide eyes and a marathoner’s energy, asks the students to think about the development and progress that they’ve made already in their lives.

“You probably don’t remember, but there was a time when you didn’t know how to speak and you were just like ‘Wah wah wah blah blah blah, mama, mama!’ ” she tells the kids. “Our brain grows and changes when you try hard things, when you learn new things.”

The children offer their own ideas. “Brains are pink!”

“Your brain can get smarter. For example, if you need help with your work, your brain is there in your head for you.”

After watching a video with a cartoon brain, and doing an exercise where yarn stands in for connections between neurons, they seem to have absorbed the main point of the lesson. “There is stuff in your brain that if you take on a challenge and if you stick with it, it makes your brain smarter and it makes you smarter,” says one girl…


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