Empowering Educators

Professional Development Programs or Staff Meeting Seminars


While there is some debate about how to apply the findings of neuroscience to educational outcomes, it is important to recognise the need for educators to be familiar with the language of neuroscience. It is also important that we have the tools to evaluate the many recommendations that are coming out of current research and the flood of “brain building” computer programs coming onto the market.


The ‘Active Axons’ workshop was just the most inspirational session I have ever attended. My only complaint is that this session did not go for long enough!”



IPSHA Deputy’s Conference, September 2010



Participants are armed with resources and strategies to excite, engage and empower students. Interactive games and challenges help to model these strategies and participants are encouraged to engage in debate about the relevance of a range of research findings for their own classroom practice.


While each workshop has a different focus, all aim to help participants to:

  • Investigate strategies to optimise student engagement based on evidence of the way the brain learns
  • Think about the role of education in preparing individuals for life.
  • Increase familiarity with the language of neuroeducation in a very fun and accessible way,
  • Enjoy animated tours of the brain in order to apply modern models of learning
  • Become familiar with the amazing potential that is neuroplasticity
  • Investigate the effects of stress, boredom, prior concepts and motivation on student success
  • Examine ways to promote achievement in a diverse range of students
  • Consider the benefits and limitations of Individual Learning Profiles
  • Increase confidence in teaching students how to learn in order to improve educational outcome
  • Experience inspiring ways to teach students about brain care and the critical roles of hydration, exercise, nutrition, sleep, intrinsic motivation and thinking about thinking (WENZIT)




ACTIVE AXONS Education and Trainingis a NSW Institute of Teachers’ endorsed provider of Institute Registered professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at Professional Competence.

 Scope of Endorsement – Professional Teaching Standards 1.2.1; 1.2.2; 1.2.3; 1.2.4; 2.2.1; 2.2.3; 2.2.4; 3.2.1; 3.2.2; 3.2.4; 4.2.4 and 5.2.3 for the course ‘Biology Teaching for their Future’, and, 2.2.1; 2.2.2; 2.2.4; 3.2.4; 5.2.3; 6.2.1 and 6.2.7 for the course ‘Leading the Learning Brain: Motivating Student Engagement’. 



1. WENZIT Working – Leading the Learning Brain

motivating student engagement in learning

A most inspiring workshop that gives a general introduction to current research in, and application of, neuroeducation. Participants engaged in a range of strategies to promote student engagement and individual responsibility for learning. Realising the importance of brain health sets the platform for informed choice in our students. Understanding the basis for emotion and behaviour builds confidence and empathy. Learning how to learn empowers individuals.


2. WENZIT Working – Emotion and the Behavioural Brain

managing behaviour by engaging learning and promoting positive emotions.

Participants investigate a variety of ways to maintain classrooms with a climate of respect and rapport. Brain compatible strategies and models, such as the “Concept Model” and the “Emotional Rooms” provide a conceptual framework to assist in understanding the impact of emotions on learning. Understanding the basis for emotion and behaviour builds confidence and empathy. The models highlight the importance of empowering students to take individual responsibility for their learning and behaviour.

3. WENZIT Working – Stress, Assessment and Learning

promoting successful lifelong learning without all the stress

This workshop targets the principle of teaching students how to learn and how to manage stress. The Concept Model and Information Processing Model are used to provide a conceptual framework, and provide a common language to help students understand the acquisition and retention of knowledge. Participants investigate an assessment approach that works with, rather than against, the way the brain is biologically geared for feedback in order to get the best result for all students. Participants will be engaged in discussion about “authentic assessment” and will discuss and experience a range of strategies.


4.  Science for Their Futures – BIOLOGY Teaching for Their Futures

It is a great privilege to teach Biology to our students!  Science is a discipline that aims to explain the world around us, so prior experience, concepts and misconceptions are especially important to students in developing an open mind to scientific investigation and the views of others. Participants in this workshop are challenged about the way the curriculum is approached. Strategies to approach each of the core units in terms of big picture learning are modelled in this interactive workshop. Research is used to emphasise the need to promote intrinsic motivation in students. Employing strategies to help students cross threshold concepts is addressed as is the importance of improving scientific literacy.


5.  Science for Their Futures -  PRIMARY Science – Engaging the National Curriculum

The current research in Neuroeducation and the work being done targeting children’s misconceptions in Science is the basis of the activities and the resources in this workshop.  This course aims to maintain the confidence of primary trained teachers in teaching the science curriculum. Participants are given a general approach to the teaching of science content as well as specific strategies and activities to engage them and their students in the wonderful world of scientific exploration. Specific attention is given to the development of teaching programs to challenge commonly held misconceptions and to meet the curriculum outcomes.