First International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2005 July 16-20

Summer Institute on
Mind, Brain and Education

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Michael Fritz
Transfer Center for Neuroscience and Learning, University of Ulm. GERMANY

On 28 April 2004 the worldwide unique Transfer Center for Neuroscience and Learning opened its doors in Ulm, Germany. The Center, led by Pr. Manfred Spitzer and associated to the University of Ulm, is to transfer neuroscientific insights to the development of new teaching and learning methods. In the Center (supported by the Foundation of the Land Baden-Württemberg, the City of Ulm and the Free State of Bavaria), scientists from various disciplines work with practitioners from different educational institutions. This close interaction of fundamental research and pedagogical application, will allow a quick and direct transfer of insights in brain research to learning in kindergarten, schools and other educational institutions. The inauguration of the Transfer Center for Neuroscience and Learning, which took place in the presence of the Minister of Education for Baden-Württemberg, Annette Schavan, and her Bavarian colleague Monika Hohlmeier, shall provide new impulses for a successful education policy. The goal of the team of 35 scientists and practitioners is to transfer neuroscientific insights to teaching and learning practices. Priority will be given to the cooperation between scientists and practitioners. Pr. Spitzer (also Director of the University Clinic for Psychiatry in Ulm) is directing a multidisciplinary team of scientists with backgrounds in psychology, pedagogy, medicine, biology and ICT. Questions of educational relevance reaching from preschool education to career change and lifelong learning will be researched by this team in Ulm, using the most modern technology for neuroscientific methods. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and a lab for Electroencephalography (EEG) will allow the scientists to watch the brain – more or less directly - while learning. In this way, for example the impact of emotions on successful learning can be examined. The teachers of different school types and educational institutions working in the Center play a great role in transferring the scientific studies quickly and directly into everyday life. In this way, the results will be analyzed by the scientists of the Transfer Center and examined for their effectiveness before being applied in kindergarten, school and other educational institutions in the daily practice.