Fourth International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2009, August 1-5

Educational Neurosciences
and Ethics

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

Abstract: Boba Samuels
University of Western Ontario. CANADA

MBE and transdisciplinarity: one view from Canada
Neuroscientific research is rapidly gaining increasing prominence in academic and scientific communities around the world, and the new field of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) is an attempt to combine the advances of neuroscience with research and practice from education. Trying to bring together researchers and practitioners from such vastly different fields is proving challenging, however. I argue that foundational issues related to philosophical, epistemological and historical concerns need to be addressed by both sides. Adoption of trandisciplinarity as a framework for collaborative efforts may prove helpful in establishing MBE. I present some findings from my position at one Canadian Faculty of Education on the difficulties inherent in trying to establish MBE. By taking a local view, I hope to show how attention to multiple levels of the issues in MBE is necessary and that we need to attend more to the local concerns of educational communities in order to truly become a collaborative enterprise. I am most interested in whether the experiences of other participants are similar to mine in Canada, and whether our combined experiences may be productively used to promote MBE’s viability both locally and internationally.