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New master's degree program explores mind, brain education

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Monday, December 20, 2010

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The process of learning is taking on a new dimension at The University of Texas at Arlington. Beginning this fall, the College of Education and Health Professions will begin offering the first two-year master's degree program in Mind, Brain, and Education in the United States.

Marc Schwartz, right, is director of the Southwest Center of Mind, Brain, and Education

Marc Schwartz, right, director of the Southwest Center of Mind, Brain, and Education, works with students to research how we learn and think.

"The MBE program promises current, cutting edge research about how we learn, how we think, and how we survive as human beings,” said Jeanne Gerlach, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “This is the kind of information teachers need to have as they work with students at all levels.”

The program will be operated through the Southwest Center of Mind, Brain, and Education. Center director Marc Schwartz said professors, along with their students will explore the connections between brain anatomy and physiology, cognitive neuroscience, educational philosophy, learning processes, and specific learning issues, such as dyslexia and attention deficits. “The program will support new teacher development, influence practices and leadership, train new researchers and improve mentorship programs,” Schwartz said.

The MBE program is modeled after the Mind, Brain, and Education program at Harvard University, but UT Arlington’s program is uniquely designed for the working professional and intended to be completed over two years. Classes will be held during the late afternoon and evening. No background in biology or neuroscience is required.

“The mission of the program is to explore and challenge,” Schwartz said. Much of the information can inform educators about how they develop their daily lessons, course syllabi and more.

Two courses, “Introduction to Mind, Brain and Education” and “Introduction to Educational Neuroscience,” will be offered in the Spring 2011 semester. Both courses can be applied toward the new MBE master’s degree at UT Arlington, which begins in Fall 2011.

The MBE program is a part of the Research Schools Network, which brings educators, researchers, and policy makers together to address educational challenges. The collaboration strives to empower teachers and researchers who wish to support student success as well as aid policy makers seeking to support outcomes based on research. Partners include the Arlington Independent School District and Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Renee Pope, K-12 science curriculum coordinator, for the Arlington (Texas) Independent School District, called the program “the perfect marriage between the fields of research and educational practice.”

For enrollment and other information, contact the College of Education and Health Professions at 817-272-2591, or e-mail Professor Marc Schwartz at schwarma@uta.edu.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate institution of nearly 33,000 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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