Monday, August 3, 2015

Neuroscience and Elementary Education

At first glance the study of neuroscience and elementary education at the undergraduate level seems a little bit like an oxymoron; the pursuit of two extremes; a path to schizophrenia.
But for anyone interested in science and wanting to become an elementary school teacher the combination of these two majors makes incredible sense.

To quote Professor Melissa Vanderkay Tomasulo PhD, Director of the Neuroscience Program and associate professor of psychology; "Neuroscience allows us to explore the world and human existence through biological, psychological, and social lenses. It amazes me and my students to be reminded that a three pound organ the size of a cauliflower enables us to ponder, emote, move, feel, and reason." What is teaching children at the elementary school level if it is not helping them navigate  the biological, psychological and social demands of growing up.

Several elementary education majors students have recently  asked if they can pursue the new  neuroscience major. To make sure this new major falls within the liberal arts second major requirement I contacted the Vermont Agency of Education today.  According to Patrick Halliday, Director of teacher licensure at the VtAoE, the Neuroscience major will fulfill the second major requirement and so we are off and running. 


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