Teaching the Writing Brain
Writing X Tech | The Writing Mindset
What’s going on in our heads as we write? The act of writing, from a neurological perspective, is a rich and complex series of processes. Handwriting, for instance, is not simply a motor skill--it draws on multiple brain regions simultaneously to produce letters, words, and ultimately, meaning.
An understanding of how the brain works when we write allows us to deliver more effective writing instruction to our students. For example, like a car, it takes some time for the brain to warm up: in other words, it needs some simple exercises to get started.
Join Virginia Berninger and Todd Richards for a session on how neurology and psychology can have a practical, and significant, impact on how we prepare students for writing, teach writing in the classroom, and work with students with exceptional needs.
Professor Virginia (Ginger) Berninger is a licensed psychologist and former teacher with extensive experience in school-related assessment, consultation, and research. She is currently Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Washington, Learning Disabilities Coordinator for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Human Development and Disability, and the Principal Investigator and Director of the University of Washington Multidisciplinary Learning Disability Center and Center for Oral and Written Language Learners. Her recent awards recognizing her contributions include the School Neuropsychology Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the Alan S. Kaufman Excellence in Assessment Award.
Dr. Todd Richards is a Professor of Radiology at the University of Washington who studies metabolic changes and functional relationships in the brain during language processing. His brain imaging projects involve functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of language, memory, pain, face perception, and states of consciousness. In addition, Dr. Richards studies EEG event-related potentials that are co-registered to MRI and fMRI, uses proton MR spectroscopy to study neurochemical changes in neurological disorders, and also employs diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional connectivity, and perfusion imaging techniques. His full list of 200+ publications, which includes multiple studies on writing and the brain, can be found here.
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