Biology and pedagogy need to be connected. Professionals are working in multidisciplinary teams but are only educated in their own niche. Patientorganisations want to speak with scientists on equal terms. In all these situations it pays to upgrade your knowledge. We have selected some of the best online courses that will bring you ahead of the game.
This MOOC at Coursera.org is made by Utrecht University, The Netherlands by Prof. Jorg Huijding and others. We choose this course to be our number one because it starts with the biology how the brain is formed in utero, explains biology in detail but then connects this to pedagogics and even further to cultural influences on the brain. A complete academic multidisciplinary course on genetic and environmental influences on the brain: from both pedagogical and biological perspectives. 10 weeks, 2 hours a week, it starts twice a year and students correct each others work. If you pass the endtest (written or voice record) you can opt for a certificate of 47 euro.
2. Brain Story Certification..
The Alberta Family Wellness organisation has recorded many experts lectures in 2011 during their conference and together with Harvard´s knowledge and video´s turned them into an online course. You can start anytime, after every module there is a multiple choice test. After finishing all the modules and an endtest you can get a certificate. This is a fantastic course that is accredited by the Canadian psychology association with 2 EC. One chapter gives very valuable information on how the effects of the stolen generation of indian kids still has on indian communities today and how an indian chief is trying to reverse that effect on brain biology. Also black trauma has intergenerational effects. Several chapters focus on how addiction changes the brain systems (stress -amygdala, reward – dopamine systems and their feedback loops) explaining how the first 5 years brainfoundation can make susceptible to addiction, and how addiction therefore is often a multi- generational problem.
This course focusses on braindevelopment during early hardship and migration. It is a collaboration of Harvard an NYU professors under the flag of SDGA Academy, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It specializes in kids developing their brain architecture during war and famine around the world. What interventions would help prevent permanent damage .
Just like Coursera also Edx is charging 46,- for a certificate, but it is free to take the course.
Australian Sarah McKay was a neurosientist PhD at Oxford but now is self-employed at her own online course company
Theneuroscienceacademy.com . However it costs 1200,-. However, for free is a subscription to her pre- course in the form of a weekly newsletter, that takes 2 hours of work, during 10 weeks. It is very informative with links to the leading articles in the field. And there is her blog on neuroscience at YourBrainHealth. org.
NB: Mc Kay is also the author of ‘’The Womens Brain Book’’ .
Harvard has 3 free MOOC’s on edx.org. All about biology and not at all about pedagogy. If you want a certificate, they cost about 46,- each. Made by Davic Cox, Professor of molecular and cellular biology.
Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 1: The Electrical Properties of the Neuron
Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 2: Neurons and Networks
Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 3: The Brain
Harvard’s Centre on the Developing Child however, is specialized in making the connection between biology and pedagogy. On their site you’ll find several main reports and summaries of research for free at your disposal. How Toxic Stress and Serve and return shape our brains. This same massage you’ll find in our nr. 3 and nr. 2. Their YouTube channel is showing informative video’s for non academic viewers explaining the effect of child neglect and toxic stress on the biology of the brain and how serve and return is shaping neurocircuits. These films are made in collaboration with Frameworks Institute and funds of Alberta Family Wellness.
The YouTube Channel of Stanfort university publishes the lectures of the funny and charismatic professor Robert Sapolsky on YouTube. Here you’ll find the complete academic Human Behavioral Biology course of 2011 for free.
This course is not on neuroscience nor pedagogy but still an honorable mention on this list because it does give insight on how braincircuits work, in a practical sense from within:
(Dyscalculia on the brain). Stanfort School of Medicine delivers this free online course that teaches how the brain makes connections to improve number sense, flexibility, see number patterns and understand math representations.
What not to follow:
Another wellknow place to find free online educational explanations would be Khan.com. It usually gives good infographics on many exact academic subjects. It does have video’s on how the brain works, however: Its content is completely wrong about neurodiversities like adhd !