This book is not written by a doctor of neurology, or a scientist, or a researcher, but rather by a teacher (turned principal) who loves children and learning. I attended a seminar by Robert Sylwester in the early 1990s where he talked a lot about how the brain functions. As I sat in the audience, I came to the realization that I was a teacher who knew very little about how the brain actually learns. I was sparked and motivated, deciding I ought to be a “learning expert” before I could claim to be doing an expert job of teaching.
Over the next few years, I attended numerous conferences and read hordes of books and articles dealing with brain-based learning. As I implemented my new knowledge and strategies in my classroom, I saw students enjoying school, being challenged, engaging in their work, and achieving at higher levels than before. My enthusiasm bubbled over as I shared some ideas with colleagues. I spoke at some local and national conferences and other school districts, sharing practical ways to use brain-based learning theory in classrooms. Following the 2000 Annual ASCD Conference in New Orleans, I received a phone call from Joyce McLeod, an acquisitions editor for ASCD, who said she had been in my audience and wondered what I thought about writing a book. I have enjoyed developing this book with her.