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PhD Ed. Neuroscience: DOCC760


This course is an advanced thematic seminar where students reflect on current research in education covering topics related to ethics, educational technology, educational policy and practice, and educational neuroscience. The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to actively engage in the evaluation of empirical research, literature reviews, and archival sources, and to consider the implications of research on educational practice. The synergy between research-transfer to practice and research motivated by practice-needs is highlighted with this format. There will be an emphasis on looking at the intersection of the various subfields in education research to redefine issues. The course encourages a wide exposure of approaches, views, and influences in education, by having an expert and/or practitioner in the field moderate each topic discussion. Students will be given the opportunity to develop ideas about topics and to communicate these ideas to both academic and diverse audiences.

Library Resources

Week 1

General introduction on Educational topics Refresher on reading, critiquing, and presenting research articles

Week 2

Neuroscience. Mechanisms of learning and memory: implications for instructional practice

• Johansen et al., (2014) Hebbian and neuromodulatory mechanisms interact to trigger associative memory formation. PNAS online, E5584-E5592

• Yoncheva YN, Wise J, McCandliss B. (2015). Hemispheric specialization for visual words is shaped by attention to sublexical units during initial learning. Brain Lang, 145-146:23-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.04.001.

Week 3

Technology. Mobile Learning

• Gikas, J., & Grant, M. M. (2013). Mobile computing devices in higher education: Student perspectives on learning with cell phones, smartphones & social media. Internet & Higher Education, 19, 18–26.

• Franceschini, Gori, Ruffino, Viola, Facoetti (2013). Action Video Games Make Dyslexic Children Read Better. Current Biology, 23: 462–466.

Week 4

Practice and Policy. Special education UAE-International

• Dukmak, S. (2010). Classroom interaction in regular and special education middle primary classrooms in the United Arab Emirates. British Journal of Special Education, 37(10), 39-48.

• Michals, T. (2018). A Texas Two-Step in the Right Direction-Looking Beyond Recent Legislation to Improve the Provision of Special Education Services in Texas. SMUL Rev., 71, 1181.

• Dawson, G., Rogers, S., Munson, J., Smith, M., Winter, J., Greenson, J., ... & Varley, J. (2010). Randomized, controlled trial of an intervention for toddlers with autism: the Early Start Denver Model. Pediatrics, 125(1), e17-e23.

Week 5

Ethics. Brain Reading: societal and legal implications

• Farah, M. J., Hutchinson, J. B., Phelps, E. A., & Wagner, A. D. (2014). Functional MRI-based lie detection: scientific and societal challenges. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(2), 123

• Harris, J., & Lawrence, D. R. (2015). Hot baths and cold minds: Neuroscience, mind reading, and mind misreading. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 24(2), 123-134.

Week 6

Neuroscience. Brain modules and use in education

▪ Law et al., (2014). The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 8, article 482

. ▪ Giordano, J. (2017). Toward an operational neuroethical risk analysis and mitigation paradigm for emerging neuroscience and technology (neuroS/T). Experimental neurology, 287, 492-495.

Week 7

Technology. The wealth of learning resources: practical use.

• Ally, M. & Samaka, M. (2013). Open education resources and mobile technology to narrow the learning divide. IRRODL, 14(2), 14-27

• Outhwaite, L. A., Gulliford, A., & Pitchford, N. J. (2017). Closing the gap: efficacy of a tablet intervention to support the development of early mathematical skills in UK primary school children. Computers & Education, 108, 43-58.

Week 8

Practice and Policy. Current status of education in the UAE.

• Authority, U. A. E. N. Q. (2013). The UAE educational system: Overview of performance in education. Abu Dhabi: United Arab Emirates National Qualifications Authority

• Vermunt, J.D., Vrikki, M., Halem, N., Warwick, P and Mercer, N. (2019) The impact of Lesson Study professional development on the quality of teacher learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 81, pp. 61-73

Week 9

Ethics. Brain alterations 1.

• Husain, M & Mehta, MA (2011). Cognitive enhancement by drugs in health and disease. Trends in Cognitive Science, 15(1), 28–36.

• Mayor, E., Daehne, M., & Bianchi, R. (2019). How perceived substance characteristics affect ethical judgement towards cognitive enhancement. PloS one, 14(3), e0213619.

Week 10

Neuroscience. Neural atypicalities and their effects on learning

• Dresler, T., Bugden, S., Gouet, C., Lallier, M., Oliveira, D. G., Pinheiro-Chagas, P., ... & Weissheimer, J. (2018). A Translational Framework of Educational Neuroscience in Learning Disorders. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 12.

• Giofrè, D., Toffalini, E., Provazza, S., Calcagnì, A., Altoè, G., & Roberts, D. J. (2019). Are children with developmental dyslexia all the same? A cluster analysis with more than 300 cases. Dyslexia.


- Ramus, F., Altarelli, I., Jednorog, K., Zhao, J., & di Covella, L. S. (2018). Neuroanatomy of developmental dyslexia: Pitfalls and promise. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 84, 434-452.

 - Vender, M., Krivochen, D. G., Phillips, B., Saddy, D., & Delfitto, D. (2019). Implicit learning, bilingualism, and dyslexia: insights from a study assessing AGL with a modified Simon task. Frontiers in psychology, 10.

- Kucian, K., & von Aster, M. (2015). Developmental dyscalculia. European journal of pediatrics, 174(1), 1-13.

Week 11

Technology. Personalization of education and implications

• Slade, S. & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning Analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioural Scientist, 57 (10), pp. 1510-1529


- Siemens, G. (2012). Learning analytics: Envisioning a research discipline and a domain of practice. Proceedings of the 2nd