Books on Brainbased Learning


brainmazertResources and books on brainbased learning, aka educational neuroscience

New and well worth investigating – For those of you with teenage children or who are teaching teenagers – Jensen, F. E. and Nutt, A. E. (2015) The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults. New York: HarperCollins Publishing.

An exceptional resource – Edutopia  – Resources on Brain based learning – A wonderful series of links  for both teachers and parents on some of the highlights of brainbased education.

Also see companion pages on brianbased learning and additional links:

Leslie’s note:  How do you find the best books on brainbased learning and teaching? Many of the authors below have made a career writing on the brain, or education and the brain, or as it is now called “educational neuroscience.” I have listed first or early editions, but many of the books listed here also have updated editions, so look for the latest versions when reading reviews or ordering.  This list is not meant to be conclusive, it is just a place to start looking. Every one has a different way for shopping for books. When I am choosing books on finite educational topics I look at the reviews, and what other readers have to say. I look at the table of contents to see if there are topics in which I have particular interest, and also check readability. In this particular area, supportive research is of paramount importance. Both ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and Corwin Press (Sage Publications) are leaders in publishing books on educational neuroscience for educators that are both current and readable. Check their websites for new books on this topic.

Books on Brainbased Learning: I have been enthralled with this topic for the entirety of my academic career, and so have included older books in this bibliography as it is interesting to track the progression of educational neuroscience from its beginnings to where it is today. I only wish there had been this division of formal study when I was a young parent and beginning public school teacher. It would have helped me understand both my children and my students immeasurably.

Books in this area valuable to all teachers no matter what age your students — indeed, there are several titles here devoted to adult learners. But there are also some wonderful books listed below on understanding the brain differences between genders, and on understanding developing and changing teen brains.

If in your searches you find other books you’d like to recommend, please let me know.


Allen, R. (2008). Green Light Classrooms: Teaching Techniques That Accelerate Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Armstrong, T. (1998) Awakening Genius in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Curriculum and Development).

Beamon, Crawford, G. (2007). Brain-Based Teaching With Adolescent Learning in Mind, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Benson, F. & Zaidel, E. (1985) Dual Brain: The hemispheric specialization in humans. New York: Guilford Press.

Brandt, R. (1998) Powerful Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Burke-Guild, P & Garger, S. (1998) Marching to Different Drummers, 2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Caine, G., Nummela-Caine, R., & Crowell, S. (1999) Mindshifts: A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring Schools and Renewing Education, 2nd edition. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Press.

Caine, G.; Nummela-Caine, R.  (1994). Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Menlo Park, CA.: Addison-Wesley Longman, Incorporated.

Caine, G.; Nummela-Caine, R. (1997) Unleashing the Power of Perceptual Change: The Potential of Brain-Based teaching. Alexandria, Va. ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Caine, G.; Nummela-Caine, R.; McClintic, C. L. and Klimek, K. J. (2004) 12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action: The Fieldbook for Making Connections, Teaching, and the Human Brain, 1st ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Campbell, L. and Campbell, B. (2008) Mindful Learning: 101 Proven Strategies for Student and Teacher Success, 2nd ed.. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Cherry, C., Godwin, D., & Staples, J. (1989) Is the Left Brain Always Right: A guide to whole child development. Belmont, CA: Fearon Teacher Aides.

Connell, J. D. (2005). Brain-Based Strategies to Reach Every Learner: Surveys, Questionnaires, and Checklists That Help You Identify Students’ Strengths-Plus Engaging Brain-Based Lessons and Activities. Danbury, CT: Scholastic.

Darling-Kuria, N. (2010) Brain-Based Early Learning Activities: Connecting Theory and Practice. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press. 

Doyle, T., Zakrajsek, T. and Loeb, J. (2013) The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony With Your Brain. Sterling, VA. Stylus Publishing.

Elman, J., Bates, E., Johnson, M., Karmiloff-Smith, A., Parisi, D., & Plunkett, K. (1996) Rethinking Innateness: A connectionist perspective on development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Erlauer, L. (2003) The brain-compatible classroom: Using what we know about the brain to improve teaching. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Fisher, K. and Immordino-Yang M. H. (2007) The Jossey-Bass Reader on the brain and learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fitzgerald, R. J. (2005). Smart Teaching: Using Brain Research and Data to Continuously Improve Learning. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press.

Fogarty, R. (2009) Brain Compatible Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Goleman, D. (2005) Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Greenleaf, R. K. (2005). Brain Based Teaching: Making Connections for Long-Term Memory and Recall. Newfield, Maine: Greenleaf & Papanek Publications.

Greenfield, S. (1996) The Human Mind Explained: An owners guide to the mysteries of the mind. New York: Henry Holt & Company.

Gunn, A.M.; Richburg, R.W.; Smilkstein, R. (2006). Igniting Student Potential: Teaching With the Brain’s Natural Learning Process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Gurian, M. (2001) Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Healey, J. (1994) Your Child’s Growing Mind: A guide to learning and brain development from birth to adolescence. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell.

Howard, P. (2000) The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday applications from mind-brain research, 2nd edition. Austin, TX: Bard Press.

James, A, N. (2007) Teaching the male brain, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, E.P. (2009) Different Brains, Different Learners: How to Reach the Hard to Reach, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. 

Jensen, E.P. (2009) Teaching with poverty in mind: What being poor being poor does to kids brains and what schools can do about it. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Jensen, E.P. (2008) Brain-Based Learning: The New Paradigm of Teaching, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, E.P.&  Nickelsen, L. (2008). Deeper Learning: 7 Powerful Strategies for In-Depth and Longer-Lasting Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, E.P. (2004). Brain-Compatible Strategies. San Diego, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, E. (2007) Introduction to Brain-Compatible Learning, 2nd ed.. San Diego: Brain Store Incorporated.

Jensen, E. (2005) Teaching with the Brain in Mind; revised 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Jensen, E. (2008) Brain-Based Learning. 2nd ed. San Diego: Brain Store Incorporated.

Jensen, E. and Sidner, C. (2013) Turnaround tools for the teenage brain: Helping underperforming students become lifelong learners. 1st ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Klingberg, T. (2012) The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Kotulak, R. (1997) Inside the Brain: Revolutionary discoveries of how the mind works. Kansas City, KS: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Laster, M. T. (2007). Brain-Based Teaching for All Subjects: Patterns to Promote Learning. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Lyons, C.A. (2003). Teaching Struggling Readers: How to Use Brain-based Research to Maximize Learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishing.

Materna, L. E. (2007). Jump-Start the Adult Learner: How to Engage and Motivate Adults Using Brain-Compatible Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Meacham, M. (2015) Brain Matters: How to help anyone learn anything using neuroscience. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Medina, J. (2014) Brain Rules, updated and expanded edition. Seattle, WA. Pear Press.

Nummela Caine, R; Caine, G; McClintic, C; Klimek, K (2004). 12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action: The Fieldbook for Making Connections, Teaching, and the Human Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press..

Nummela-Caine, R & Caine, G. (1997) Educating on the Edge of Possibility. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Ornstein, R., Thompson, R., & Macaulay, D. (ill.). (1991) The Amazing Brain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Ornstein, R. (1995) The Roots of the Self: Unraveling the Mystery of Who We Are. I S H K Book Service.

Parry, T. & Gregory, G. (1998) Designing Brain-Compatible Learning. Andover, MA: Skylight Publishing.

Perez, K. (2008). More Than 100 Brain-Friendly Tools and Strategies for Literacy Instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Pink, D. (2006) A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future. New York, NY: Riverhead Trade.

Ratey, J. J. (2002) A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain. Vintage.

Restak, R. & Kot, R. (ed.). (1996). Brainscapes: An introduction to what neuroscience has learned about the structure, function, and abilities of the brain. New York: Hyperion.

Rodski, S. (2016) Brain-Science: Coloring for Agility and Fast Learning. San Francisco, CA: Hardie Grant. 

Scaddan, M.A. (2008). 40 Engaging Brain-Based Tools for the Classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Smilkstein, R. (2011) We’re Born to Learn : Using the Brain’s Natural Learning Process to Create Today’s Curriculum. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sousa, D. (1998-2016) How the Brain Learns, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sousa, D. (2010) Brain, mind, and education. Neuroscience implications for the classroom. Bloomington, IN. Leading Edge Solution Tree.

Sousa, D. (2016) How the Special Needs Brain Learns, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sousa, D. (2009) How the Gifted Brain Learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sousa, D. (2003) The Leadership Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sprenger, M.B. (2008). The Developing Brain: Birth to Age Eight. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sprenger, M. (2002) Becoming a “Wiz” at Brain-based Teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sprenger, M. (2003) Differentiation Through Learning Styles and Memory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Sylwester, R. (1995) A Celebration of Neurons: An educators guide to the human brain. Alexandria, VA: ASCD ( Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Sylwester, R. (2003) A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom: Enhancing Cognitive and Social Development Through Collaborative Classroom Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Tate, M. L.(2006). Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Techniques for Managing a Brain-Compatible Classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Tate, M. (2015) Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites, 3rd edThousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Incorporated.

Walker Tileston, D.E. (2003). What Every Teacher Should Know About Learning, Memory, and the Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Wolfe, P. (2010) Brain Matters: Translating research into classroom practice (2nd ed) . Alexandria, VA: ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) .

Williams, R.B.; Dunn, S.E. (2007) Brain-Compatible Learning for the Block, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Zull, J. (2011) From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide Change in EducationStylus Publishing, LLC.

Zull, J. (2002) The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning. Stylus Publishing, LLC.