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Explore the Science of Learning at the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition

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How does the brain work? How do people learn and what is the most effective way to teach? The 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Antonio, TX, March 15–18, will bring together experts from inside and outside of academic dentistry to discuss, “The Science of Learning.” Educators, administrators and students will explore the neuroscience and neuropsychology of learning, including the influence of various learning styles, understanding learning disabilities and the implications of new technologies on the future of learning and teaching. Both traditional and innovative teaching and assessment methodologies will be examined, and how they apply to didactic and clinical teaching will be discussed. In addition to plenary speakers, workshops and seminars, there will be the opportunity for all attendees to engage in interactive learning situations that demonstrate the science of learning.

Programming this year has been divided into six learning foci: Admissions and Operations; Research and Trends; Advocacy and Public Policy; Leadership and Career Development; Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Development; and Technological Innovations. Like last year, there’s plenty of time to attend even more sessions—in 2014, programs are either 45, 60 or 90 minutes long to make maximum use of each attendee’s valuable time.

In accordance with the theme, this year’s plenary speakers are guaranteed to provide learning opportunities for us all. On Saturday evening, Nina Godiwalla will be this year’s speaker for Discourse and Dessert. Ms. Godiwalla is a recognized expert on leadership, diversity and women in the business world. She authored the best seller Suits: A Woman on Wall Street, based on her experience dealing with the subtle and overt ways that Wall Street holds back women and minorities. After a decade of working for Fortune 500 corporations, she founded MindWorks, which provides executive leadership, diversity and stress management training.

Starting the day off Sunday morning is Dr. David Eagleman’s plenary, “Incognito: The Secret Lives of Brains.” Dr. Eagleman is a daring young scientist who provides a new understanding of our brains and ourselves. He prompts us to celebrate how much, and how joyously little, we know about our conscious selves and our reality. His talk will focus on why we understand so little about our conscious and subconscious minds, the basics of how the human brain functions, how neuroscience allows us to better understand how students learn and how to optimize learning. 

The ADEA Political Spotlight returns on Monday morning with guest Van Jones from CNN’s Crossfire. In addition to his duties at CNN, Van Jones is the President and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. While best known as a pioneer in the environmental movement, Mr. Jones has been hard at work in social justice for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America's toughest problems.

The closing plenary session on Tuesday morning will feature Dr. Rishi Desai, a medical educator at the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and nonprofit organization. Dr. Desai’s talk will focus on the Khan Academy’s contributions to student academic preparation, the use of adaptive learning in the Khan Academy model and the contributions that the Khan Academy is making to global student learning.

We are very excited about this year’s events and hope to see you in San Antonio!

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