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Deb Jensen
Teacher Education & Human Performance

A New Way of Thinking about the Brain

Deb Jensen has seen a lot of different ways to look at the education field -- but itís her most recent education in the field of mind/brain research that sets her apart from her peers.

Jensen is the chair of Minot State Universityís Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance and directs the Center for the Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences (CASCLS, pronounced "Castles"). CASCLS is designed to help educators at all levels connect information on how the mind/brain actually works to appropriate applications in P-12, undergraduate, graduate and community education.

A Glenburn, N.D. native, Jensen studied for a year in the Mind, Brain and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In returning to Minot State, Jensen helped establish the CASCLS program and was instrumental in getting a diverse group of MSU faculty to important Harvard conferences to study the brain and how new information/studies impact the traditional approaches to learning.

"Teachers often receive only second or third-hand information about the brain, which may be quite simplified or altered by the time the first-source research filters through into textbooks and media sources," said Jensen. "The MSU CASCLS initiative seeks to bring these two fronts closer together, bridging the gap between new first-source research on the mind/brain and applications in the classroom."