The faculty of the science of teaching and leadership academy

School Leadership Strand

Julie Wilson

Founder & Executive Director of Institute for the Future of Learning

Julie is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Future of Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping transform the factory model of education. As a learning and development consultant at Harvard University, Julie managed the University’s career and professional development program, provided organization development consulting to University leaders and was the recipient of the ‘Harvard Hero’ award for outstanding contributions to the University. Her current projects include: working with school leadership and teacher teams to reimagine curriculum and pedagogy, researching the current state of the K-12 transformational landscape, and coaching school and district leaders. Julie graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education with a Master’s degree in Technology, Innovation and Education. 

Click here to view Julie's TEDx talk.

David Weston

Founder and Executive of the Teacher Development Trust

David Weston is the founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust, the UK national charity for effective professional development. He is the Chair of the UK Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and has been heavily involved in the set-up of the new College of Teaching. David is a primary and secondary governor and taught maths and physics for nine years in two schools in London. David speaks and writes frequently for education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances on the subject of teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.

Click here to view David's TEDx talk.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez

Author of The Teaching Brain and Asst. Professor in the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development in the Department of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine

Vanessa Rodriguez, Ed.D. received her doctorate in human development and education at Harvard University. She earned a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard and a master’s of science in education from the City College of New York. She also spent over a decade teaching in NYC public schools. Her current research and teaching is grounded in Mind, Brain, and Education, focusing on the social-emotional cognition and development of teachers. Vanessa is the author of the popular education book:  The Teaching Brain and is invited to speak on this topic around the world. For more information about her work or to contact her, please visit

Teacher Strand

Dr. Pedro De Bruyckere

Educational Scientist at Arteveldehogeschool in Ghent, Belgium and Co-author of Urban Myths about Learning and Education

Pedro has been an educational scientist and teacher trainer at Arteveldehogeschool in Ghent, Belgium since 2001. One of Pedro's strengths is his ability to be funny while explaining serious stuff; therefore, he is often asked to serve as an international public speaker on education. He has cowritten several books on youth and education in Dutch, and in 2015 Pedro co-wrote the popular book Urban Myths about Learning and Education with Paul Kirschner and Casper Hulshof. He is currently working on a new book on effective teaching, the release date of which will be in January 2018. He is also an avid blogger on new research in education; you can read his posts here: You can also read his academic articles on Google Scholar.

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Dr. Kelly Fisher

Executive Director of the Science of Learning Institute

Dr. Kelly Fisher is the Executive Director of the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Kelly develops and oversees the strategic planning and operations of the Institute, with the goal of fostering innovative, interdisciplinary science of learning research and building meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy. Some of Kelly’s recent projects investigate how teaching practices (e.g., guided play, direct instruction) differentially impact children’s academic readiness  (e.g., early geometric knowledge, executive functioning), how arts-enriched experiences promote cognitive and socio-emotional skills, and how teachers' data use efficacy influences how they individualize instruction in their classrooms.

Click here for more information regarding Kelly’s research.

Dr. Kristin Gagnier

Outreach and Evaluation Specialist at the Science of Learning Institute

Dr. Kristin Gagnier is the Outreach and Evaluation Specialist at the Science of Learning Institute and an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University.  Kristin oversees the institute’s mission of connecting science to practice.  She partners with schools, museums, government organizations and policymakers to advance research and translate science of learning research into evidence-informed practices. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the Spatial Intelligence Learning Center, she developed an interdisciplinary research program aimed at understanding the cognitive challenges faced by students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning and developing research-informed interventions to support learning.  Click here for more information on Kristin's research.

Dr. Christina Hinton 

Founder and Executive Director of Research Schools International and Harvard Graduate School of Education Faculty Member

Christina Hinton leads Research Schools International, an initiative dedicated to carrying out cutting-edge research, professional development and the dissemination of findings in schools around the globe. A neuroscientist and educator committed to bridging the gap between interdisciplinary research on learning and education policy and practice, Christina serves as a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Hinton previously worked in multilateral diplomacy and international policymaking at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Center for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) in Paris. In this capacity, she was a primary editor and author of the books Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science and Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding. Hinton holds a M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Ian Kelleher 

Head of Research for the CTTL at St. Andrew's Episcopal School and Coauthor of Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education

Dr. Ian Kelleher is the coauthor of Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education and Head of Research for the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. He grew up in Cambridge, England and went to the University of Manchester as an undergraduate where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in geochemistry. He returned to Cambridge as a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge, Churchill College, working in the Department of Earth Science. Ian teaches chemistry, physics and robotics, as well as coaches boy’s JV soccer. Ian also co-facilitates the CTTL”s “Creating Innovators through Design Thinking” workshop and is responsible for the CTTL’s Teacher and Student Research Fellowship Program.

Dr. Mark McDaniel

Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Coauthor of Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, and Co-Director of CIRCLE at Washington University in St. Louis

Mark McDaniel is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences (1980 Ph.D., University of Colorado), and the founding Co-Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE) at Washington University in St. Louis. McDaniel is internationally known for his work in the application of cognitive psychological principles to education. Over the past 35 years he has published numerous papers related to education, including topics such as pre-questions, discovery learning, feedback, mental models, analogical learning, and classroom studies on testing effects. McDaniel has developed a number of other research foci in the general area of human learning and memory, including projects investigating the learning processes by which people acquire complex concepts. An important aspect of this work is exploring individual differences in the tendency for learners to focus on abstraction versus learning of examples when attempting to acquire complex concepts. His research also includes an emphasis on prospective memory (remembering to perform an intended action at some future moment). McDaniel has published over 250 articles, chapters, and books in the area of human learning and memory. To facilitate dissemination of research literatures pertinent to learning and education, with Peter Brown and Roddy Roediger, he coauthored a book published by Harvard University Press entitled Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (2014).

Dr. Beth Morling

Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware

Dr. Beth Morling is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware. She attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before coming to Delaware, she held positions at Union College (New York) and Muhlenberg College (Pennsylvania). She’s the author of a popular undergraduate Research Methods textbook and maintains a blog ( that helps students and instructors find contemporary examples of psychological science in the news. She teaches research methods at Delaware almost every semester. In addition, she also teaches undergraduate cultural psychology, a seminar on the self-concept, and a graduate course in the teaching of psychology. Her research in the area of cultural psychology explores how cultural practices shape people’s motivations. Dr. Morling has been a Fulbright scholar in Kyoto, Japan, and was the Delaware State Professor of the Year (2014), an award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


Lauren Schiller

Project Manager for Research Schools International, led by Faculty at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lauren Schiller manages research projects and works with Dr. Christina Hinton and other Harvard faculty on Research Schools International, an organization that aims to bridge educational research and practice. A recent graduate of the Mind, Brain and Education Master’s program at Harvard, Lauren is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Columbia University, focusing on mathematics education for struggling students. Lauren has also worked as a research assistant on work relating to mathematics and cognition in the laboratories of Jon Star, Elizabeth Spelke, and Marty Simon. Some highlights from her research have been featured by and the Harvard Gazette. Prior to graduate work, Lauren implemented mathematics/reading interventions for students with disabilities and taught literacy and ethics at urban schools in Boston.

Dr. Sheila Walker

Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education 

Sheila Ohlsson Walker is an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education, Assistant Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Faculty Affiliate at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on how information from the fields of neurobiology, genetics, epigenetics, and psychoneuroendocrinology can be translated and applied to enhance educational outcomes, promote healthy behavior, reduce rates of chronic disease, and optimize health and learning throughout life. She is currently exploring the biological embedding of chronic stress and how environmental factors can significantly enhance or degrade health and academic performance, with an emphasis on high-poverty educational and family contexts. Her research also addresses the preconception, prenatal and early childhood origins of health and neurodevelopment, and understanding how biosocial research on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress can be harnessed to facilitate early intervention, resilience and enhanced quality of life. 

Glenn Whitman

Glenn Whitman, Director of the CTTL at St. Andrew's Episcopal School and Coauthor of Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education

Glenn Whitman is the coauthor of Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education and directs the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (@thecttl) at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Glenn is a former Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow and author of Dialogue with the Past: Engaging Students and Meeting Standards through Oral History as well as co-editor of Think Differently and Deeply, the national publication of the CTTL. Glenn is also a blogger for Edutopia. Glenn earned his MALS from Dartmouth College and a BA from Dickinson College. Follow Glenn @gwhitmancttl or email him at

Dr. Daniel Willingham

Psychology Professor at University of Virginia and Author of Why Don't Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?Raising Kids Who Read. and The Reading Mind.

Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education.

He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of Why Don't Students Like School?When Can You Trust the Experts?Raising Kids Who Read. and The Reading Mind (forthcoming)His writing on education has appeared in fourteen languages.

In 2017 he was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Member of the National Board for Education Sciences.