On Building Meaning and Building Teens’ Brains: A Conversation with Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang | Tim Logan

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang studies the psychological and neurobiological bases of social emotion, self-awareness and culture and their implications for learning, development and schools. She is a Professor of Education at the USC Rossier School of Education, a Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Southern California, and Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE).

Mary Helen was elected 2016-2018 president of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society by the society’s membership. She is serving as a distinguished scientist on the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on the Science and Practice of Learning. Mary Helen is also associate Editor for the award-winning journal Mind, Brain and Education and for the new journal AERA Open, and sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

In her research work, Mary Helen leads cross-cultural, longitudinal studies investigating adolescent brain and social-emotional development, academic success and relations to school and life achievement in urban contexts as well as the neural and psychosocial correlates of mindsets in low-SES adolescents from different cultural groups. She also serves as scientific adviser to several Los Angeles schools/districts.

Mary Helen’s 2015 book, Emotions, learning and the brain: Exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience, is available from W.W. Norton publishers (author proceeds are donated to education-related causes). 

In May 2020, Mary Helen wrote a must-read article in ASCD with Doug Knecht (Bank Street College of Education) entitled Building Meaning Builds Teens’ Brains, if you’re interested to find out more about the significant implications of Mary Helen’s work this is a great place to start!

Social Links

LinkedIn: @maryhelenimmordino-yang

Twitter: @CandleUSC

Tim Logan

Tim Logan is an experienced school leader and curriculum designer, with a passion for connecting and facilitating global networks of innovative educators. As well as being a member of the BU Agile Innovation Lab, Tim works with the world’s top international schools, as part of Notosh strategic design consultancy, and produces the “ground-breaking” podcast, Future Learning Design.

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