Over the last 20 years we have witnessed a revolution in our understanding of the brain. In 1999, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognised the need to integrate the new concepts of brain function and learning derived from modern neuroscientific research into education programs at all levels. The South Australian Neuroscience Institute (SANI) together with Department of Education and Children's Services (DECS) has taken the lead. Following consultations between SANI neuroscientists, teachers and staff of DECS, SANI established a Graduate Certificate in Neuroscience (Learning) in 2006.
The course was developed as one of the major initiatives resulting from the tenure of Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield as an Adelaide Thinker in Residence.
This program has been strongly supported by DECS, who provided 15 scholarships per year for three years following interchange between DECS and SANI. The course is coordinated by Professor Ian Gibbins, and administered by Flinders University, but involves significant input from neuroscientists at all three major SA Universities. Now in its third year, the program has been very successful in providing teachers with a knowledge base to critically appraise and apply neuroscientific information from the public domain. The graduates are likely to provie significant input into the development of future educational practice in SA schools. SANI aims to target other professions who could benefit from the course, as well as developing an on-line version for external students.
DECS and SANI have developed an agreement to set up a web page for neuroscience advice and education for teachers.