Susan Magsamen
Susan Magsamen
Director of Interdisciplinary Partnerships
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Brain Science Institute

Welcome to LearnNow!

“Holding deeply enlivened conversations.” That was how a charter school teacher I know talked about her school’s mission to encourage meaningful interactions for learningstudent to student, student to teacher, teacher to teacher.

Female teacher sitting in classroom talkingLearnNow is a place for these kinds of interactions. What do children need to know to succeed and how do they learn best? What problems face families raising children today? How can schools foster an environment where deeply enlivened conversations take place every day?

Learning, the process of acquiring knowledge, is a practice we are all engaged in, and not just those hours between 8:30 and 3:30 at a place we call school. But to foster lifelong learning, the process must begin at birth and continue through preschool, early childhood, adolescence and into early adult years. Those are the years when the brain is undergoing remarkable transformations.

We are now beginning to better understand – through neuroscience, cognitive psychology and research into best practices in teaching, parenting and child services – just what a remarkable thing learning is. Science is discovering what brain and body connections are being made when a toddler is learning to speak and make friends, when a third grader begins playing an instrument, when a Little Leaguer tries out his curve ball, or when a 12-year old forms a mad crush on a rock star. Profound changes in the brain are taking place: we are learning.Laptop and people

Where do those of us who don’t subscribe to JAMA or the Journal of Neuroscience go to find the latest findings in research? And more importantly, what’s on your mind as you see your toddler take her first step, or scan a classroom full of fifth graders itching to run out to recess so they can play?

That’s where LearnNow comes in. The contributors who make up the Learning Resource Network have distilled the science, and packaged it to watch, listen, read and, most importantly, DO. So we can all hold deeply enlivened conversations about learning.

What do you want to learn? Join us and share your ideas at as we begin to spark the conversation online. And let us know what you think. Respond to us on the LearnNow blog in our comments section and send us your questions and ideas about the science – and the art – of learning.

I look forward to being able to learn together!

Susan Magsamen
Brain Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University
President, Learning Resource Network