The Brain and Genetics: An Introduction to Educational Neuroscience

MQF Level: 6

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Duration: 6 Sessions

Contact Hours: 15

Self Study Hours: 40

Assessment Hours: 20


Module Description

The aim of this module is to introduce participants to concepts of genetics and brain science which forms a part of the fundamental knowledge in the field of educational neuroscience. Through this module, participants will develop the ability to critically engage with and discuss present issues in neuroscience and their application to educational settings, including the shortfall of this field in creating a direct bridge with educational practice.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a) Extend current research on cognitive development to professional practice and scrutinise the link between science and classroom practice;

b) Develop an introductory understanding of human central nervous system and genetics; 

c) Establish an independent appreciation of cognitive research and links to pedagogy;


a) Outline the different functions of nervous system and brain regions;

b) Determine the role molecular genetics plays in cognitive development;

c) Identify different neuroimaging techniques;

d) Determine the role of working memory and executive functioning.


a) Evaluate the functions of the brain / CNS and their role in learning and development;

b) Critically review how nature/nurture interplays with brain development;

c) Use research in cognitive neuroscience to evaluate and make judgements about classroom practice;

d) Expand the understanding of quantitative research and descriptive statistics to access and critically research literature on educational neuroscience.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website. 

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Research Assingment and Online Tasks/Reflections.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Patten, K. E. & Campbell, S. R. (2011) Educational Neuroscience : Initiatives and Emerging Issues. John Wiley & Sons.
2. Mayer, R. E. (2016) How can brain research inform academic learning and instruction? Springer Science.
3. Pera, A. (2014) The integration of cognitive neuroscience in educational practice. Woodside.
4. Patten, K. E. & Campbell, S. R. (2011) Educational Neuroscience : An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons.
5. Self-Control on Perceived Maternal and Paternal Socialization: Results from a Longitudinal Sample of Twins. Springer Science
6. Mareschal, D., Butterworth, B., & Tolmie, A. (Eds.). (2013). Educational Neuroscience. John Wiley & Sons.
7. Howard-Jones, P. (2009). Introducing neuroeducational research: Neuroscience, education and the brain from contexts to practice. Routledge.
8. Beaver, M. V. (2010) The Effects of Genetics, the Environment, and Low

Supplementary Reading List

1. Moberg, T., Lichtinstein, P., Forsman, M. & Larrson, H. (2011) Internalizing Behavior in Adolescent Girls Affects Parental Emotional Overinvolvement: A Cross-lagged Twin Study. Springer Science
2. Ferrari, M. (2011) What can Neuroscience bring to Education? John Wiley & Sons.

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