Neuroscience of Learning (4 Hrs)

Understanding how our brains learn is essential for all teachers.

In the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in our understanding of the human brain, how it develops and learns and how best to teach students. Many of the older ideas and strategies around learning and memory have been shown to be incorrect and recent findings paint a very different picture of the human brain and its capacity to learn. Teachers have the opportunity to learn and adapt their teaching practices to incorporate many of these findings into their own teaching strategies. This course will cover many of the recent findings and discuss the new concepts and ideas around the neuroscience of learning.


In this course, participants will first learn about the recent findings in the neuroscience of learning including:

  • The importance of understanding neuroplasticity and how the brain works.
  • How memories are formed.
  • Hebbian learning and how it can be facilitated in the classroom.
  • Attention and its vital role in learning and memory.
  • The role of emotions in memory formation and facilitation.
  • The good and bad aspects of stress and its impact on learning and the brain.
  • The brain basis of addiction and how it can be used to instil a lifelong passion for learning.

The focus will be on how teachers can implement strategies in the classroom to improve learning, memory and most importantly deep understanding.


All participants get access to an online discussion and advice group for 12 months. They have access to courses, webinars, videos and regular live chat groups to continue their learning. Dr Mark will respond to queries and post new ideas and resources on a regular basis.

NOTE: These courses can also be combined, which works really well. I can run a course for students and then teachers during the day and then for parents in the evening. This is a great whole school approach and gets everyone on the same page.



Download the flyer here

The Neuroscience of Emotions (4 Hrs)

We need to be aware of how our emotions manifest to regulate and understand them in ourselves and in others.

There is a lot of talk about 21st Century skills and what we need to teach students now so that they can thrive in the future. These skills usually include a group of “soft” skills like collaboration, cooperation, teamwork, communication, curiosity, creativity and leadership. One essential component of these and many other 21st Century skills is perception, recognition and regulation of emotions. Students and teachers need to understand their own emotions, and those of others, to communicate and work together, to be self-aware and strong enough to take chances and be creative, to lead others and collaborate effectively.


Humans are social creatures. We have thrived on this earth because of our ability to communicate, co-operate, collaborate and maintain relationships. Large parts of our brains are dedicated to social awareness and understanding so that we can flourish in these groups. A major component of the social brain is emotion perception and regulation. The school and the classroom are extensions of these groups and we need to understand how our brain perceives, responds to and regulates emotions.


Mark has spent more than 20 years researching, teaching and publishing on emotions. His work on emotions has been featured in New Scientist, The Economist, New York Times and The Guardian. He was a consultant and presenter on the ABC series ‘Making Australia Happy’ and his co-edited book ‘Facing the Other: Novel Theories and Methods in Face Perception Research’ has been viewed by more than 200,000 times. Mark’s work is featured in textbooks. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this topic.

Why do teachers need emotional awareness and regulation to teach well?

  • To connect to students
  • To understand students’ responses, reactions and behaviour
  • To support students to regulate their own emotional responses and behaviour
  • To work well with other teachers and staff
  • To understand parents’ reactions and behaviour
  • To think objectively and logically

Why do students need emotional awareness and regulation to learn and thrive?

  • To connect to the teacher and other staff
  • To connect to their peers
  • To thrive in the classroom
  • To collaborate effectively
  • To communicate effectively
  • To manage their own behaviour
  • To think objectively and logically

In Part 1 of this course, Mark will explain the brain basis of emotion perception and regulation including:

  • Why the social brain has such an impact on our survival
  • The importance of the face
  • Eye contact and gaze
  • How we recognise facial expressions
  • Basic versus complex emotions
  • The body/brain interaction

In Part 2, Mark will explore how we can use our understanding of emotions to enable students to learn and thrive including:

  • Using eye contact to connect
  • Using eye gaze to direct attention
  • How to use emotions to attract attention
  • The importance of emotions in memory
  • How to change the emotion of a room
  • How to maintain a happy environment

The focus will be on how teachers can implement strategies in the classroom to improve learning, memory and most importantly deep understanding.


All participants get access to an online discussion and advice group for 12 months. They have access to courses, webinars, videos and regular live chat groups to continue their learning. Dr Mark will respond to queries and post new ideas and resources on a regular basis.



Download the flyer here

Smartphones are making us Dumb

Looking for ways to help your students cope better with smartphone dependence?

This program can help students address the many problems that smartphones are creating. Learning outcomes, resilience, curiosity, tolerance and emotional intelligence are all declining whilst stress, anxiety, depression and suicide are rising. Students will learn about the evolution of the modern smartphone and the applications that influence so much of our lives. They will also learn how our brains learn and adapt, and why modern technology can be addictive and potentially harmful. They will hear about why it is important to disconnect from their devices to improve their wellbeing. Students will learn simple strategies to get back the time and motivation to connect, socialise, innovate, contribute and live in the real world.

The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone on the market, but it was the first to attract our imaginations. After it was released in 2007, by 2008 there were 11.6 million sold. It is estimated that over 5 billion people in the world are unique mobile subscribers. There has never been such a rise in technology in our history. Smartphones are now considered essential in our modern lives. They are touted as giving us unlimited access to information and greater choice, while increasing our knowledge and analytical skills. However, the evidence demonstrates that none of this is true! Not only do the underlying algorithms restrict our choices and the information we have access to, they are impacting on our cognitive functions and our brains. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are reported to have kept this technology away from their kids. New scientific research is regularly published that links smartphone use to anxiety, stress, depression, addiction and suicide. It is time we rethink our use of Smartphones before it is too late.

In an informative and challenging presentation, Dr Mark covers:

  • The rise of the smart phone.
  • The neuroscience of learning and memory, and why smartphones are damaging.
  • The neuroscience of addiction, why smartphones are addictive and how to avoid it.
  • The neuroscience of empathy and why smartphones are having an impact.
  • The relationship between screen use, depression and suicide.
  • Ways to minimise the potential effects.

He will end with a series of helpful tips and strategies that we can all easily implement to get smartphone use under control for both adults and teenagers.


This talk is an adaptation of a keynote presentation that I have given in a variety of environments. There are versions appropriate for primary school students (50 min), high school students (50 min), or adults (90 min).


Download the flyer here

Rethinking Technology in Schools (3 Hrs)

Better ways to use technology in schools to improve learning outcomes, health and wellbeing.

This program addresses the many problems that modern technologies are creating in the classroom. Learning outcomes, resilience, curiosity, tolerance and emotional intelligence are all declining whilst stress, anxiety, depression and suicide are rising. Money and technology alone are not the answer to innovative practices in our schools. We need a significant shift in our understanding. Teachers will learn how our brains learn and adapt and why modern technology is affecting students’ learning and wellbeing. We will discuss the current assumptions about technology in schools and how independent research has shown that many of these ideas are actually wrong.


With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are needing to use technology even more than ever before. As such, we need to be even more aware of the potential negative effects on our health and wellbeing. Even before COVID-19, however, over the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of technology in schools. The common reason given: it transforms the classroom and enhances learning. However, the research doesn’t support this notion. Modern technology such as smart phones, smart boards, tablets and laptops are affecting the way we think and how our brains develop. They are making us more stressed, anxious, depressed, and more likely to suffer from addiction. Australia is currently leading the way when it comes to technology in schools but outcomes in literacy, maths and science are falling. On the other hand, Silicon Valley executives are sending their kids to schools with limited or no technology. It is time for us to rethink our use of technology in schools.



In an informative and challenging presentation, Dr Mark covers:

  • Current beliefs about technology in schools.
  • What the research shows us is actually happening.
  • Neuroscience of learning and why devices are sub-optimal.
  • Neuroscience of addiction and why device overuse is dangerous.
  • New positive ways forward with technology in schools.

All participants get access to an online discussion and advice group for 12 months. They have access to courses, webinars, videos and regular live chat groups to continue their learning. Dr Mark will respond to queries and post new ideas and resources on a regular basis.


NOTE: These courses can also be combined, which works really well. I can run a course for students and then teachers during the day and then for parents in the evening. This is a great whole school approach and gets everyone on the same page.



Download the flyer here