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Brain-Based Leadership


Ed.D. with a minor in Brain-Based Leadership

EDD 8260 -Linking Learning and Leadership to Brain Research (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to help leaders think and act more effectively. New brain research indicates that there are two primary modes of brain function: one brain area specializes in managing routine tasks, while another area excels at managing novel tasks and situations. While both left and right hemispheres are involved in most processes, each hemisphere has particular strengths in solving different challenges. Six specific domains of more right brain processing that are key for surviving and thriving in the new millennium will be analyzed. Students will assess strategies for putting this research into practice. Students will explore the concept of brain maps; investigate the three major brain barriers to improving institutional performance; and create a symposium to engage other education leaders in a process to design schools that allow the right brain to flourish.


EDD 8261: The Frontal Lobe as CEO of the Brain (3 credits)

In this course, students will use research on the frontal lobe of the brain to develop critical leadership skills including goal setting, problem solving, decision making, foresight and insight. Students will demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation through a variety of class activities and will conduct an evaluation and provide recommendations for how their own organizations can increase productivity. Students will be able to develop and utilize strategies for increasing the body-brain system’s capacity for sustained focus and follow-through so that plans can be implemented.


EDD 8262:  Leading Change and Transforming Performance with Brain-Based Research (3 credits)


This course builds upon the knowledge gained in previous classes related to brain research and technology, thus, is designed to encourage each student to integrate prior learning into a new paradigm of leadership.  In this course, the concept of "whole brain" thinking, teaching, and learning will be used as a framework to: (a) examine personal leadership styles; and (b) effect institutional change at the levels of self, teams, and the overall organization.  Reference will be made to how people think to improve performance with a brain-based approach.  However, through analyses of whole brain technologies, students will be challenged to question common assumptions regarding the role of a leader in schools, as well as the roles of all stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, and others) within the learning organization.  Students will apply whole brain thinking to examine leadership in the contexts of both first-order change, i.e., fine tuning what exists; and second-order change, i.e., transforming ways in which stakeholders think, act and produce results.


EDD 8263: Leading for Engagement (3 credits)

Students will learn how to apply current research-based understandings of the brain’s limbic system to increase levels of motivation and engagement and achieve higher levels of individual and organizational performance. Students will learn and apply key factors to improve engagement including clarity of expectations, necessary resources, recognition, respect, and opportunities to learn. Students will use the skills of authentic and resonant leadership with tools such as mindfulness, hope, compassion, and managing social distance with more skill to increase the level of engagement among those they lead as well as community stakeholders. Using these skills and strategies, leaders will energize staff and stakeholders to develop and implement an initiative that increases student motivation and attention, drawing out the talents of adults and children within the schools they lead.


EDD 8264: BrainSMART Leading for Learning Symposium (3 credits)

Using cognitive strategies critical for the global knowledge economy, students will design and implement a research-based initiative to help lead schools that teach the cognitive skills necessary for academic success.  These include critical thinking and problem solving, leading by influence, cognitive agility, initiative, effective communication, analyzing information, and imagination.  Students will apply, teach, and lead others in teaching these skills to complete the culminating project for the Brain-Based Leadership Minor.  (Pre-requisites: 8260, 8261, 8262, and 8263.)


For more information about the Ed.D. program at NSU, click here.