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Brain Research, Education Link Topics of Tulsa Conference

Unwrapping the mysteries of the human brain and the implications of its early development will be the discussion topics when four experts from across the country speak in Tulsa next week at a special conference. "Making the Connection: Brain Development Research and Policy Implications" will be held on Wednesday, October 14th at the Rogers University campus there.

"When we focus on education, particularly the learning of very young children, we too often overlook the many important secrets unlocked by brain research. Policy makers have to know how the human mind works in order to respond effectively with the best programs possible," said Senator Penny Williams, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a conference organizer.

According to the latest research of neuroscientists, the brain grows to 90 percent of its adult capacity within the first three years of life and its patterns created during those early years affect individuals throughout their lives. In the words of one professional, "The first few years last forever."

"That phrase really is the key to long-term educational success. It's something we will stress over and over at the conference and something we should be stressing over and over in policy-making arenas around the country," said Senator Williams.

The Tulsa conference will feature experts on the latest brain research and its policy implications, brain development effects on language acquisition and brain development in young children and their readiness for school.

Panel members will include Dr. Ron Emerson of the Education Commission of the States, Dr. John Medina of the University of Washington, Dr. Judith Goodman of the University of Missouri, Nina Sazer O'Donnell of the Families and Work Institute of New York, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett, Dr. Deborah Blue of the Oklahoma State Board of Education, Tulsa businessman John Gaberino, Senator Ben Brown and Representative Betty Boyd.

Tulsa Mayor Susan Savage and First Lady Cathy Keating will also offer opening remarks to the conference.

The event is sponsored by the Governor's office, the Oklahoma Legislature, the Mayor of Tulsa, the Education Commission of the States, the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa, Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and the Tulsa Public Schools.

What: Making the Connection: Brain Development Research and Policy Implications

When: 9:00 AM, Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Where: Rogers University Auditorium, Tulsa Campus, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.

Contact info
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605