Point of View

Point of View

The Tribal Classroom: Applying attachment theory in schools

By Ryan Howes

September/October 2014

Many of us had that special teacher, the one who went beyond the standard protocol and treated us like more than a student. Mine was Miss Corrigan, my second-grade teacher, who fed my will to achieve through her gentle encouragement and warm smile. I wanted to do well, but when my will waned, I still wanted to do well for her. As I struggled through elementary penmanship and basic multiplication, I knew I didn’t want to let her down. Was this the essential fuel for whatever academic achievement I’ve attained in life?

Pepperdine professor and psychotherapist Lou Cozolino, author of The Neuroscience of Human Relationships and The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, would say yes. He believes that the key to improving our schools is learning how to incorporate an understanding of attachment theory and social neuroscience into our educational system. Throughout his career, he’s devoted himself to bridging the world of academic research with the realm of practical applications.

Recently, he’s turned his attention to the educational system with his book The Social Neuroscience of Education and the forthcoming Attachment-Based Teaching. In a world in which test scores rule and curricula are king, he proposes the radical idea that relationships are actually the key to improved academic performance. In this conversation, he shared his thoughts about the role of social neuroscience in both the classroom and the consultation…

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1 Comment

Thursday, June 4, 2015 8:43:07 PM | posted by Lyn Holley, PhD, Professor
Breathtaking, vital to positive change - not just education, but economic and interpersonal productivity and ultimately peace and happiness. Thank you Dr. Cozolino for your scholarship and caring, and for your diligence and skill in communicating this knowledge.