Where is My Mind?

Submitted By:
Liz Duffy, International Schools Services (ISS), Princeton, NJ

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 8, 2021

In The Extended Mind, science writer Annie Murphy Paul summarizes considerable research that has been conducted by neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and psychologists. By doing so, she demonstrates that we think not only with our brains, but also with our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships. Research in the early 2020s on mindsets, grit, memory, and other aspects of the science of learning focused on how to improve thinking with the brain. This newer research explores the next frontiers of learning: teaching children how to listen and learn from their bodies, optimize their environments, and take advantage of interactions with others. On the one hand, the book shows us how narrow our conception of thinking can be. The Extended Mind notes that our brains are quite limited in what they are able to consciously process; therefore, if we're able to harness our bodily perceptions and work more strategically with others we can significantly enhance our brain power. On the other hand, the book explains why certain strategies frequently used with students and colleagues are effective (e.g., taking a walk outside, studying/working in a group, or listening to our hunches). Paul's work delivers on the promise implicit in its title; this is a brain-extending book.

Science of Learning
Leadership Practice
Teaching Practice