Deep Brain Learning book review and applications to Restorative Justice

I snapped this photo last night with my cell phone.  The lights of the Christmas tree blurred out the tabs on the side.  I tabbed 48 places in this book.

This was my Saturday night date, this book, Deep Brain Learning.  I read it in two and a half hours, cover to cover.  I thought it was very, very good.

I was reading it to pick up more information for my upcoming book:  On the Road Together Safe Teen Driving.  (Other blog links about that here.)

I was also reading the book because I love the  Circle of Courage philosophy and approach.  The subtitle of the book interested me Pathways to Potential with Challenging Youth.

I learned some very interesting connections between our brains and restorative justice, when I attended the IIRP breakout session:  The Implications of Neuroscience for Restorative Practices presented by Frida Rundell.  She actually gave us almonds in the session, to demonstrate our amygdala.  I still carry those around, those two almonds, my amygdala.  Dr Rundell, is an instructor at IIRP, and she made clear connections between restorative justice and our brains.

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Deep Brain Learning, gave me a great deal to think about.  I am not sure if I can completely articulate any one concept right now.  I liked several new ideas presented and the one that most struck me was the idea of Consilience.

The wiki definition here.  The authors of Deep Brain Learning share that the wordsmith William Whewell who invented the term Scientist, also invented the term Consilience.  It means knowledge that links research, practice, and deep values.  The authors make a great illustration with four circles that over lap and the center is the truth.  The four circles are Practice, Social Science, Values, Natural Science.

A subsection of the introduction is titled:  Twisting the Truth.  There is a good discussion on evidence-based practice.  I really appreciate the authors directing us to the American Psychological Associations definition of Evidence-based needing to include Scientific Research, Clinical Expertise and Person Characteristics.

Several of the tabs I placed were markers for blog topics.  I plan to link back to this blog post when I mention items from the book.  I do recommend that if you work with youth, you get this book.  It is very interesting and provided you ‘maps’ to working with young people in a way that sustain positive behaviors.  The chapters are titled like that, Chapter Four Trust Maps, Chapter Five Challenge Maps, Chapter 6 Power Maps, 7 Moral Maps.

I definately plan to make sure our work at SCVRJP integrates these nuggets of wisdom.