Wired for Learning: Supporting Thinking Skills in the K-2 Classroom (2018-2019)

Wired for Learning is a project designed to support young children in kindergarten through second grade who are at risk of falling behind or struggling academically in school. The premise is to target the development of those thinking skills and dispositions that are known to enhance student success in school while also enhancing educators’ understanding of brain science and the relationship to teaching and learning.

This Bass Connections project team involved professional development for teachers, field-testing of a thinking skills curriculum, parent programming and data collection to evaluate the impact of Wired for Learning on both K-2 students and their teachers.

The project team developed and field-tested a K-2 curriculum that intentionally integrates those learning dispositions and thinking skills that have proven to be critical to the cognitive development and academic success of young students. The team provided professional development and support for teachers on thinking skills, learning dispositions and brain science as they relate to K-2 learning and development. Moving forward, the team will disseminate results on impact and advocate for comprehensive K-2 nurturing programs that address thinking skills, dispositions for learning and brain science.


Fall 2018 – Spring 2019  

Team Outputs

Wired for Learning: Supporting Thinking Skills in the K-2 Classroom (poster by M. Apsel, C. Cooke, A. Dombrovskya, K. Heaton, C. Henderson, N. Liang, K. Locklear, R. Sanders, R. Reed, N. Shoichet, M. Gayle, A. Griffith, C. Horstman, K. Stephens, D. Turner, presented at EHDx, Duke University, April 9, 2019, and at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

Wired for Learning (talk by Caleb Cooke and Karina Heaton, EHDx, Duke University, April 9, 2019)

Wired for Learning: Supporting Thinking Skills in the K-2 Classroom (talk by Caleb Cooke and Karina Heaton, Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

This Team in the News

Duke Sophomore Kya Locklear Named Udall Scholar

Meet the Members of the 2018-19 Student Advisory Council

This project team was originally part of the Education & Human Development theme of Bass Connections, which ended in 2022. See related team, Wired for Learning: Enhanced Pedagogy for K-2 Teachers (2021-2022).

Students doing a hands-on activity

Team Leaders

  • Margaret Gayle, Social Science Research Institute; American Association for Gifted Children
  • Kristen Stephens, Arts & Sciences-Program in Education
  • Daniel Turner, Social Science Research Institute

/graduate Team Members

  • Celli Horstman, Masters of Public Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Molly Apsel, Interdepartmental Major
  • Caleb Cooke, Religion (AB)
  • Anna Dombrovskaya, Philosophy (AB)
  • Karina Heaton, Psychology (BS)
  • Connor Henderson, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Nathan Liang, Psychology (BS)
  • Kya Locklear, Biology (BS)
  • Raisa Reed, Psychology (AB)
  • Reagan Sanders, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Nicole Shoichet, Public Policy Studies (AB)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Alissa Griffith, Arts & Sciences-Program in Education

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Kim Marion, Durham Public Schools
  • Laura Parrott, Durham Public Schools