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Getting the Most from Your Brain

Getting the Most from Your Brain


This follows on the basic structure, chemistry, and functioning of your brain covered in last semester's class; but the previous class is not required to profit from this course.  Here, we will consider a kind of "user's guide" to your brain based on current research, including:


  • How to keep it physically healthy and sharp
  • How to keep yourself safe given the immaturity of some structures of the adolescent brain
  • Understanding the sensation-seeking, risk-taking, and importance of peer relationships
  • The role of parents and other adult guides to keep yourself between the lines on the road
  • How to improve your attention and why you cannot multi-task (no one can!)
  • The importance of emotion to learning and memory
  • How your brain forms memory
  • How good teachers use current brain research to improve student learning


  • Recommended for: Ages 11+ / Grades 6-7
  • Instructor: Dr. Greg Richards
  • Day and Time: Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
  • Duration: 6 classes
  • Dates: February 8 - March 14, 2024


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Dr. Greg is the founder and director of the Middle Grades Ethics Project, helping middle schools, parents, and law enforcement foster positive values and development for students and their communities. He studies and teaches on the character development and ethics education of young teens, including the influence of adolescent brain biology on moral judgment and risk-taking. ​


Greg’s interdisciplinary doctoral program examined the role of parents and other significant adults in nurturing core values and risk aversion. His doctoral dissertation, Measuring the Effect of Parent Involvement in a Middle School Ethics Curriculum on Parent-Adolescent Communication, was based on his research in developmental psychology, brain biology, and ethics education. 


Earlier, as a school chaplain, Greg developed academic programs in ethics for junior high and high school students and related education for parents. As a pastor in Beverly Hills, he founded a parent education and early childhood center.


He is the author of Ethics for Young Adults: A Workbook (Kazanjian Foundation) and When Someone You Know Is Hurting: What You Can Do to Help (Zondervan/Harper Paperbacks).  Greg considers the experience of raising two sons with his wife Debbie the foundational preparation for his work with young people, parents, and educators. 


Teaching style: lecture, current events, group discussion, student sharing, engagement with subject material


Student Reviews for Dr. Greg:

  • Dr. Greg is the best teacher I’ve ever had. He was prepared and organized and he presented the subject and story really well. He made it real and pertained to things that exist today and was very relatable. I really really enjoyed his teaching style, and I’m looking forward to next week. EJ, student

  • Dr. Greg is an awesome teacher. In every class, he thoughtfully listened to my questions, comments, and opinions. He cares about his students and shows it. His knowledge of psychology always amazed me, and my interest in the subject has grown significantly since taking his classes. I’m excited to sign up for another class with Dr. Greg! —Esther, student

  • I enjoy Dr. Greg’s classes because he is such a passionate teacher. I can tell he really loves his students and cares about them. He also has lots of knowledge of his subjects and can give very helpful and good advice. I loved how students used his Ethic’s workbook for classes and homework. —Abigail, student