"Cortical mass" sounds like critical mass, right? The idea of “gaining cortical mass" is that if enough parents get smarter about learning and education we could raise educational outcomes in America.
Cortical mass refers to the weight and thickness of the brain's cortex. Neuroscience has shown that, as we learn, the mass of the brain's cortex changes. A classic rule in cognitive science, known as Hebbian Learning, says neurons that "fire together, wire together." This firing and wiring together is how learning gets recorded in the brain.
How can parents gain cortical mass? We think it takes three things. One, parents can get more knowledgeable about how kids learn and how current policies affect children's education. Two, they can figure out inventive ways to apply this knowledge in everyday interaction with kids. Three, they can share what works.
To make information about learning and education more accessible to parents, we synthesized the essential topics into top ten lists. First, we put together ten learning concepts that are most useful to the kind of learning parents are immersed in with kids.
Second, we developed a list of ten education polices to help explain the core ideas regulating students' experience in local public schools.
Third, we selected the ten most influential people in education and will follow their pursuits. Knowing who’s who makes it more interesting to tune into the action.
As more parents get more knowledgeable--firing together and wiring together--we gain parent cortical mass.