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Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed.


Dr. Judy Willis, M.D. M.Ed.

Dr. Judy Willis, a board-certified neurologist combined her 15 years as a practicing neurologist with ten subsequent years as a classroom teacher to become a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning. With her unique background as both in neuroscience and education, she has written ten books and more than 200 articles about applying neuroscience research to classroom teaching strategies.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and Masters of Education degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and secondary school for 10 years.

Dr. Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the Williams College and travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops, and consulting about learning and the brain. She has been interviewed by USA Today, Euronews, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News Education Nation, ABC Australia Radio, Lateline Australia, Popular Mechanics, Neurology Today, USA Today, Washington Post, Education Week, Medscope Neurology, Parenting Magazine among others, and writes staff expert blogs for NBC News Education Nation, Edutopia, Psychology Today, and The Guardian. She was selected by Edutopia as a “Big Thinkers on Education.”


Twitter: judywillis

Books and Weblinks

Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from Neuroscience and the Classroom, Revised and Expanded Edition

Upgrade Your Teaching: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience by Jay McTighe and Judy Willis, M.D.

Unlock Teen Brainpower: 20 Keys to Boosting Attention, Memory, and Efficiency. Judy Willis, M.D. November 2019. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing: Lanham, MD

The Neuroscience of Learning: Principles and Applications for Educators. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (2014).

Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies that Change Student Attitudes and Get Results, ASCD 2010

How Your Child Learns Best: Brain-Based Ways to Ignite Learning and Increase School Success. Foreword by Goldie Hawn. Sourcebooks: 2008.

Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension ASCD August 2008.

Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom, ASCD 2007

Research-Based Strategies To Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist/Classroom Teacher, ASCD 2006.

Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative, Challenging. Great Potentials Press, 2008.

Expert blogs

Edutopia’s 'Big Thinker on Education' and Staff Blogger

NBC News Education Nation Staff Expert and Blogger Parent Toolkit

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