The following talks have been presented at conferences and schools.
Forget Self-Esteem, It’s About Differentiation of the Self (Parent and/or teacher talk)
The capacity to distinguish one’s own thoughts and feelings from those of others is differentiation of self. Research shows that those with a higher degree of self-differentiation exhibit less anxiety and overall better psychological adjustment, better physical health, greater ability to self-regulate, better marital satisfaction, and lower levels of relationship violence and substance abuse. This talk compares the self-differentiation and self-esteem research and provides concrete ways teachers and parents can support children’s self-differentiation process in the classroom and at home.
The Brain: It’s Not What You Think! (Parent and/or educator talk)
Neuromyths are common misperceptions of how the brain works, and they are believed by both parents and educators. This talk dispels those myths and provides clearer understanding about what is currently known about brain function. Armed with this new information, teachers and parents can better evaluate practices and programs claiming to be “brain-based” and more effectively guide children towards becoming independent and contributing society members.
Laura Flores Shaw is an engaging speaker who brings the weight of her scholarship to bear on issues relevant to educational communities. She communicates with humor and insight, simplifying complex concepts from neuroscience and Montessori pedagogy, creating multiple pathways of understanding for her audience. Laura’s ability to understand the needs of the audiences she addresses translates to talks that deliver a real impact for parents and educators alike. I highly recommend Laura as a guest speaker and consultant.
— Parent and school board president
What is Normalization? (Talk or workshop based on Dr. Shaw’s research)
What exactly is normalization and which student behaviors actually demonstrate it? How do we distinguish normalization from simply good student behavior? And can teachers foster normalization? Beliefs about normalization influence teacher practice, but they also influence administrators’ evaluation of teachers. Yet, recent research shows that teachers and administrators lack agreement as to what normalization actually is and how teachers should foster it. This presentation presents this research and provides an examination of normalization through the lens of self-regulated learning and teacher beliefs so practitioners and administrators can not only reach agreement on the meaning of this fundamental Montessori construct, but also understand how our subjective understanding of it impacts students.
Education for the 21st Century (Parent talk)
The public education system successfully trained millions of children for the industrial society and economy. But due to the proliferation of digital technologies towards the end of the last century, we socially reorganized into a society of distributed networks whose economy runs on knowledge. This means that the competencies required for success in the 21st century are very different than those required in the last century. It also means that we must fundamentally rethink our concept of school.
Ironically, over 100 years ago, just as industrialists were reforming education to prepare American children to work in their factories, Maria Montessori began developing a method that seemed to foreshadow the needs of the 21st century. Using research from multiple disciplines, including sociology, economics, cognitive science, psychology, education, and neuroscience, this talk discusses why Montessori is the educational framework for the 21st century.
As a parent, I truly appreciate Laura Flores Shaw’s ability to present research in an accessible and engaging way that makes a meaningful connection to my parenting and the choices I make for my children.
Montessori For All Types of Brains (Parent and/or teacher talk)
As neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert states, “We have a brain for one reason, and one reason only: to produce adaptable and complex movements.” This means we weren’t born to think – we were born to move. Conventional education has yet to look at the brain in this way, but Maria Montessori understood the importance of movement over 100 years ago. This talk will enhance Montessori educators’ understanding of movement and how it leads to higher cognition, thus providing an environment that works for all types of brains.
Creativity Does Not Arise from Chaos (Parent and/or teacher talk)
There are two common assumptions about creativity: 1) creativity arises from chaotic free expression and 2) creativity is born rather than bred. The research shows, however, that creativity is actually a learned skill requiring knowledge and that everyone has creative potential. This talk discusses the creativity research and shows how Montessori fosters children’s creative potential.
If there is another topic relating to organizational behavior, education, or parenting that you would like to present at your organization, please contact me using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Laura Flores Shaw, you still hold the first place of the best/most interesting/most informative presenters of all CCMA speakers!
I really find Laura Flores Shaw to be a fabulous speaker, very motivating, and she always delivers options of several views. I would love to have her expertise more readily available.