Benjamin Riley

Founder & Executive Director, Deans for Impact
Speaking at


The Persistence of Neuromyths

Time and again research has debunked the value of learning styles. Nevertheless, the neuromyth has persisted among teachers. Why? And is the persistence of this myth the result of some failure on their part…or the failure of advocates of learning science to communicate effectively with them? What if advocates of cognitive science in education are advancing strategies at odds with, well, cognitive science itself? This session is not a “safe space”: come only if ready to have your ideas challenged.


Benjamin Riley is the founder and executive director of Deans for Impact, a national nonprofit organization working to improve and transform the way future educators are prepared. Prior to stewarding the launch of Deans for Impact, Riley served as the director of policy for a national nonprofit organization that supported education innovation. Before that, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California and worked primarily on education policy-related issues. Riley received his B.A. from the University of Washington and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He grew up in a family of public of educators and believes passionately that public education serves as the foundation of our democracy.



Washington 2016

The Emerging Science of Teacher Expertise – Session will explore the role of deliberate practice in developing and improving teaching skill.

National Conference 2016

The (Emerging) Science of Teacher Expertise

Deans for Impact is developing a new publication that will summarise principles from the emerging science of expertise and as developed through purposeful or deliberate practice, and connect these principles to concrete approaches to improving teaching. In this working session, we will explore together the ways in which deliberate- practice principles map to instructional practice — and where they do not. The conversation will draw upon research pioneered by Anders Ericsson, author of Peak: Secrets of the New Science of Expertise and will help guide the structure of our forthcoming publication.