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Dr Andrew Curran

"Twenty-five years of neurobiological research tells us that children learn best when they feel loved."

We have said for a long time now that if you don’t know about brains then you don’t really know about teaching and learning.

It is for this reason that we are delighted that paediatric neurologist and neurobiology researcher Dr Andrew Curran is one of our longest-standing Associates and someone, despite the pressures of his clinical day job at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, who is still one of our most requested speakers.

And rightly so.

At a time when recent understandings of neuroscience with regard to learning seem to be boiled down to dual modality processing, appropriate reduction of cognitive load and spaced learning (or saying what you see, making it hard but not unnecessarily hard, repeat till it sticks), Andrew’s research and vast experience shows there is more to neuroscience in the classroom than these reductive approaches.

For Andrew – and it’s the same in his clinical work – we must never lose sight of the human being in front of us. In the same way that a good doctor looks beyond the symptoms and the illness to the well person that lies beneath, a good teacher will look beyond behaviours and academic outcomes to a child who wants to learn and is capable of learning. One who is so much more than their behaviours or academic results.

And that teacher will then work on exploring and eliminating the barriers and obstacles that are getting in the way of achieving much better outcomes all round.

Andrew Curran was fabulous. He was clearly the outstanding speaker. Bravo to Andrew, he was everything I’d hoped for

The information was stimulating and thought provoking. I love that it gave me some ‘scientific’ backing to many of the things I have held closely and felt passionate about when teaching children and adults alike

Andrew Curran was brilliant both in terms of content and delivery - what an excellent role model for teachers!

It was a real privilege to be informed and stimulated by him and to have beliefs and practice reinforced Inspirational breath of fresh air! Not the same old stuff!

Possibly the most surprising element of Andrew’s work with teachers - apart from the often controversial and no-nonsense way he puts his ideas across to the thousands of educators he has spoken to over the last two decades with Independent Thinking - is his four-letter conclusion when it comes to what the developing brain most needs.

Sharing the most up-to-date understandings about the working of the learning brain, Andrew shows how learning happens, how memory happens, how motivation happens, how barriers to learning happen, the role that emotions play in all of that and how billions of dollars’ worth of research boils down to the fact that if a developing brain feels love, that brain will develop in as healthy a way as possible.

It is an idea that he expresses perfectly in his Little Book of Big Stuff About the Brain which remains ever-popular as an accessible and entertaining read for teachers of children of all ages and academic abilities, neurotypical or otherwise.

If you know that understanding the latest neuroscience has to be more than just ensuring that what gets taught gets learned, then straight-talking Dr Andrew Curran is the speaker for you.

  • Andrew has been with Independent Thinking for over 20 years
  • You'll find his work in our Teaching and Learning and Well-Being topic areas
  • You might also want to consider Jackie Beere or David Hodgson
  • Ask us about Andrew's prices and current availability.
  • And for details on how to save money when you book, click here.
  • NB As Andrew is a practising NHS paediatric neurologist at Alder Hey children's hospital he is often restricted in how far he can travel due to his clinical commitments, but we will always ask. Also, please note that there may be times when this important work will have to take precedence over any Independent Thinking booking. While we do everything in our power to minimise the chances of this happening - and it has happened very rarely in all the years we have worked with Andrew - we do ask all our clients to be aware of this. If in the unfortunate event of Andrew being unable to fulfil a booking we will act quickly to offer a replacement from our list of Associates or find a new date suitable for the client and for Andrew.

Make a booking, ask a question or just say hello.

Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432, drop us a line at or hit the button.

Our office in lovely West Wales will then get in touch before you can say 'meddylwyr annibynnol'.