[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Brenda McKinney



Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise can physically remodel your brain for peak performance. The text we will be using, SPARK, embarks upon a fascinating and entertaining journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling research to prove that exercise is truly our defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer's. This is a timely course for the decade. The book is filled with amazing case studies including the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, which has put this school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores. SPARK, by John Ratey, is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about exercise, aging, or, for that matter, simply the way you think. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this groundbreaking research. You will be able to share this with your family, your students, your aging parents; everyone can benefit. Join me today; don’t put off this opportunity. Perfect for teachers, administrators, parents, everyone interested in their health.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Explored key findings about how your brain works and how exercise works.
  2. Gained an understanding of the neurological and behavioral changes in the brain.
  3. Discovered the brain body connections as related to overall brain function
  4. Gained an understanding of how exercise can improve learning, mood, and work ethics.
  5. Experienced the power of beginning or continuing an exercise program.
  6. Learned that exercise physically remodels the brain
  7. Learned how exercise is linked exercise with depression, AD/HD, addiction, and aging.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Purchase the required text SPARK. The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey, MD, from

None. All reading is online.


Text, SPARK. The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, is approximately$10, from


Brenda McKinney, CEO of Vancouver, WA based BrainVolution, is a developer and dynamic facilitator of workshops that teach practical thinking and learning tools for raising student achievement with the brain in mind. She has trained educators throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student. Her work with at-risk students and those with reading problems have made her a popular speaker at the state, regional and national level.

Brenda is able to synthesize the new research and continues to address the role of how to use the latest findings to create high achievement classroom. She brings 30+ years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level as a mentor teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, university instructor, and reading specialist. Brenda has her Master’s in Education from Washington State University and is nationally certified in Brain Based Learning through the renowned  Jensen Corporation, led by Eric Jensen, a noted international spokesperson for neuroscience and education.


Brenda will inspire and motivate you with her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. Her wisdom, techniques, and brain based approach to education will inspire you and challenge you to meet the demands of this ever changing world.



Aamodt, Sandra. Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forgot how to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life. Bloomsbury USA, 2008.

This book is clear, fascinating, educational, and entertaining. It is a brain manual. The writing is excellent and accessible to everyone, even those with minimal teaching about neuroscience and the brain.


Brain Science Podcast #33. Exercise and the Brain. March 21, 2008.

A lively interview with professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, John Ratey.



Gupta, Sanjay. “Stuck on the Couch.” Time. February 21, 2008.

Importance of exercise for life energy and wellness. Perfect reading.


Howard, Pierce. The Owner’s Manual for The Brain. Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research. Bard Press, 2006.

A valuable resource for everyone. This should be the book you pull out every time you have a question about neuroscience or psychology. A guide book that contains the latest brain research.


Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Rules for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. Pear Press, 2008.

Cutting edge research on 12 timely topics. This is my must read book of the year. Principle #1 deals with exercise and the brain.


Ratey, John. A User’s Guide to the Brain. Perception, Attention and the Four Theatres of the Brain. Vintage Books, 2002.

A wonderful guide of scientific research sharing what we know about the brain and how to use this information. The emphasis is on how to use the brain to reach our maximum potential. Highly recommended.


Ratey, John. SPARK. The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. Little Brown and Company, 2008.

SPARK is filled with amazing case studies and the cutting edge research.  This is really the first book to explore the connection between exercise and the brain. This book will change the way you look at exercise and has the potential to change your life.  Everyone can benefit from this groundbreaking work. I couldn’t wait for this book to come out, and I was not disappointed.